A Modest Act

Emirates Woman|Emirates Woman May 2020

A Modest Act
Middle Eastern journalist Hafsa Lodi, talks to us about why now is the perfect time to publish her first book exploring the global modest movement
DIANA BELL-HEATHER
What message do you want to convey through your book, Modesty: A Fashion Paradox? There are a few messages I hope to convey to readers. Firstly, that there are different levels of modesty and varying degrees of covering up, and that Muslim women’s dress codes have historically been tied to different political agendas. Also, modest fashion is not a solely ‘Muslim’ movement and that although the mainstream fashion industry may has embraced it now, modesty is far more than a passing trend or buzzword.

How do you think the modest dressing movement has evolved? The modest dressing movement has evolved tremendously over the past decade, with modest fashion first being deemed frumpy and matronly, to now being featured thoroughly in the likes of Vogue. While there have been a number of different factors, like the rise of faith-based brands and businesses, platforms like modest fashion weeks which have helped elevate designers, and the increase in covered-up garments on catwalks, I believe the influx of modest fashion bloggers on Instagram is what really helped catapult the appeal of modest fashion on a global scale. From their phones, women adhering to modest fashion lifestyles can now find an infinite amount of style inspiration from across the globe, and modest fashion trends like layering shirts under dresses, dresses over jeans, bucket hats or beanies in place of hijabs and beaded barrettes clipped to the sides of hijabs, have become instantly accessible and replicable. You don’t have to be Muslim, or wear hijab, to emulate these trends; they are inspiring women from all walks of life. Dressing modestly can now be on par with looking fashion-forward, and the trends are constantly changing seasonally, making the movement endlessly exciting to witness, and participate in.

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Emirates Woman May 2020