A new book titled Modesty: A Fashion Paradox, written by Dubai-based fashion writer, Hafsa Lodi, takes a deep dive into the expectations and debate surrounding modest fashion.
Here, she explains what modest fashion is and grapples with its complexities in a modern world of social media, luxury, and mainstream fashion media.
This is what Hafsa shared:
Generally speaking, modest fashion covers the shoulders and may reach up to the wrists. It covers the knees and may reach up the ankles. Necklines are not plunging and textiles are not see-through.
Silhouettes are loose-fitting and not tight. However, we have seen a lot of modest influencers who do wear tight clothes and form-fitting clothes and as long as the skin is covered, we do believe that it’s still modest.
Typically, when you look at modesty from a religious perspective, the whole point is not to stand out - it's to blend in and avoid attracting attention to yourself as a woman. The idea of the hijab is that it’s this veil of privacy between the genders, so it’s very inspirational to see all these hijabi fashion bloggers and supermodels on social media and on runways. But it kind of contradicts with this traditional conservative faith-based aspect of modesty.
On the social media aspect, it isn’t modest to be posting selfies and living on social media for likes and for fame. Selling images of yourself – is that modest?
Spending money on Louis Vuitton and Gucci hijabs – is that modest? Is it representative of a modest lifestyle?
These are the debates that are explored in the book.
Compiled by Afika Jadezweni