beauty, Uncategorized

Modest Shopping Hacks

While I am all for a conscious and ethical approach to our purchases, sometimes we can’t find what we’re looking for. Most of the ethical companies that I used to love don’t carry clothes that I would choose to wear now that I dress more modestly. So, I’ve resorted to searching elsewhere for clothing and learning to take care of the items I buy so that I can get the most use out of them. Today, I want to highlight some of the hacks that have allowed me to find inexpensive, modest clothing that is still stylish.

  1. Boohoo/Pretty Little Thing/Fashion Nova: Okay, here me out. I know that these retailers are the last one to come to mind when one thinks about modesty but they have some hidden gems. They have quite a few basics such as long sleeved jersey maxi dresses that can be layered up. They have plenty of longer, tunic-like shirts, especially in the button up category. And they have a hefty selection of kimonos that come at a much more affordable price than most abayas. They also carry a number of gorgeous skirts that can either be worn alone or layered over leggings. They frequently hold sales with the most recent one being 50% off the entire site!
  2. Shop XL+: So many “regular” sizes still fit tight even if they are larger than your size. Shopping in the plus size department for items such as dresses, tops, and jackets allows you to find pieces that fit loosely and are long enough to cover all the necessary areas.
  3. Check out thrift stores: Modesty was a little more popular back in the day so on a good day, you may score big at a vintage or thrift shop!
  4. Buy mini dresses: This one didn’t occur to me until later on but there are so many mini dresses out there that make perfect modest shirts! Seriously, how did I not realize this before? Most of my tops are marketed as dresses but I tend to buy them a few sizes up if they are fitted so that I can have a basic, modest top. It works out perfectly!
  5. Marshall’s/TJ Maxx: These are two of my favourite stores to buy clothes from. They’re super affordable and when you go at the right time, they have some of the cutest styles available. I’ve found that if you go right before the season starts (I went at the beginning of September right before Autumn officially began), you get your pick of all the new arrivals.
  6. Amazon: Hijabs and maxi dresses galore! While the site can’t beat Southall prices for scarves, it’s decent for the styles and materials that can’t be found in American stores. They also have quite the selection of long-sleeved casual maxi dresses that are perfect for travel and lounging around.
  7. Modanisa: A crowd favourite for their affordable, hijabi-friendly fashion and countless different styles to choose from; Modanisa is the online center for modest fashion. They also guarantee the fastest, most efficient shipping no matter where you are in the world at no extra cost. However, I must warn you that their customer service can be a little tiresome to deal with and getting a refund can take awhile after a return. I suggest only ordering hijabs and more affordable things from them just in case you are in need of making a return and to stay on their case about receiving your money back.

These are only some of the many modest fashion hacks out there. As I stated above, I know that some of these options, like the fast fashions sites, are not ideal especially when it comes to their treatment of factory workers and their impact on the environment. Where you shop is up to your discretion. For me personally, I only order from these sites if they are the last place for me to find what I’m looking for which is usually a basic piece. Alhamdulillah, I’ve been able to build up a wardrobe from many vintage and thrift store pieces as well as bits and bobs from TJ Maxx. I’ve also finally graduated to that stage of adulthood where you realize how to wash and dry your clothes properly so you don’t destroy them (insert feeling of worth and accomplishment here). This was mainly out of financial necessity and heartbreak over losing some of my favourite pieces. But seriously, if you love your clothes look into how to wash them to preserve them and consider line drying instead of using a dryer. This prolongs the life of some of your favourite outfits and keeps you from having to spend more money than you want to on a new wardrobe.

What are your hacks for finding modest clothes? I’d love to hear about them!

Thank you,

Nahlah

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Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Truth About Hijab

I didn’t have a strong conviction to wear the hijab until after I began wearing it. There was no defining moment for me where I made the decision to cover my hair and my body, it just happened little by little. It began with wearing longer trousers, then longer sleeves to wearing my hair in a turban to lengthening my hemline to wearing full hijab. Now, I cannot imagine going out without it and feel significantly more comfortable covered up. Once I began, I found so many reasons to love it: it is a way of honoring Allah (SWT), it holds me accountable for my actions and words, it distinguishes me as an unapologetic Muslim, it keeps my focus on what’s important rather than seeking others’ approval on my appearance, and I am sure there are many other reasons that are not coming to mind at the moment.

With all of this in mind, for some women the hijab is a little more complicated. For them, it is a symbol of the oppression they must face every single day. They did not get to make a decision to wear it, that decision was made for them and their rebellion could have traumatic consequences. Their perspective on the hijab is just as valid as the one that sees the hijab as empowering. On one side of the world, women fight to cover themselves and on another side of the world, women fight to uncover themselves. These struggles may seem so opposite to each other but at the end of the day we as women are all fighting for the same thing: to make the choice for ourselves. The way we dress should not be forced upon us by anyone and the opinions of others should not influence our decision or the consequences of that decision. For too long, the way a woman chooses to adorn and dress herself has been a political concern. Why?

If we cover too much, they come after us. If we cover too little, they come after us. There is a strong push to whitewash everything and everyone to establish an environment of comfort. Comfort for who?Β Reality is not plagued by comfort no matter how hard we keep attempting to infect it. Reality is that we live in a world of many different sizes, shapes, colors, beliefs, nationalities, lifestyles, and definitions of comfort. If we seek peace we have to let people be who they are (within the confines of the law and human decency, of course).

We are told time and time again not to judge others. A woman’s decision for how she wants to portray herself and live her life is between her and Allah (SWT), whether she is aware of it or not. It doesn’t mean her decisions will be right but it is not for us to control, it is not for us to look down upon. And personally, I have found that if you want to spread the truth it is best done through being an example and treating others with compassion and respect.

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