Good read about the “hijab trend”

Muslimah Mediawatch published an interesting post today about “modesty chic” and the pros and cons of this trend.

“Fashion designers are now starting to see head scarves as the latest hot fashion trend. In an IslamOnline article, various designers were quoted about this new trend. Two words that came up often were”modesty” and “chastity”. Apparently, fashion designers want to show that modesty, chastity, and elegance are not mutually exclusive. Although the designers said that they weren’t focused solely on Muslim women, I’m sure that Muslim women are definitely a market that is increasingly being focused on by the fashion industry.

As a hijabi, maybe people think I would be elated by this article, but I’m actually a bit cautious. For one thing, isn’t the one of the objectives of hijab to take the focus off of outer appearances? One of the most common arguments given by hijab apologists is that the hijab prevents women from only being judged by how they look. It allows women to be judged for who they truly are. If headscarves are suddenly made into the latest fashion trend, doesn’t it suddenly lose that purpose? Hasn’t it become the latest commodity that women must have? As Muslims, should we support that? That’s why I was a bit surprised that the article was featured on an Islamic website. The commercialization of hijab seems antithetical to what hijab is all about.”

Read more about it here.


What is your opinion. Would you like the hijab to be “like it has always been”, are you all excited about the hijab going mainstream, or do you see both the good sides and the bad sides with it all?

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11 thoughts on “Good read about the “hijab trend”

  1. Jana says:

    Lol looks like someone pulled a pic from my blog hehe 😀

    I think it’s important to note that just because some designers are reintroducing headscarves into their fashions, doesn’t mean it has anything to do with Islam. After all, the ‘hijab’ is not just about headcoverig – it’s the whole body. Covering ones head does not equal modesty. And covering ones head is not exclusive to Islam OR Muslims. So really, that IslamOnline article is slightly misleading.

    Another thing to note, is that just because a woman in a headscarf is interested in fashion, doesn’t mean that the headscarf itself is becoming a fashion statement, as some people often like to complain…

  2. basbousa says:

    Jana, I totally agree with you!

  3. erica aisha says:

    Assallam alaikum Sisters,

    As with much… there’s good and bad in all things. If it’s just an empty motion to make others happy, I guess at least it’s modesty. Modesty can be in actions as well.

    When it comes to hijab and being stylized, I’m glad to see it. We can be fashionable and not overly sexual. Some women love trends and expensive handbags, this can be quite compatable with Islamic ideals, as can sports, swimming, politics and more.

    It makes hijab easier, as well, for converts and those who perhaps see it as a bit restrictive on personal expression. Although I do enjoy the fact that it takes the focus off being objectified, I’m not sure if I see it as truly taking the focus from the appearance. If you’re in a Jilbab and simple scarf, hijab and shalwar kameez, or jeans and a knee length shirt with hijab…. it’s still a hijab that says to the outside world something about your appearance. It’s usually something about “I’m a Muslim woman, and…”
    Thoughtful post, thanks sister.
    Peace~Sallam,
    aisha

  4. m says:

    it’s an interesting question i think. but i feel two things come out of this…
    First, making headscraf more mainstream will shift the view of some people that it is an oppression and an impossion on muslim women, but it could also at the same time, radicule the scarf itself, by confusing a few people between what is purely fashion, and what is muslim hijab
    however, and here comes my second point, not every headscaf is a hijab… and hijab is not just a state of headscarf, b/c “modesty” is a state of being, that encapsulates many levels and aspects of life, and the way we dress is only one of them.
    i do like the idea that there is more and more modesty in main stream fashion these days. i don’t know whether it’s just the era, and in time we’ll find ourselves back to the days of the micro skirts etc. but i don’t think anyone can deny that muslim women, especially those of us living in western countries, are exerting a force on mainstream fashion and shifting the style. i can see it so often, that many girls wear outfits, with or without any simple modification, would be very hijab friendly.
    ps i guess it’s a function of the winter here too 🙂

  5. I totally see the good and the bad in this! The author makes an excellent point about the hijab becoming a necessity that women *must* wear and that this can socially pressure women to choose the hijab which isn’t always a good thing but… that’s already going on right now as I type! There are plenty of Muslim women who are pressered and forced to wear the hijab. And there always will be. (That still doesn’t make a “trend” the right thing. I’m just saying it won’t be anything new…)

    The GOOD that I see is that hopefully the hijab coming into the fashion arena will help remove the fear and hysteria that now surrounds it ever since September 11th in America. I not only care about the freedom of Muslim women but I also care about the freedom of Christian women and guess what? This hysteria is flooding right onto Christians! We are now also coming under the banner of dangerous “extremists” and “fundamentalists” because of head coverings and modest dressing. (Basically, hijab!) Jet liners weren’t the only thing hijacked on September 11th ~ the words “extremist” and “fundamentalist” have also been hijacked by the secular pop-culture and now it is slapped onto anyone that takes their faith *seriously* and lives according to the tenents of that faith. It’s getting dangerous to be modestly dressed! I am ligitimately afraid that I might not be allowed to become a permanent resident in the UK if anyone in the government gets the idea that I’m somehow a religious “extremist”! Even lurking Muslim blogs and websites might get me in trouble!

    Soooooo… I can’t help but be excited about modest and chaste dress hitting the fashion runways… I don’t know if God agrees with me or not? I’m not sure. But I fully admit that I think this is GREAT because hopefully it’ll help cool the flames of hysterical fear over CLOTH. I mean, after all, modest clothes and head coverings are nothing more then inanimate cloth!!!!

    I don’t want it to be dangerous to take my faith seriously…

    If hijab comes and goes as a fashion trend that won’t be surprising. But I also hope that the fear goes and rational common sense remains behind!!!

  6. Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    Yeah, I see the good and the bad. I mean, I’m not worried about being a fashion-plate, and I’m not comfortable with something that is an expression of my obedience to my Creator becoming a mere fashion statement. Part of the purpose of full and proper hijab is meant to mark us out as Muslims, to not allow us to blend in. The potential downside of rampant “modest dressing” that is not combined with “modest attitudes and actions” is obvious: people won’t recognize Muslims by our dress, and will judge us by the misbehavior of non-Muslims who look like us. Oh wait, they already do that anyway, and enough Muslims in headscarves don’t behave so modestly that this is already an issue anyway.

    But I also see alot of good in this. The designs coming out are not limited to the uses of a headscarf, but include maxi-dresses, long skirts, longer suit jackets, lengthened caftans and tunics, and other clothing that is easily Islami-ified.

    And how can we complain about fashion taking a modest turn? Isn’t it about time? Fashion statement or not, isn’t it a blessing to see society begin to lean towards some modesty? Can we not be a wee bit excited to think there might be less near-nudity everywhere we go and in our husbands and children’s faces?

    Just a few years ago we were complaining about how it is impossible to find remotely modest clothing in mainstream stores for our daughters. Even in the toddler sections, the jeans are tight and low on the hip, the skirts are super short, the tops are off shoulder and belly-revealing. Our children are being openly sexualized. Even retailers that are supposedly family-oriented, like Wal-Mart (among their many faults) was not responsive to concerted efforts by both Muslims and conservative Christians to provide some more modest alternatives.

    So, to have options, to see more choices out there and available, this is a good thing, right? For young women especially, this can be very inspiring and allow them to still have fun with their individual style while being properly modest. For converts and others who cannot afford to buy a whole new wardrobe on-line and don’t even know where to start, being able to go into JCPenny’s or Sears or Target and pick out pieces that are useful in their lifestyle at a reasonable price while conforming to their attempts to hijab is really beneficial. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire some more Muslim designers as well.

  7. Umm Zaid says:

    Salaams

    //For one thing, isn’t the one of the objectives of hijab to take the focus off of outer appearances?//

    No. The purpose is to cover the awrah. You’re doing a hijab fashion blog here — it’s all about outer appearances. We (humans, not just Muslims) often confuse modesty in dress with the concept of being a modest, humble person. The two can be mutually exclusive as we have all learned.

    It’s interesting that this Islam Online Network didn’t interview or quote any Muslim designers out there. There are people working for Islamic clothing companies or doing their own start ups who have formal fashion training and experience, laboring years in the “regular fashion” industry to get experience under their belt. Others are talented seamstresses and tailors who have identified a need and taken steps to fill it. They’re all over Canada, the US, the UK… I would have liked to hear from them. I don’t need to be validated in my dress by D&G (whose “Islamic clothing” caters to a very small and exclusive group of Muslims).

  8. basbousa says:

    Actually I have been asked that by some non muslims. I myself wear colorful clothing (still, it’s not tight) and tie my headscarf different every day. But we muslim women are not supposed to be invisible, we should only dress modest, and have modesty in mind..

  9. 3liya says:

    I don’t seen anything wrong with modest dressing becoming the height of fashion.

  10. frah (farah) says:

    Insha’allah i am on my way of becoming a fashion designer for the ideal modest woman. I wanted to thank you for this article very in lighting.
    Insha’Allah i will make my muslim community proud.
    Farah

  11. Hansah says:

    mashallah this 3 girl look pertty 🙂

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