These local fashion enthusiasts prove that you can be stylish and dress modestly at the same time

Modest fashion by Message Lane
Modest fashion by Message Lane

There are no limitations to what liberates us. For these women, dressing modestly is what most empowers them.

Despite more attention being drawn to modest dressing recently, there are still a few misconceptions about it. One of the most common ones being that modest dressers cannot be as fashionable and on-trend. 

We spoke to some local women who definitely disprove this.

Here’s what they had to share:

Areeba Baker

More affectionately known by her Instragram name, Areeba Artistry, this makeup artist and beauty influencer embraces modesty in a big way, with her tasteful style choices and aesthetically pleasing colour combinations.

What’s the biggest common misconception about dressing modestly?

Everyone has their own idea of what dressing modestly means and a lot of the time people around me assume that it’s something I don’t particularly want to do. To me, it’s simply choosing to cover up certain parts of my body with a style that resonates with me. 

What’s your top styling tip you’d give to someone wanting to embrace modest dressing?

Invest in long sleeve polar neck tops! I love to wear these under dresses or tops that have low necks. You can add a layered necklace to finish the look and voila!

Do you ever feel that there are certain trends you “miss out on”? If so, what are they? 

Currently, no. We have so many different ways to make almost any trend modest and thanks to Instagram, we already have so many modest trends to keep up with at the moment.


This Johannesburg-based “proud women only small business” provides trendy modest clothing to locals.

Their bold prints and classic silhouettes could easily be incorporated into any good modest outfit.

We spoke all things modesty with MessageLane owner, Sarah-Anne Van Rheede.

You've created a whole brand around modest dressing, what does it mean to you?

Modest dressing is so much more than just clothing, it’s a lifestyle to me. It is part of my daily life and dressing modestly is just one aspect where I incorporate Modesty. My decision to dress modestly is governed by religious customs and my own belief in natural beauty.

I always struggled to find really cute and trendy modest clothing and my height dilemma made it even harder.

I am taller than the average girl, so finding decent length skirts was a major issue. Out of my own need and desire to create something life changing, MessageLane was born.

I wanted to be part of something bigger. I wanted to change women’s lives by using clothing as a tool. 

What's a common misconception about modest dressing?

In my opinion there are many, but the two that stands out are the following:

Modesty is old fashioned and frumpy and  modest clothing can’t be found anywhere. I have been paying close attention to street style trends and it’s been amazing to see fashion has taken an amazing twist.

Layering and covering up has been a major trend and I think that designers are finally coming to the party in catering for the large modest demographic - that was previously very overlooked. 

Onto my second point, there are so many creative ways to make any look modest and classy. The search is slightly longer and harder, but I can assure you there are tons of modest pieces in any store nowadays.

I am always on the lookout for cute layering pieces. Not only are the major retailer also embracing modesty a bit more but there are also so many exciting local designers that are making modest waves.

What styling advice would you give someone wanting to embrace modest dressing?

Keep it simple. Invest in a few good layering pieces that can used as a basic to almost any outfit. Seek items that make you feel comfortable and fabulous. I know it’s a tall order, but I firmly believe you can find it.

Follow a few modest dressers on social media - you would be spoilt for great dressing ideas.

Forget the stereotype that modesty is old fashioned, focus on modesty being your tool to becoming a more beautiful self. 

Tami Kolbé

Minimal, neutral and timeless looks are what shape this lovely lady’s style. Her styling videos and clean aesthetics are a must-see. 

What does modest dressing mean to you?

Dressing modestly means respecting my body, it’s a personal conviction.

Dressing modestly doesn’t mean not showing off your curves or body shape but it means I don’t feel I’m only beautiful when showing skin. Everyone is different and I don’t judge others who see it differently but for me, modest dressing expresses my beliefs and values.

At the end of the day, you do you, just as long as you realise your worth isn’t in how you look, it’s about who you are inside.

What’s one styling tip you’d give to someone wanting to embrace modest dressing? 

Dress for your body type, what you wear might not suit somebody else. It’s really about finding clothes that work well with your shape.

Do you feel there are certain trends you shy away from because they don’t align with your dressing choices?

I tend to stay away from trends, although some trends are nice, I would never spend big money or invest in a piece that I know I can only wear for a season.

For me its all about getting the most wear out of something and investing your money in classic pieces.

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of out hot stories and giveaways. 

If that wasn’t enough to convince you that modesty can be trendy, check out some more of these local dressers for inspo:

A fresh take on the neon trend:

Bold moves with bold prints:

Layering love: 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, I believed it was authentic
7% - 356 votes
Yes, I didn't want to spend that much money on the original item
20% - 1035 votes
No, I always shop at reputable stores
13% - 683 votes
No, I don't wear designer clothing
60% - 3115 votes