Street Hijab Fashion
March 31, 2013 7:25 AM   Subscribe

 
Nice find. :)
posted by Foosnark at 7:29 AM on March 31, 2013


These are stunning.
posted by sweetkid at 7:33 AM on March 31, 2013


My ex-collegue wore a hijab - and she was incredibly fashion forward. She wanted to show her daughter, who does not wear a hajib, that it was possible to be a strong successful woman and still to be able to reflect traditional muslim ideas around modesty. It seems obvious that these should not be mutually exclusive ideas - but somehow, it bears repeating.
posted by helmutdog at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are a few women students at my college who always look very classy and dressed up. It took me a while to notice they always had their heads covered. Eventually it all clicked (ok, it wasn't until I had one in my class who spoke to being Muslim) They just look sharp, much as many of these women do.
posted by cccorlew at 7:46 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nice post, thank you!
posted by marimeko at 7:50 AM on March 31, 2013


Some of these are just women dressed fashionably, wearing a hijab. Some are women experimenting with different ways of wearing a hijab. Those are the interesting photos.
posted by Atreides at 7:51 AM on March 31, 2013


I'm frantically googling trying to find the name of a middle eastern female fashion designer( or not? Maybe just a personality?) who always rocked a turban/slacks/ brightly colored blouse get up and basically made the whole thing look like Edith Head by way of The Postman Always Rings Twice, it was amazing.
posted by The Whelk at 7:52 AM on March 31, 2013


I still don't understand how showing your hair is wrong, but skinny jeans and 5-inch heels are a-okay.
posted by gsh at 7:55 AM on March 31, 2013 [10 favorites]


gsh, why would I wear a bikini top but not just go topless? Why wear a skirt one inch above the knee but not five inches above the knee? Comfort level is why.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:01 AM on March 31, 2013 [10 favorites]


I still don't understand how showing your hair is wrong, but skinny jeans and 5-inch heels are a-okay.
posted by gsh at 7:55 AM on March 31 [+] [!]


I'm going to make a polite request that we not steer this discussion towards the played-out scrutinizing of religious practices, especially when it starts off with trying to organize female's behaviors on some sort of moral ladder.




I love this tumblr. I have a few ladies I follow that live in the east, and I've seen these reblogged a few times. There was a this youtube channel that I cant for the life of me find now, which was a muslim girl who did fashion vlogs. A couple were "fun ways to tie your hijab", which I thought was really interesting. I think they're beautiful.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:05 AM on March 31, 2013 [24 favorites]


I still don't understand how showing your hair is wrong, but skinny jeans and 5-inch heels are a-okay.

I think it's just that wearing a head covering is showing humility, along with modesty, and a reminder that one is living under God. So skinny jeans and heels don't have a lot to do with the head covering.

Ultimately, it may not make logical sense, but that's ok.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:08 AM on March 31, 2013


I still don't understand how showing your hair is wrong, but skinny jeans and 5-inch heels are a-okay.

Fashion and cultural norms never make sense outside of historical context. See: neckties.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:12 AM on March 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


In places where Islam isn't such a charged subject, women wear head scarves in that style for the look.

I think they look gorgeous and felt really sad I had to stop using my pretty massive collection of head scarves when I moved here because people were giving me the evil eye.
posted by Tarumba at 8:14 AM on March 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Just goes to show you that random women on Tumblr can pose 900% better than the contestants on America's Next Top Model.
posted by xingcat at 8:18 AM on March 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Beautiful. This one is my favourite -- it seems very classic Hollywood, somehow. Also, if I had even half a sense of balance, I would be wearing those shoes right now.
posted by tickingclock at 8:19 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have an author friend who wears a hijab, and we recently did a book event together, and some Muslim tumblr dude reblogged the photos and was like "HEY LOOK THESE WHITE GIRLS ARE ACTING LIKE IT'S NORMAL TO BE SITTING NEXT TO A MUSLIMA ISN'T THAT GREAT!!!" and it was really, really weird.

Which makes me feel a little weird to say this tumblr is great, but it is.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:24 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I work with a handful of students from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, and I love the see the variety of how they dress, coordinate the hijabs to their outfits, and how they wrap their hijabs. One of my students favors a high turban style, another student always wore something different, including dreadlock-type hats. Some of the women have little sparkly pins to keep the scarf in place, and I've been curious if they are sold for that designated purpose.

