When discussing fashion, especially during the summer, it's important to note that dressing modestly is not easy, especially in western countries. I'll often find something cute online only to flip to the second image and see a backless back. As a Muslim teenager, this is a problem for me.
The question I hear on loop is always "Aren't you hot?" and although I'd like to answer yes, I think that a lot of us would like to know how we can dress both modestly and coolly in the summer. So let me break down my cheat code when it comes to shopping styles for the hot season. Not only for my Muslim girls out there but for modest fashion everywhere.
First, where are you shopping? If you’re in-store, it's a bit easier. Especially when it comes to fabric, you can feel it and know how light or heavy it is. If you’re lazy like me, online shopping is the move, but it is a lot harder. Watching out for the fabric is very important. I usually just cyberstalk the website and if you’re a shopaholic, you just know. Most websites will have item descriptions, where they list the fabric type. In this case, look for cotton, linen, and viscose, they are great for warmer areas and allow breathability and movement— plus they’re easier to layer. Wool, jersey, and knit fabrics trap heat. Don’t make the mistake of wearing these fabrics in 109-degree weather. Trust me. They also tend to stick to your skin when you’re sweaty—it feels gross.
Once you’ve narrowed down the fabric, color is everything. The color of your clothes matters. In the summer, dark clothing will trap heat and so you’ll heat up faster. My go-to colors are pastel tones, like baby blue, earthy green, and soft pink. All reflective colors will instantly cool down your outfit.
Looking for movement in your outfits is also key, whether it's with a skirt or a cardigan. Movement creates airflow and will allow for a more fresh feel. When looking for pants, look for straight or wide frames, recently wide-leg figures and clouttes have become very fashionable. I have five different colors of wide-leg jeans because they are also very versatile to style. You can make them casual with a tee and formal with a blouse. Pro-tip: the looser the piece, the cooler it is. So adding the oversized baggy aesthetic to your outfits will keep your clothing on-trend and modest.
This brings us to the most important part. How do you make these colors and fabrics trendy and appealing to the current fashion scene? Lately, y2k clothing has resurfaced, a lot of these styles incorporate bell-bottom jeans and spaghetti strap tops. For tops like these layering, a simple tee underneath gives it a Y2K look and keeps the outfit modest. I also try to have chiffon or mesh as over layers on casual outfits to add an extra level of modesty while still incorporating trendy looks.
Midi skirts and floral patterns are also making appearances on our feeds. They are also very easy to style, long cardigans with skirts and any top make great combos perfect for any occasion. If you want to dress up, any outfit blazers and cotton coats are a must have. Pair it with a satin blouse and you will immediately look ready to go out. Learning how to layer, and what types of fabrics to layer takes years of practice. From personal experience, I will tell you that my drip didn't always slay this hard. But taking a few pointers from this will set you on the right track to modest, stylish, and cool outfits.
There is so much to talk about in the world of fashion, and trends are constantly changing. But keeping these pointers on color, style and fit in mind will help you craft outfits for any trend, and weather. At the end of the day, wear what makes you feel good and never be afraid to make a statement.
Written by Aina Marzia
Follow Aina on Twitter