Hijabis gone wild! Can Muslim women pull-off 'modern' revealing dress-codes?

Published January 31st, 2016 - 15:10 GMT

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The hijab, or headscarf, is arguably the world’s most misunderstood garment.  Whether viewed as a personal choice, political statement, or cultural mandate, its simple notice-ability makes it vulnerable to debate. Its message is modesty, but what happens when it's paired with tight clothes and pretty heels?  Then the comments really fly.

What’s a modern girl to do? The Islamic dress code for women is nuanced; it's a total package that moves beyond dress-sense into behavior. But what does that look like, exactly? And where do you stand in the debate? Continue reading below »

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Who wears it better? A wikiHow post on “3 Ways to Dress Modestly as a Muslim Girl” makes clear this is a personal prerogative. They suggest an open chat with other Muslim women on what it means to dress modestly and to learn how they reached their own personal interpretation of the requirements of hijab.
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Image 1 of 8:  1 / 8Who wears it better? A wikiHow post on “3 Ways to Dress Modestly as a Muslim Girl” makes clear this is a personal prerogative. They suggest an open chat with other Muslim women on what it means to dress modestly and to learn how they reached their own personal interpretation of the requirements of hijab.

Enlarge
In most Muslim countries, women have the right to interpret the Quran's broadly outlined modesty rules. Many wear a hijab paired with a flowing abaya or more fitted jilbab, others match headscarves with Western-style clothes. But the best intentions can be undermined by sartorial slip-ups.  Fashion 'fails' exist in every culture.
Reduce

Image 2 of 8:  2 / 8In most Muslim countries, women have the right to interpret the Quran's broadly outlined modesty rules. Many wear a hijab paired with a flowing abaya or more fitted jilbab, others match headscarves with Western-style clothes. But the best intentions can be undermined by sartorial slip-ups. Fashion "fails" exist in every culture.

Enlarge
The principle of Islamic modesty goes beyond a hijab that conceals a woman’s hair, ears, neck, and décolletage. It extends to demeanor as well. For defenders of conservative garb, clothing choices should privatize sexuality, not pay lip service to convention while flaunting your form.
Reduce

Image 3 of 8:  3 / 8The principle of Islamic modesty goes beyond a hijab that conceals a woman’s hair, ears, neck, and décolletage. It extends to demeanor as well. For defenders of conservative garb, clothing choices should privatize sexuality, not pay lip service to convention while flaunting your form.

Enlarge
For centuries, Quranic scholars have debated the rules of modesty, but the world has changed since Islam began. Since slim-fit pants didn't exist in 609 CE, it's understandable that angel Gabriel was silent on the subject of skinny jeans and jeggings.
Reduce

Image 4 of 8:  4 / 8For centuries, Quranic scholars have debated the rules of modesty, but the world has changed since Islam began. Since slim-fit pants didn't exist in 609 CE, it's understandable that angel Gabriel was silent on the subject of skinny jeans and jeggings.

Enlarge
Girls just wanna have fun? Modest fashionistas dress in layers to achieve an on-trend look without showing too much skin. Pop a low-cut blouse over a long-sleeved t-shirt for coverage. Wear a short skirt over loose leggings. Fashion choices can tell a story. Is this woman's swimsuit comedy or a tragedy?
Reduce

Image 5 of 8:  5 / 8Girls just wanna have fun? Modest fashionistas dress in layers to achieve an on-trend look without showing too much skin. Pop a low-cut blouse over a long-sleeved t-shirt for coverage. Wear a short skirt over loose leggings. Fashion choices can tell a story. Is this woman's swimsuit comedy or a tragedy?

Enlarge
How does bling jive with modesty? Gulf women wear elegant black abaya, modest robes that help diminish economic divisions. But consider sleeves encrusted with stitches and stones, seductive stilettos, and draped on clunky jewels. Designer handbags and footwear are talismans of privilege that scream to be noticed, deflating the virtue of modesty.
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Image 6 of 8:  6 / 8How does bling jive with modesty? Gulf women wear elegant black abaya, modest robes that help diminish economic divisions. But consider sleeves encrusted with stitches and stones, seductive stilettos, and draped on clunky jewels. Designer handbags and footwear are talismans of privilege that scream to be noticed, deflating the virtue of modesty.

Enlarge
Islam has no fixed uniform for women's dress, just two generally implied (and so 'oft' misunderstood) rules stemming from the Quran.  Clothes must be loose enough so that a woman's body shape isn't visible, and they should only reveal her face, hands, and feet. It seems that sometimes this divine message falls between the cracks.
Reduce

Image 7 of 8:  7 / 8Islam has no fixed uniform for women's dress, just two generally implied (and so 'oft' misunderstood) rules stemming from the Quran. Clothes must be loose enough so that a woman's body shape isn't visible, and they should only reveal her face, hands, and feet. It seems that sometimes this divine message falls between the cracks.

Enlarge
Critics suggest that Islamic dress draws more attention to women than it deflects. Others argue that modesty is a state of mind and has nothing to do with clothes. Still others insist that the holy texts cannot be denied – Muslim women are encouraged to cover up. So, should dress codes implied in the Quran and Hadith be adapted for modern times?
Reduce

Image 8 of 8:  8 / 8Critics suggest that Islamic dress draws more attention to women than it deflects. Others argue that modesty is a state of mind and has nothing to do with clothes. Still others insist that the holy texts cannot be denied – Muslim women are encouraged to cover up. So, should dress codes implied in the Quran and Hadith be adapted for modern times?

Enlarge

1

Who wears it better? A wikiHow post on “3 Ways to Dress Modestly as a Muslim Girl” makes clear this is a personal prerogative. They suggest an open chat with other Muslim women on what it means to dress modestly and to learn how they reached their own personal interpretation of the requirements of hijab.

Image 1 of 8Who wears it better? A wikiHow post on “3 Ways to Dress Modestly as a Muslim Girl” makes clear this is a personal prerogative. They suggest an open chat with other Muslim women on what it means to dress modestly and to learn how they reached their own personal interpretation of the requirements of hijab.

2

In most Muslim countries, women have the right to interpret the Quran's broadly outlined modesty rules. Many wear a hijab paired with a flowing abaya or more fitted jilbab, others match headscarves with Western-style clothes. But the best intentions can be undermined by sartorial slip-ups.  Fashion 'fails' exist in every culture.

Image 2 of 8In most Muslim countries, women have the right to interpret the Quran's broadly outlined modesty rules. Many wear a hijab paired with a flowing abaya or more fitted jilbab, others match headscarves with Western-style clothes. But the best intentions can be undermined by sartorial slip-ups. Fashion "fails" exist in every culture.

3

The principle of Islamic modesty goes beyond a hijab that conceals a woman’s hair, ears, neck, and décolletage. It extends to demeanor as well. For defenders of conservative garb, clothing choices should privatize sexuality, not pay lip service to convention while flaunting your form.

Image 3 of 8The principle of Islamic modesty goes beyond a hijab that conceals a woman’s hair, ears, neck, and décolletage. It extends to demeanor as well. For defenders of conservative garb, clothing choices should privatize sexuality, not pay lip service to convention while flaunting your form.

4

For centuries, Quranic scholars have debated the rules of modesty, but the world has changed since Islam began. Since slim-fit pants didn't exist in 609 CE, it's understandable that angel Gabriel was silent on the subject of skinny jeans and jeggings.

Image 4 of 8For centuries, Quranic scholars have debated the rules of modesty, but the world has changed since Islam began. Since slim-fit pants didn't exist in 609 CE, it's understandable that angel Gabriel was silent on the subject of skinny jeans and jeggings.

5

Girls just wanna have fun? Modest fashionistas dress in layers to achieve an on-trend look without showing too much skin. Pop a low-cut blouse over a long-sleeved t-shirt for coverage. Wear a short skirt over loose leggings. Fashion choices can tell a story. Is this woman's swimsuit comedy or a tragedy?

Image 5 of 8Girls just wanna have fun? Modest fashionistas dress in layers to achieve an on-trend look without showing too much skin. Pop a low-cut blouse over a long-sleeved t-shirt for coverage. Wear a short skirt over loose leggings. Fashion choices can tell a story. Is this woman's swimsuit comedy or a tragedy?

6

How does bling jive with modesty? Gulf women wear elegant black abaya, modest robes that help diminish economic divisions. But consider sleeves encrusted with stitches and stones, seductive stilettos, and draped on clunky jewels. Designer handbags and footwear are talismans of privilege that scream to be noticed, deflating the virtue of modesty.

Image 6 of 8How does bling jive with modesty? Gulf women wear elegant black abaya, modest robes that help diminish economic divisions. But consider sleeves encrusted with stitches and stones, seductive stilettos, and draped on clunky jewels. Designer handbags and footwear are talismans of privilege that scream to be noticed, deflating the virtue of modesty.

7

Islam has no fixed uniform for women's dress, just two generally implied (and so 'oft' misunderstood) rules stemming from the Quran.  Clothes must be loose enough so that a woman's body shape isn't visible, and they should only reveal her face, hands, and feet. It seems that sometimes this divine message falls between the cracks.

Image 7 of 8Islam has no fixed uniform for women's dress, just two generally implied (and so 'oft' misunderstood) rules stemming from the Quran. Clothes must be loose enough so that a woman's body shape isn't visible, and they should only reveal her face, hands, and feet. It seems that sometimes this divine message falls between the cracks.

8

Critics suggest that Islamic dress draws more attention to women than it deflects. Others argue that modesty is a state of mind and has nothing to do with clothes. Still others insist that the holy texts cannot be denied – Muslim women are encouraged to cover up. So, should dress codes implied in the Quran and Hadith be adapted for modern times?

Image 8 of 8Critics suggest that Islamic dress draws more attention to women than it deflects. Others argue that modesty is a state of mind and has nothing to do with clothes. Still others insist that the holy texts cannot be denied – Muslim women are encouraged to cover up. So, should dress codes implied in the Quran and Hadith be adapted for modern times?

Reduce

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