I Design Modest Clothing—These Are the Questions I Get Asked All the Time

As part of an ongoing partnership, British-born fashion designer Hana Tajima teamed up with Uniqlo to design a modest F/W 20 collection that was released today. Her designs experiment with elegant silhouettes that are intentionally nonrestrictive and comfortable. Part of this comfort comes from the pieces themselves—the collection is stocked with items like breezy wide-cut pants, loose button-down tops, and flowy dresses in an array of rich neutrals such as sage green, cream, and rust. The other part comes in from Uniqlo’s innovative fabrics, such as Airism, which has the technology to wick moisture and release heat, all while providing UV protection. That technology is exactly how Tajima is able to design a layering piece like a turtleneck that can help you stay cool and that you can wear year-round.

Tajima’s collection for Uniqlo isn’t just about modest clothing, though. It’s about clothing that allows the person wearing it to express their identity and confidence. "We women are constantly adapting to change. I want clothing that is always a part of myself, items that are able to shift freely and easily from one style to something else,” Tajima said in a press release. "While retaining comfort, by focusing on form over decoration, I want these clothes to redefine what it is to be feminine. To let our own personal stories be the stories we wear.”

We spoke with Tajima to hear more about the collection and to answer some of the fashion questions she's asked about most. Ahead, learn about where she looks for design inspiration, her top styling tips, and the pieces she’s already wearing.

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

"Long answer is that I’m really interested in the way that clothes are both the expression of something very esoteric and something outside of ourselves, but the form in which they present is this very tangible, human thing that we can all understand. And so the interplay of those two things is very exciting to me and very interesting because I do think that clothes are powerful. They can change the way we think and the way we think about ourselves. So that is the main inspiration on why I do what I do.

"But simple answer is that sometimes I’ll see someone with a sense of style that I think is really intriguing, and through the process of trying to figure out why I think it’s so interesting, that inspires me to want to make things.”


(Image credit: Courtesy of Hana Tajima)

"This dress is an example of a method of construction I've been experimenting with."

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Which colors go well together?

"For colors that go well together, especially ones that you’re wearing, what you can do is either just go full-on head-to-toe in one color—doesn’t matter how bright it is—you know it’s going to match because it’s the same color. Or keep your base pretty neutral, so darks, blacks, and blues, with a pop of color or neutrals with then a little pop of color. Because if you just have a really neutral base with a little pop of color, you know that’s going to work.”


(Image credit: Courtesy of Hana Tajima)

"This set in this color is something I’ve been wearing a lot. The texture of the cotton is dreamy.”

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What are your tips for dressing if you're shorter?

"Tips for dressing shorter—which I am—it’s really just about balance and proportion. So that might mean if you’re shorter, higher waistlines to give you a little extra length in your leg, but whatever size you are, whatever height you are, the most important thing is that your clothes fit you. So make friends with a tailor, find someone that you trust, someone that's really good at what they do, or learn to do it yourself."


(Image credit: Courtesy of Hana Tajima)

"I love the structure of this jacket. It’s got some power.”

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Shop more pieces from the collection:

Next, read about the seven jewelry trends we have our eye on for fall.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.