I tried to do a little research recently to see if different scarf styles were regional, but didn't find anything useful.
posted by Squeak Attack at 8:28 AM on March 31, 2013


I love the look of the hijab and some of the fashion-forward-modest styles of dressing you see on many Muslim women. It's so classy and elegant. I'm sad I can't rock any of it myself, because as a queer American white woman raised Presbyterian it raises all sorts of awkward cultural appropriation issues that I'd prefer to avoid.
posted by schroedinger at 8:30 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tried to do a little research recently to see if different scarf styles were regional, but didn't find anything useful.

I can't give you anything but anecdata, but in this Muslim woman's experience, the hijab has become much more globalized over the past 20 years. Before that, I felt able to place other Muslim women culturally/geographically, based on the form of veiling or hijab that they used.

The variation in face coverings (niqab) is often still quite distinct, but hijab seems to have taken on a more universal form.

As I said, that's just my experience, and I haven't thought about it enough to be able to tell you what precisely the differences used to be.
posted by bardophile at 8:44 AM on March 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hijab fashion : fashion :: women throwing 90-mph fast-pitch softball : baseball

In other words, because women are actually living, breathing humans, they will defeat that little box you put them in and create something new and interesting.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:06 AM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


schroedinger, maybe you could just appropriate 50's movie stars.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:16 AM on March 31, 2013


Will someone please, Please, PLEASE show these to orthodox Jewish women. So many are dedicated to putting the frum (in Yiddish "dedicated observance of Jewish law) in frumpy. There is nothing in Jewish modesty codes that require bad shoes or inability to drape fabrics.

Of course, having a little oil money might help, too.
posted by Dreidl at 10:22 AM on March 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


So many are dedicated to putting the frum (in Yiddish "dedicated observance of Jewish law) in frumpy.

I laughed out loud at that. :) I know some frum women who are extremely stylish, too. And many, many, frumpy orthodox Muslim women. And many, many more completely unstylish, completely nonreligious people.
posted by bardophile at 10:40 AM on March 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


In Toronto, you see so many fascinating styles of hijab. I wish there were some app or website where I could look up where the different styles come from. (Not that I'd remember if well enough when I got back to the Internet.)
posted by jb at 10:48 AM on March 31, 2013


Awesome if optional.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:48 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Neat; sort of related, a while back there was this blog Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things, trying to figure out what Juan Williams was going on about when he talked about people wearing "Muslim garb".
posted by threeants at 11:44 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been noticing more women in Philadelphia integrating hijabs into stylish outfits. Bravo, I say!
posted by Mister_A at 11:58 AM on March 31, 2013


These look great.

Is there anyone out there doing something similar with the niqāb?
posted by benito.strauss at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


My quick google search didn't turn up much niqab-specific, but did find this pinterest that people in this thread might like.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:10 PM on March 31, 2013


Of course, a woman tucking her cell phone into her hijab is the most fashionable because genius is always in style.

Minneapolis has great hijab style. It doesn't hurt that Somali women are amazingly beautiful.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


It easier to leave the house looking super chic if you don't have to fret about your hair.
posted by tigrefacile at 12:22 PM on March 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


because women are actually living, breathing humans, they will defeat that little box you put them in and create something new and interesting.

Please, let's not put this in already-biased light of "Look, they are being oppressed but still manage to have their freedom!"

Unless, of course, we're willing to look at high heels and say "Look at all these fashion designers making shoes that deliberately cripple the gait of these oppressed women!", etc.
posted by suedehead at 1:51 PM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Unless, of course, we're willing to look at high heels and say "Look at all these fashion designers making shoes that deliberately cripple the gait of these oppressed women!", etc.

Well, it's either that, or they expect women to be training for the cavalry. Flats just don't grip the stirrups properly.
posted by jb at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "Awesome if optional."
I know. Just like pants, right?
posted by brokkr at 2:20 PM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


There was a girl I went to high school with who wore a hijab. I noticed the scarf, but it took me until senior year to realize she always wore long sleeves and pants as well! She was definitely one of the most fashionable people I've ever met.
posted by raccoon409 at 2:33 PM on March 31, 2013


Awesome if whoever is wearing them likes them.
posted by Tarumba at 2:35 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Toronto, you see so many fascinating styles of hijab

You do in Calgary too. Dozens of my students (at U of C) wear hijabs and they're a beautiful and interesting thing to wear.

I saw a woman at YYC with an "OILERS" hijab. Now THAT thing was hideous.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:11 PM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


I used to work in a fairly metropolitan part of the South in a shop that was the only affordable place set into a very high-end fashion mall. All the smart people would come and shop there, because we got everything that the nicer stores couldn't sell fast enough, and marked it down to nearly rummage-sale prices. A LOT of our customers were Muslim women who would bring a horde of elegant, perfectly dressed friends to go shopping for the afternoon, and every time they would walk in the door I would want to clutch their sleeves and fall to the floor pleading, "Teach me your ways! I own nothing but jeans and tie-dyed t-shirts and I think I'm colorblind! Please help me!"

I know the point of female fashion should not necessarily be to become a consumable, but holy shit they were just a pleasure to look at and they always had a hijab that went with their outfits. It was impressive as hell and I miss the unofficial fashion shows. Anyway, that cured me forever of the idea that "modest" had to mean "frumpy".
posted by WidgetAlley at 4:03 PM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


All young and stick thin.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:15 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I say that women with hijab are not fashionable. I say that because I consider the notions of female "modesty" on which the hijab is based are not fashionable. I'm old-fashioned that way. I realise this opinion is not popular here but eh, fuck it.
posted by Decani at 4:26 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, it looks like people are doing things with the niqab. Political things.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:22 PM on March 31, 2013


A lot of British people are pretty racist, which might color their perceptions a little. There's no way being a "Paki" will ever be fashionable in Britain. This has very little to do with clothes or any trumped up hand-wringing about modesty. Ditto in France, where a lot of these pictures were apparently taken.

It bugs me that French women can be kicked out of school or harassed for wearing the same kinds of outfits, no matter how cute they are, and no matter how well the colors and patterns play off of each other, because you're being ostentatiously North African, and you're acting like you're #@*&! proud of it. But, yeah, la laïcité or whatever
posted by nangar at 7:42 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's no way being a "Paki" will ever be fashionable in Britain.

Saying "Paki" in quotes is still saying Paki. And I think you're wrong " no way ever" is wrong, sorry. Be the change etc.
posted by sweetkid at 7:59 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unless, of course, we're willing to look at high heels and say "Look at all these fashion designers making shoes that deliberately cripple the gait of these oppressed women!", etc.

Because we all know, after all, that women don't have the same individual and intellectual capacity to rationally decide for their own selves what they do and don't want to wear, amirite?

...Come on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved this link! I see hijab's on fashionable women often around my large city - I first think "Oh, how beautiful!" and then notice the modest attire. I fight the urge to approach and ask about their outfits; I don't know what is offensive. As a younger adult, I loved the large scarf collection I'd wear in turbans or cold-weather protection and often wish it wouldn't seem weirdly rude to co-opt another, religious, cultural wear.
posted by _paegan_ at 8:36 PM on March 31, 2013


Since when does wearing a funny hat make it OK to objectify women?
posted by gjc at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2013


Further on the modest and frumpy don't have to mean the same thing, my own struggle while growing up was trying to resolve the tension between 'modesty means not drawing attention to your physical appearance' and 'looking your best is a good and desirable thing.' Many times, I'll actually see women in hijab and still think, "Really? You're wearing this item of clothing that is meant to proclaim your modesty, and then you wear the most attention-grabbing everything else that you can?" Then I spiral into: a) self-castigation for being judgmental about other people's clothing choices, because who am I to judge their individual choices. Which reminds me b) of all the times people have implied I dress less than modestly simply because I don't cover my head. Which leads to c) how resentful I am of that implication, because modesty is actually important to me, and something that informs my clothing choices on a daily basis. Followed by d) more self-castigation about how I'm no better than all the people who have ever judged my appearance if I continue to judge theirs.

So. Complicated thing is complicated. I guess.
posted by bardophile at 11:09 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since when does wearing a funny hat make it OK to objectify women?

There was a memo yesterday.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:07 AM on April 1, 2013


Round near me the hijab-wearing women have this habit of tucking their mobile phone into the scarf at the cheek so that they can have a hands-free phone conversation without a hands-free headset. I always find it really cool in the way that it's cool that people queuing for a rank of cash machines will arrange themselves into a single feeder queue, rather than one per machine. There's something awesome about groups of people quietly working out how to make something work for them in a non-obvious but eminently practical way.
posted by Acheman at 3:56 AM on April 1, 2013


Because we all know, after all, that women don't have the same individual and intellectual capacity to rationally decide for their own selves what they do and don't want to wear, amirite?

Oh but that's exactly what I (don't) mean, EmpressCallipygos. Apologies for not being clear enough.

People who wear high heels (like many other fashion items) 1) decide with their own agency what to wear or not, 2) while, at the same time, the cultural/social expectations that they do dress in a certain fashion is an invisible controlling force (discourse, etc) that affects their agency.

The same way that 'choosing to wear high heels (or a tie, etc)' in a corporate environment is on one hand the result of the decision of the wearer, and on the other hand a result of the cultural/social pressures exerted on the person to wear high heels. Claiming that "Yeah, but even though I know this all, I still choose to wear high heels" doesn't declare one free from those influences, but it doesn't shackle you as a deterministic result of those influences, either.

It depends on the society, but in my experience in some cases hijab-wearing women seemed to face a similar decision, at least in places with more liberal (whatever that means) Muslim societies like Jordan, or Turkey, (or even the West Bank).* Some wear the hijab, some don't, some feel pressure from conservative families and communities, others are more liberal, etc. etc. Some feel the pressure to wear a hijab. This pressure is not a direct analog to the pressure that women feel to wear high heels in a corporate environment. But I don't think it's wholly different, either.

My point is that to talk about women wearing hijabs and to say "oh man, their oppression sucks, but they're making the most out of it" is, as you rightfully pointed out, straightforwardly blind of an assessment as "women don't have the same individual and intellectual capacity to rationally decide for their own selves what they do and don't want to wear".

Whether it's about the hijab, or high heels, or ties, or "macho" men being afraid of "man-purses", etc, we are all the result of a balance between our own desires and the social pressures that produce those desires in the first place. Recognizing that for ourselves, and not for another culture, is a process of othering that removes the role of agency and decision on that other culture's part.

* I'm sure things are way different in Saudi Arabia, or other countries, etc
posted by suedehead at 6:47 AM on April 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Dreidl: "Will someone please, Please, PLEASE show these to orthodox Jewish women. So many are dedicated to putting the frum (in Yiddish "dedicated observance of Jewish law) in frumpy. There is nothing in Jewish modesty codes that require bad shoes or inability to drape fabrics. "

People observing tzniut are deliberately trying not to draw attention to themselves. Ostensibly.

I know a number of "frum" women who wear clothing that is fashionable and not frumpy. But they shouldn't be obligated to conform to current fashions unless they want to.
posted by zarq at 7:42 AM on April 1, 2013


I love this tumblr. I have a few ladies I follow that live in the east, and I've seen these reblogged a few times. There was a this youtube channel that I cant for the life of me find now, which was a muslim girl who did fashion vlogs. A couple were "fun ways to tie your hijab", which I thought was really interesting. I think they're beautiful.

Oooh, time to post my favourite hijabi guru channels! Note: almost ALL of these women own or are affiliated with a hijab-friendly fashion businesses.

Arguably the 'queen bee', Amenakin is a mother (which I only mention as it is the subject of some of her vlogs) and business-owner who posts vlogs ranging from fashion advice, WIWT/OOTD (what I wore today/outfit of the day), baby-stuff and religious topics. (UK-based; her name is a combination of 'Amena', her name, and 'Anakin', which is why some of her videos have a lightsaber intro)

Next up is the sporadically-updated Dina Tokio, who posts more focused fashion/beauty vlogs and appeared on a UK stylist challenge show (which I can no longer find on youtube). She also has her own line of clothing. (UK-based)

YazTheSpaz also tends to be a more straight-forward fashion/beauty vlogger than Amenakin, is affiliated with Wahat Aljalabiya (a jilbab shop). She's also one of the bigger US-based personalities.

Iloveelhassan (aka Nye) is a North American convert. Because she is one of the few hiabji vloggers who isn't a 'revert' (the term for an unaffiliated Muslim who becomes more religious) nor was she raised religious, a lot of the vlog is about how to adapt to a religious Muslim life. She, too, owns a store.

Unfortunately, I can't post any others as I un-subscribed from a bunch in a desperate attempt to get my Youtube subscription down to a manageable level.

(Note: I'm not a hijabi, I just love following 'modest' bloggers because I am a religion nerd).
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:54 AM on April 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


*snerk* flibbertigibbet's talk of following "modest" bloggers and zarq's discussion of the differing approaches to frum have reminded me of something -

Someone elsewhere had started a discussion about "Lydia of Purple", a now-defunct online shop offering "Modest custom-made clothing" for women. It was...quite a discussion.

But that got a bunch of responses about how "frumpy" modest clothing was from various religions, until someone posted a link to the site FunkyFrum. And after a brief pause, then the commenters started responding with links to dresses or shirts and sheepish comments that "Uh....I'd actually wear this," or "I'm seriously thinking of buying this one...." or best of all, "is it, like, okay if I buy this skirt if I'm not Jewish?"

I hope that Funky Frum experienced a bit of a spike in orders that ady.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


thanks, interesting post.
posted by theora55 at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2013


I think I'm in love. With the pants! It's all in the pants.
posted by Enki at 6:43 PM on April 1, 2013


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