When thinking of hijabi and modest wear for women, some people might suppose that it contradicts being trendy or fashionable. Others might think that modest trendy outfits could be exhausting or hard to achieve.
But these thoughts are simply misconceptions that need to be changed. With the right tips and guidance, you can achieve the fashionable modest look equation that Hala Moharram, a hijabi model and stylist, recommends.
“We will start with the head,” Moharram said. “To guarantee your comfort, always use a cotton hijab cap and set your hair in such a way that it won’t fall every now and then, requiring you to fix it multiple times during the day.”
Regarding scarf material, “since summer is just around the corner, make sure to go for cotton or linen scarves, especially ones that you buy for daily use. Try to choose silk and light chiffon scarves to wear on special occasions or at night when the weather is less hot,” she said.
“You should keep away from satin scarves as they slip over the head, don’t stay in place, and need to be frequently fixed, so they are not practical.”
As for scarf styling, Moharram believes that you should consider your face shape before thinking about style. “Women with round faces and full cheeks should avoid wearing a tightly wrapped style, and it would be better for them to wear a looser style,” she said. “For those with small faces, they should avoid a very loose style and just wrap the scarf around the face and neck without over-pinning it.”
For evening wear, the trendiest style, which fits most face shapes, is to fold the scarf in equal measures, pin it with a small pin under the chin and leave the ends loose. This will add the needed glam to your look, she said.
“Colours are always tricky, and yet very important, so they need careful attention. Scarves are close to the face, so you need to choose the colour wisely,” she said. Moharram also said a bright white scarf can be risky as it can elevate or ruin a look, and it does not go with all skin colours, unlike what people might think. It is better to choose an off-white, cream shade instead.
Hijabi summer trends
Earth colours in different shades are always a safe choice. As for patterned scarves, make sure that these do not have big prints around the face, even if they can have them on the borders, she said.
Moharram advises mix-and-match pieces to wear with scarves. “The trendiest items are wide maxi or ankle-length skirts, relaxed-cut jeans like straight, boyfriend, baggy, and boot cuts, wide-leg pants, and oversized shirts,” she said. These items are trendy, and they also allow plenty of movement, essential in hot weather. There are also multiple styles that can be worn with these items, she said.
“For example, you can pair relaxed-cut jeans with a basic top and add a long blazer for a smart-casual look, or you can pair them with a t-shirt and an oversized long shirt for a casual look. The same thing goes for the skirt by adding different accessories like a wide belt or a wide short top.”
If you are looking for a neater look that suits formal gatherings, go for wide-leg pants, Moharram said. These look flattering when paired with short tops and layered necklaces.
These styles also work for both the summer and the winter season, and you can always play around with pieces you have to create various outfits, she added. You can tuck in the shirt or leave it loose, or you can highlight the waist by belting up the blazer or shirt. For a more smart-causal or formal look, or if you’re looking for a comfy casual look, you can also lose the belt.
A maxi dress is the perfect choice for hot weather, either as casual wear or as beach wear, and you can easily level it up to a semi-formal look with the right accessories, Moharram said.
“Nowadays, you can find a variety of maxi dresses with patterns or without, and they come in many colours. But make sure when you choose the dress to consider how you will wear it and what complimentary items you will need. For example, if the dress is sleeveless, you will need to consider layering, so you will have to style it with a kimono, a short cardigan, a denim jacket or even a short shirt and tie the ends.”
Finally, Moharram spoke about accessories and how to style them to help your outfit stand out. “For a casual look, you can wear a watch and tennis bracelet on one wrist and two or three very thin rings on both hands, with two rings on the empty hand. For a formal look, just stick to the watch and a simple bracelet,” she said.
“Try to choose long necklaces that are clearly positioned and showing from under your scarf. Don’t go for something too short that can barely be seen,” she added.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 20 May, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly