Modest Fashion with Hafsa Lodi
In this special edition of EW Diaries, the EASTWAVE team chats with Hafsa Lodi, Author of Modesty: A Fashion Paradox and Founder of newly launched editorial platform, Modestish. As we approach the holy month of Ramadan, we wanted her take on what modest wear truly is, how we can express our personality through modern luxury fashion and most of all, how we can break any associated global stereotypes and misconceptions.
Every year, loved ones rejoice around the world to celebrate Ramadan together. In this Holy month, Muslims around the world are encouraged to practice Zakaat (giving money, supplies and food to those in need), pray and fast daily from sunrise to sunset in order to empathize with those less fortunate. Within this humble period, women tend to dress more conservatively, wearing loose-fitted clothing and covering their legs and shoulders out of respect.
However, there are women who prefer to dress this way year-round—in order to find creative outlets to feel comfortable and abide by their morals while still expressing their personalities through fashion-forward styles. Lodi says “expression and experimentation are the most enjoyable elements of modest fashion. Concocting different outfits with various layering trends and techniques, mixing patterns with prints and solids, textures, etc. and challenging yourself to adapt attire like crop tops and short dresses to skin-covering looks can be incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling.”
While there have been modest wear ambassadors and e-commerce websites emerging in the MENA region, not all parts of the world may be familiar with what modest wear really means. “I would say that the biggest misconception about modest wear is that it refers to “religious” attire. Womens clothing isn’t ever religious – it can be culturally influenced, and people may cover more skin because of their religious beliefs but clothing itself is not religious – and a great deal of women who are attracted to the ideals of the modest fashion movement, are non-religious – they simply like the comfort and confidence modest clothing can provide,” says Lodi.
Interested in trying modest fashion? Lodi enlightens us her favorite brands in MENA: “Bouguessa is one of my favorite modest wear brands in the UAE. Sleek, sophisticated, chic and tailored, it’s a subtle marriage of tradition and modernity, with pieces that are versatile and classic. Maya Swimwear is a new modest swimwear brand on my radar – far from basic burkinis, the label’s colorful tunic pieces have design elements like wrap-necks, panels and ruffles, and can be worn with or without the matching swim leggings and turbans.”
Ramadan Mubarak in advance from the EASTWAVE team🌙