What Modest Fashion Really Means to 4 Muslim Women

Take one look at the numbers and you’ll quickly realize that modest fashion is not simply a niche within the broader market. Already valued at $243 billion, the global modest fashion market's incredible worth is set to only increase over the next few years. And industry heavyweights are recognizing its importance. Last year, Nike announced its new Pro Hijab, a line of athletic headscarves designed for Muslim athletes. In the past, affordable fashion giants Zara and Mango have created specials collections around the Ramadan holiday. And it was The Modist's launch of an elevated and forward curation that offered “a new chapter for modest fashion.”

At a time where the fashion industry is pushing more than ever before for inclusivity on all fronts, the mainstream’s embrace of modest fashion is, of course, a welcome one.

Though Muslim women make up the majority of those who dress modestly, the concept is quickly emerging outside the limits of religious beliefs. Throughout the past several seasons, we've seen longer hemlines, flowing silhouettes, and an overall sense of conservatism come down the runways, proving that modest fashion is just as readily accessible to the mainstream market. It's designers like Ellery and Ganni, for instance, who are reaching a stylish (and diverse) audience.

But what exactly is modest fashion? While there’s no single definition, it’s a way of dressing that is as much a part of one’s lifestyle and identity as it is an aesthetic choice. We spoke with Muslim fashion influencers to discover what modest fashion means to each of them. Naturally, for each woman, it meant something different, but at the heart of it was a desire to feel comfortable and confident what they wear.

“Modest fashion to me is dressing in a way that makes me most comfortable and detaches me from judgments based on my physical attributes,” Fatima Abdallah shared with us. “It has forced people to respect and appreciate me more so for my creativity, my mind, and my character, over my looks.” 

Though we aim to celebrate diverse perspectives on personal style, modest fashion is just fashion at the end of the day. Whether you're a practicing Muslim or not, you can choose to dress modestly and express yourself this way for so many different reasons. Curious to learn more about what modest fashion really means? Let this be your guidebook.