What you’re about to read is not your typical “fashionista style-guide” that tells you which products are in and which are not. I mean, I can definitely tell you what products are socially-conscious, and make people feel good while doing good. I can also tell you where you can find looks that are unique rather than the cookie-cutter hijabi Instagram looks.
But in this post, I’m writing about how I stopped caring about what people told me “looked good,” and started to care only about what outfits make me feel like me–that make me the best “me” I can possibly be in these crazy times we live in.
Whether you refer to that filterless woman you see at a gathering as a “khala,” “auntie,” “tia,” ”tunt,” or “bagi,” you know exactly who I am talking about. There is always that woman in our cultural social settings who makes it her goal to tell everyone what they should not have worn to the party that night, just for kicks. And although, I say that honesty is always the best policy, some people need to know when their advice is inappropriate or just doesn’t matter.
What we have to remember is this: That same auntie probably berated the mansaf or briyani that was being served that night, and talked about how horrible of a host or hostess the person who invited her to the gathering was as well. Let’s be real, some people are just so negative and need to learn to be happier. But when it comes to you and what you wear, don’t let that affect or deter you from being yourself.
This article is here to help you stop being so self-conscious and to encourage you to be your beautiful, content self in whatever clothing style you choose to rock. Have your funk and flair–maybe you can inspire that opinionated auntie to lighten up and get her own groove back!
Auntie Didn’t Write the Hijabi Rule Book
What you have to remember is that, whether you are a hijabi or not, that’s your own personal choice, and it’s no one else’s place to judge you for it. Also, when it comes to wearing the hijab, we need to think about the concept of modesty, as well as our own purpose as to why and how we are personally choosing to cover up. You can still be beautiful and modest. A piece of fabric on your head isn’t the only aspect of you that makes you modest, it also needs to be in your personality. In other words, hijab is what you make of it inside and out.
We all dress modestly in our own unique way that reflects who we are. This is what makes our ummah so special and beautiful. Those who know me well, know that I am a very creative person. In the past, I have worked in roles that required me to wear business suits, which I threw away after moving on to better adventures in my career. It’s just not who I am.
I am funky tights, cool skirts, and t-shirts that express my quest for wanting to just make the world a better place. Yes, sometimes I dress up like storybook characters (for the record, I work in an elementary school). And yes, this would make my jummah mom buddies cringe and shake their heads. But it’s who I am. It makes me happy.
So, in rewriting “The Hijabi Rule Book,” my advice is: Dress modestly, dress comfortably, and just be you– a gorgeous and thoughtful person. And remember, people have no right to judge how you wear hijab or whether you are wearing it or not.
You’re Not Too Old
I’m 37 and I’m proud of it. I feel more fabulous than I did at 25. I also had two kids under the age of three, worked a full-time job and was in graduate school at 25. Yet, my energy and attitude have only become stronger over the years, Alhamdulillah. So, I wear what I think is fun and exciting. I can be very boho-chic and artsy, even at 37, because that’s me.
For example, I found these overalls at Free People that allow me to stay covered, and were screaming “Muslim hipster” to me. I texted a picture to a friend, and they asked, “Aren’t you too old for that?” Look, I might not be a twenty-something on Instagram who posts about how wonderful my new marriage is or how great my outfit looks, but at 37, with a teenage son at home, I can still wear what they wear, too if I want to. It doesn’t take away my pride or intelligence. I look just as awesome as they do because I make sure that my confidence is what keeps me glowing, not the latest moisturizer.
Just Wear the Colors and Play with the Patterns Already…
In my opinion, you can wear white “after Labor Day,” and sometimes you can rock the right patterned blouse, top, or hijab together, too. Have fun with what you wear, and enjoy putting your clothes together. Stop the “what if?” questions about what people may think, and start focusing on what matters in this world–and that definitely does not include the banter of a khala who needs a hobby. Regardless of season, size, or shape, you need to embrace your personal style. Just wear the colors and mix the patterns already if that’s what makes you happy!
I’ve lived my life caring about things and people that didn’t matter. And at times, our home cultures have conditioned us to care so much about our reputations, and not being the topic of gossip more than what we genuinely feel is good or right. We want to make our parents, grandparents, siblings, and yes, even our aunties proud of where we are, and who we have become over the years.
It’s easier said than done, but just stop caring about what others will think and say about you. Love who you are and be comfortable in your clothing even if it isn’t necessarily “on trend,” or doesn’t meet the status quo. You will be a lot happier when you take control of your life and your wardrobe, Inshallah.
What is your personal style like? Would you consider your style unique, or do you usually stick with the trends? Let us know below!