For most Muslim women, modesty is achieved by garments such as Hijab or Abaya. But every Muslim woman has the right to seek the meaning of modesty in clothing, outlined in the Holy Quran. Hence, there is no right or wrong way to define how a Muslim girl might dress modestly. For instance, some women may wear the Hijab while others may choose not to.
Here are a few tips to decide on modest dressing by Muslim girls or women:
- Study Islamic literature on the issue: The concept of modesty defined by the Quran has been debated down the centuries. Familiarizing yourself with the content of these debates will help you make an informed choice. You must be open to go through opinion of those who do not subscribe to your same perspective. Consider both trendy modest clothing as well as conservative styles.
- Discuss issue of modesty with your parents: discuss with your parents about their expectation about your modest dressing and request them for guidance and advice. For instance, ask them about their opinions on wearing Hijab, Abaya, Niqab or Burkha. For this, go shopping with your parents. Talk with other women of the family on how they interpreted modesty in dressing, as per religious and cultural values.
- Determine your view on modest dressing: This is a personal choice which will be determined basically by your religious beliefs as well as cultural values and political opinions. Follow some tips- do not commit to wearing Hijab unless you do it every day. Frequent change in opinion is not suitable as the Prophet expects consistent acts of worship.
- Reaffirm your choices regularly: You may have different opinions on modesty in fashion as a teenager and as an adult. It is common that you may change your fashion styles over time. Use the Sunnah and Quran to justify this change.
- How to wear the Hijab: Many interpret the Holy Quran as saying that only the feet, the hands and face of a woman must be exposed. But there are many types of Hijabs and one can choose a type as per personal choice and tradition.
Traditionally, Hijabs are available in non-attention creating, plain and dark colors like black, blue, brown and white. But if you are a modern woman who feels comfortable with bright, bold colors and prints, you can go in for new, fashionable Hijab designs.
- Wear loose fitting clothes: Beneath your hijab, wear loose fitting, non-revealing bottoms and tops. One must avoid figure hugging and sheer patterns. But the key is that you must stick to what is your personal style and comfort level of the concept of modesty. If in doubt, seek the opinion of your parents. Use an Abaya to cover up modern clothing in public.
- Go easy on make-up: Stick to make-up that looks natural. Avoid bright colors and shades. For daily wear, go for natural looking make-up. But you can go bright and vivid on special occasions like Eid celebrations.
- Go minimal on jewelry: Avoid loud and chunky necklaces and earrings. Go in for dainty pieces. The key is understated elegance.
The key with modest fashion is to dress according to your personal comfort level. Women’s modest dresses depend both on the individual taste and cultural sensibilities.