What is Modest Fashion? Why is everyone talking about it ?
The term modest fashion can be interpreted in a number of different ways. However, it is typically used to describe clothing that conceals rather than accentuates the shape of the body, especially in a way that satisfies their spiritual and stylistic requirements for reasons of faith, religion or personal preference. The exact interpretation of 'modest' varies across cultures and countries. Beyond the various interpretations, all agree on the idea that modest fashion means loose clothing, comfortable dressing and covering of the body according to a person's own comfort.
The clothing can include hijabs and burqas, as well as tops, trousers, jackets and dresses that feature a modest cut. While the decision to wear this type of clothing can be due to religious or cultural reasons, it can also be worn to attain a more modest aesthetic.
The rise of modest fashion, specifically in the case of young religious women, was born through the need for more fashionable clothing options.
Modest fashion as a term, as a market term, came to prevalence in the mid-2000s, and this was partly because a number of the brands that first started up came from designers and creative entrepreneurs who were themselves religiously motivated," says Reina Lewis, professor of cultural studies at London College of Fashion, UAL. She explained to me that the internet made it possible for savvy, underserved religio-ethnic individuals and groups to start providing both the products and content that they were missing.
As Hana Tajima —the British-Japanese Muslim fashion designer who recently collaborated with Uniqlo on a range of modest-friendly fashion—tells me, "The reality is that everyone has their own idea of what modest fashion means to them. And that runs alongside peoples' personal preferences of color and style. It's such a broad idea that gets very narrow inside those two words."
So, in brief, modest fashion can describe varying degrees of covering up on purpose. The decision can be due to religio-ethnic fulfillment or to attain a certain aesthetic and level of ease because it is not just a trend that's tied to spirituality.