Like everyone, I have a sense of style all my own. Most comfortable in a pair of jeans / a jean skirt and a T-shirt, dressing up for me means swapping out the T-shirt with an Inc. or DKNY top. I never did learn how to use clothes to complement my hair and makeup and frankly I never did figure out how to use makeup. While some women can pull off wild colors, it’s best if I go the less is more route.

I am what one might call a fashion misfit. Indeed my husband calls me a fashion faux pas. Paul asks me on a regular basis whether I dress in the dark with a blindfold on. It’s pretty bad when a former IT professional turned goat farmer suggests I go back and rethink my choice of clothes.

Sometimes I do okay and I actually get compliments. On those days I am feel like I have a shot at being fashionable and then I do something to remind us all that Stella McCartney, Vera Wang or Stef-n-Ty aren’t calling to ask for my advice for their spring or fall collection.

And while I have my own sense of style—assuming we can really call it that—I have never given much thought to the fact that I am limited because of my beliefs.  

Funky and eclectic as I am, much as I like to use color (even when I probably should refrain), I am not stuck. I have the luxury to be put together one day and a fashion faux pas the next. I am not limited by a one-look-fits-all.  

What if I wore the same type of clothes day after day and were forced to have it be the same color or style? This is what life is like for many Muslim women around the world—that is, so I have been led to believe. Before going out in public, many Muslim women worldwide are expected to wear a hijab. A hijab typically refers to a veil that covers the head and chest.

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

With modesty the driving force behind women wearing a hijab, when I think about them, I tend to think of the hijab as black, brown, beige or otherwise lacking excitement and unlikely to be a fashion trend.

However, I came across two websites that changed the way I see the hijab. I am the first to admit that I saw the hijab as oppressive—to this ultra feminist, it seems excessive and controlling.

And perhaps it’s also possible some Muslim women are leading a movement toward modernity.

One website addresses the fact that there is no one-color-fits-all and the other turns the notion that Muslim women are oppressed and are forced to sacrifice style and individuality for the sake of tradition.


White, Black or In-Between, There’s a Hijab for You

Like all people of color (Poc) we span the rainbow, Muslims are no exception. Like Christianity, Islam isn’t limited to any one region. The heaviest concentrations of Muslims live in Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) with many living in Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Given the differences in features and complexions between Asians, Africans, South Americans and those of European descent, Muslims come in all shades you can imagine.

Now regardless what skin tone you have, there’s a hijab that will match it, thanks to Habiba Da Silva of England. 

If It Weren’t Seen As Appropriation and Fetishization, I Might Wear One of These! Who said I couldn’t match earth tones with lavender while wearing a jean jacket and Ray Ban sunglasses? I think I could pull this off—maybe. I can’t think of a better way to complement my leopard print pumps, can you?

Are the new fall colors out yet? Need I say more?

Check out these and more modern hijabs at the Be With Style website.

It looks like I need to start seeing the hijab in a different light. Again, I am obviously very ignorant because clearly there is an intersection between the hijab and haute couture. 

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