My Hijab is such a big part of my identity and has been since I was very young. For me, it’s about being protected from unwanted attention but in no way isolated. I don’t feel it restricts me in any way at all and I am proud to wear it. I don’t see it as a sign of oppression but more a key to empowerment.
My only issue was actually finding fashionable clothes that align with my idea of hijab. I love fashion and enjoy following the latest trends. Up until around 5 or 6 years ago I was having to buy modest or hijab clothes from abroad. I was always either getting relatives to send over long, wide shirts or tops from Iran or Turkey. I was often disappointed with what arrived. It was either in a weird colour or had embroidery like you would find on a table cloth. They were desperate fashion times for me.
Then came the shirt dress trend in the UK one summer with beautiful wide, long dresses. The trend really took off and now there are all kinds of long flowing dresses and shirt dresses. Nearly all the brands embraced the trend and it has really been going strong season after season.
For me, the high street brands have been so good. It really became an obsession for me, to find that perfect shirt dress. I love colourful dresses or shirt dresses that I can layer over other clothes. They are so versatile and timeless. My go to shops have to be Next and Marks & Spencer. I do look at others but I find the fit isn’t as good or usually too small, which is such a pain. I always size up so that the dress is wide on me. But two sizes up is mentally challenging for someone who loves food. Both Next and M&S tend to have generous and accurate fitting dresses. So, if you buy a size 18 its likely to be true to size but as I mentioned before, I size up because I like having a wider fit. I totally hate the buttons near the bust area to pull which only exaggerate my size. A total no for me, it’s just not a good look.
These three are my wardrobe staples and you can always find something similar every season. The first one is the denim shirt dress which is so comfortable and easy to wear. For winter I would style it with a high neck jumper and trousers. For summer, it’s perfect with linen trousers and t-shirts, for a cool summer look.
The second one is animal print. It’s such a classic and timeless print. I think it looks really stylish over blue jeans and white trainers. Again, so easy to dress up or down. Dressed up with gold accessories and a black scarf, it works really well for an evening look.
The final one is the snake print, in black and white. Having a print in black and white is so useful for so many different looks. It looks great layered with a cool black blazer for a chic evening look but it also works well with a pop of colour. All three shirt dresses can be styled in so many different ways and perfect investment pieces for your wardrobe.
I plan to attack the sales in the new year to update my wardrobe. What will you be looking out for and do you have any tried and tested hijab friendly outfit ideas?
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