Muslim Fashion?

In my journey in Islam, there are many things that I thought would be challenging for me that were not. No drinking, no pork, only helal meat — easy. What is challenging for me, or more challenging than I thought it would be, is the clothes.

I love clothes, shoes, everything. And I have a lot of clothes, shoes, everything. While I never thought I dressed immodestly before I became a Muslim, I am struggling with my old wardrobe in my new life.

I like a sophisticated fashionable look with simple clean lines. I am not trendy as trends typically do not suit me or reflect my personality – but I do enjoy the unusual and a splash of color now and then. Vivian Westwood and Alexander McQueen are two of my favorite designers to give you a flavor of what I mean.

I am also VERY short, so anything that is loose, layered, etc, makes me look sloppy, dumpy and 20 pounds overweight. Now, I realize my ego and pride should not trump modesty and appropriateness, but I do need to feel comfortable and confident.

Furthermore, I work in a corporate environment and the people I work with don’t know I am Muslim…yet.

So what do I do?!?!

I have been wearing more pants, lots of long sleeved body suits under my tops, tights / pants under my dresses and skirts, and always with a scarf. But it does not always feel quite right.

I believe that clothes reflect who you are and I really want to embrace being Muslim in a way that is sophisticated, modest, elegant, appropriate and modern – and doesn’t make me look dumpy and 20 pounds overweight. So, where do I go? Where should I look?

I found Barjis. A very cool site for clothing for “modern Muslim women.” I plan to try their bespoke services when I move to London later this year.

I also found blog spot called hijablicious. It may be a bit young for me, but I am excited to explore it.

Other thoughts, suggestions, tips?

8 responses

  1. You raise a very important issue and while I had adopted abaya for the first couple of years, I eventually switched to long business shirts with hijab to cover the front and long skirts. Addition-Elle (not sure in Canada?) makes the best quality long skirts, and just a few pieces (though at $75-$80 each) may be just the trick. Eddie Bauer wrinkle resistant shirts available at Value Village or thrift stores are an option, as well as long skirts as the new wardrobe can be tricky. I have, for instance, found a Simon Chang skirt at trendier thrift store, for like $19. πŸ˜€ You will find your style through a series of experiments. I remember the first couple of years, I was wearing a lot of neon (shudder) as it was the only option available, but I looked like a tween. πŸ˜€

    I find three key solids for bottoms like black, grey, purple, navy blue, and mixing the tops is the trick. Frankly, I really only have five hijabs and five shirts, five days a week, with hijabs matching the color of the shirt. Now that, is tricky. πŸ˜€ I often found myself buying more shirts than I had hijabs for. So now I only buy shirts that I have hijabs for. πŸ˜€ You’ll find your way.

    Another new technique is layering, so for more casual days, wearing a longer shirt underneath a shorter one. πŸ˜€ Heck they even sell the ‘fake’ t-shirt wrap to cover bums. πŸ˜€

    I’m sure you’ll figure it out, and do check out thrift stores that don’t smell too funny as they can have some nice brand name gear πŸ˜€ I find mid-thigh to knee length jacket does the trick too for windier days. πŸ˜€

    Pink.

  2. Assalam u alaikum sister! Just wanted to let you know I can totally relate to you. My advice would be to just be yourself. Worst thing would be to lose yourself amid your beautiful choice to embrace Islam. Sometimes, with good intentions, Muslims will quickly tell you what is right or wrong in terms of dress. Like i say this is with good intention, but the important thing to remember is that there are many ways of practicing modesty, and many different opinions. So just do what feels best for you!

    • Wa alaikum as sallam – Thank you so much. It is really great to hear that perspective. One the one hand, I do enjoy exploring a whole new world of fashion and seeing how it fits. But sometimes if feels frustrating – and then I feel a bit guilty. So, I will continue to explore but continue to be me. Alhamdulilah. And thank you!

      • No problem sister, I understand your frustration. Just do what you enjoy, every little step toward ‘improving’ your modesty is positive so no need to make big steps that’ll just cause unnecessary burdens. Of course this is just my opinion. Ultimately you’ll know what is right for you!

      • oh and P.S., on my post about changing one’s name I added an interesting link to an article. I highly recommend you read it. even though it’s about changing one’s name there are some wise words about one’s appearance and dress too that you may find inspiration in! πŸ™‚ Here’s the link: http://www.joebradford.net/change-name-islam/

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