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Fashion still respecting their religious requirements and

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Fashion is a
substantial issue in a daily life of every woman, including the ones that are
experimenting in different ways to express themselves while still respecting
their religious requirements and most of the time it is how modestly you come
across as a person towards everyone. It is a challenge of how we see ourselves
within this world, this is mostly shown through how we dress. In fact, it has
become a must for many young Muslims as they feel the need to fit in with the
rest of the ‘trendy’ hijabis (women that wear a hijab are named as hijabis) by
staying on top with the trend of ‘modest fashion’. Which is why it is important
to know and understand about this rapidly growing market of modest fashion, in
the West, and if it really is an evolution and that it is at its highest point
at the moment and will become a norm soon or is it just another fad that will die
down in a few years’ time, just like any other trends do.

 

The focus throughout
this essay will be going through various aspects of modest fashion, as to how
the hijab (referred to a headscarf) has come to the mainstream, what has been
involved in the ‘trend’ in recent years and how people think of this or what
they feel about combining faith and fashion together. There will be links made
to fashion bloggers, designers, journalists and even authors on whether this
new modest fashion is a positive movement or is this a negative thing and it
will be reflected against the principals of Islam and its teachings.  

 

Modest fashion
is a fashion movement that basically gives you more coverage, but you still are
able to look stylish and of course, for most woman, are able to stay within one’s
religious boundaries. I believe that clothing is the easiest way to inform
people who you are and what you value. It is a
mutable concept that changes over time and is diversely adopted, rejected,
altered by or in some cases imposed on different groups of women.1 This
is aimed at many Muslim women’s thoughts and beliefs that each and everyone has
their own personal style and taste towards this subject. In my opinion, this is
really a personal thing, it’s a word that has different meanings for everyone, yet
still similar in the bigger picture, i.e. a woman is wearing a trouser and a loose
top and is fully covered, some woman still wouldn’t think that is modest as
they believe that the traditional long dress called the abaya is a modest dress.

But this still comes under the same category as they are loosely fitted
garments.  Some people believe that this
whole concept of looking good and staying on top of trends is wrong as it moves
away from the actual purpose of modesty. Most Muslim
woman, are not that happy with the rise of this movement, there has started to
become a division between the Muslim sisterhood. Criticism and judgements are
being passed around within these Muslim women about each other. The speech of
‘they’ and ‘we’ is deeply felt these days as they divide each other and not
accept each other as one ummah (community).

 

Now
coming to the hijab. This has become one of the main reason for the build-up of
the modest fashion today. The hijab has taken a new role within the growing
popularity of modest fashion. We are witnessing the headscarf being turned into
a piece of fashion accessory and most of the younger generations are forgetting
the real reason behind the headscarf. In the Holy Quran, it is stated that the
women are supposed to be modest through the way they dress, the way they speak and
most importantly through the way they behave. The Quran states to “Tell the…woman to lower their gaze
and be modest…”2 Now, modesty plays a
huge role in Islam, especially in a woman’s life. Many younger (female) generations
have made the headscarf into a piece of fashion statement rather than a
religious piece of garment that is there acting as a barrier.

 

At the moment, some
of these younger generations are following the trend of hijab and putting it on
in different styles and techniques, but when that ‘trend’ finishes do you think
their scarves will still be on their heads? I have also personally experienced that
the higher a woman gets in their career the less of the hijab (barrier,
modesty) is there. They are starting to be more revealing and forgetting the
value of modesty within their religion. I think that this modesty movement has spread throughout, and the Muslim
woman are wearing their scarves over their heads, in a few years’ time, at the
rate of how the Muslimahs’ are going, there would be less women wearing the
hijab and become more revealing. I fear that the word modesty will soon become
a whole new word with a different meaning to it.

 

There has been a fear factor around the Muslim
dress, such as the burka or the jilbab, because of what people have been seeing
in the news. After the 9/11 the debates, which have been accelerated
and intensified, focus on the apparent rights and wrongs of headscarves and
face vails.3 These attacks and blames that the whole Muslim
community got was starting to impact the younger generations especially the ones
that were going to schools, colleges and universities. Because of all this criticising
and being blamed for something they individually haven’t done, they started to
blend in while still wearing their headscarves. So, they started to use fashion
as their weapon of freedom to get away from all this negativity. But, when everything is going smoothly
then another attack happens and freshens the wounds of many and this happens continuously,
and blaming everyone in the Muslim community, who are also affects them. To get
themselves back up some Muslimahs used the internet and started blogging their experiences
of not being able to fit in or not being able to find good clothing that is suitable
within their religious requirements. By doing this people from different parts
of the country and out of country could connect with them easily and get
inspired by how the bloggers dress. They started to become the new role models
for the young Muslim women.

 

The internet had played a big part for the growth of modest
fashion. In fact, it was the only way Muslimahs could express themselves and get
heard.

 

This is really
a golden age for the modest fashion sector. The demands are rising immensely,
for modest clothing, mostly from the Western side. Based on a report given by the
‘State of the Global Islamic Economy’ the Muslim customers have spent around
$243 billion in 2015 and is now estimated to $368 billion by 20211.

The mainstream retailers and designers such as Dolce & Gabanna, Tommy
Hilfiger and H are taking the advantage of that and creating items
keeping the modest dressers in mind as this is beneficial for these high street
brands and the designers.