November 17, 2011

Real Talk: Money & Hijabi Fashion Culture

So I wrote this during Ramadan and after a quick (re) read I still feel the same way! I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to bringing a little more creativity to the blog, Insha’Allah!

I was having one of those introspective, lovely conversations with my husband the other night. We were preparing ourselves for another early Ramadan morning and, of course, I was in a chatty mood : )

We’ve talked about alot of taboo subjects here on Modest Plus, from fat to sexuality, and I’m really interested in having an honest conversation about Hijabi fashion culture and money.

First, I want to say that I’m not trying to have one of those anti-materialism rants that makes you feel all beat up. I enjoy the beauty of clothing, make-up, and love the feeling of rocking a killer scarf or outfit.

But, I also am a working woman, a graduate student who also works full time, who has bills to pay and must remain mindful of how I spend my money. My husband and I are both very educated, but we come from modest backgrounds, and work in fields that are not highly lucrative, at least not at the present moment ; )

During our late night conversation, I expressed to my husband that as much as I love hijabi fashion stuff, that we put a shiny veneer over the actual fact that what we blog about cost $$, and that many of us can’t buy new clothing on a regular basis.

I feel a disjunction between what I’m blogging and my actual reality. The reality where I can’t buy the scarf I see because there are more pressing financial matters. I often think that what I am writing about is just inspiration, but in actuality sometimes it’s pure FRONTING!

It’s a dilemma. More so, because I feel like it encourages us to be unrealistic about our expectations of what we should be able to afford or how we should look. It also affects how we look at each other. Are we seeing other sisters with a judging eye if they’re not all hijabi cute?

Are we judging a sister based on what she can or cannot afford?
I think there is a space for inspiration based purely on the beauty of a garment but where is the balance?
So, I think I’m going to challenge myself.

I want to work on expanding the conversation. I want to have more posts about holistically being modest and less about clothing. I still want to talk about new clothing but I also want to go back to the basics. Let’s talk about everyday accessories, thrift stores, recycling our closets, clothings swaps, everyday money matters and less about consuming new goods. I also want to highlight Muslim and independent business that need our support.

This won’t be easy but I think it’s better than putting forth an image I or most women I know can’t live up to or afford. Let’s find inspiration in unchartered territories!

Are you with me? Also, what do you like to spend on your wardrobe or an outfit? ❤ MP

August 9, 2011

Light & Airy

There is something so peaceful & beautiful about this caftan from Eshakti. The ginko leaf embroidery gives it rich detail. I think it’s perfect for a cool summer evening spent relaxing on the patio or taking an evening stroll.

Ginko leaf embroidery caftan $59.95

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July 18, 2011

Summer & the Layering Dilemma

For those of us who still maintain coverage during the increasingly hot months, a dilemma arises. How does one look cool as a cucumber even while maintaining you modest look?

Fabric, fit and color really matter here. You want to look for lighter materials (cotton, linen, seersucker, light denim) and avoid clingy less breathable fabrics like jersey.

For the hijab-wearer, I highly recommend avoiding polyesther fabric during the hot months. Consider a looser wrap style, that maintains modesty, but also allows for some space between the scalp, neck and the scarf. Shayla scarves are great for this!

Mariam Sobh of Hijabtrendz has some awesome tips here.A more popular summer look among modest-dressing Muslim women is the cardi paired with maxi dress. In this case, fit and material still matter. You still want to look for a cardi and maxi dress that are made from light fabric.

If you want to sidestep layering all together, consider looking for long-sleeve maxis and/or long-line tops & tunics.

I think a kurti and wide-leg trousers are a great summer option.

White makes me feel and (look cool). In this outfit, I’m pairing a white kurti with black embroidery, linen blend trouser pants, a bit of color in a light-summer teal scarf, and Italian leather wedges.




1. White Kurti (East Essence) 2. linen blend pants (Evans) 3. Opaque summer teal scarf (Pearl Daisy) 4. Italian Leather Wedge Sandal wide-width (Avenue)

March 10, 2011

Where to shop: Ayaso Boutique

Behold the gorgeousness that is Ayaso Boutique. Ayaso is a Facebook run online boutique specializing in beautiful caftans and abaya. While in certain countries, this style of dress is considered indoor wear, I think one of these elegant pieces would make a stunning statement for an evening out or formal affair. Most of these come with an adjustable belt, thus offering a wide range of sizes.


February 22, 2011

Modesty & Sexuality: We’re Not NUNS

Or just cuddly mamas. Or side-kick friends. Or good personalities. Or less attractive. Or desperate.

We’re sexual beings who have and enjoy sex. Yes, yes it’s true.

A-hem. Glad I got that off my chest. If you are a Muslim women who wears hijab, people are sometimes fascinated that you take “that scarf” off at all. Even-in-the-shower.

Mainstream media loves to highlight images of hijab wearing women shopping for lingerie as if it is some type of inherent contradiction. Look at those covered women looking at naughty stuff!

When you are a modest plus women you face other obstacles. Society doesn’t make living in your body easy- whether you are a size 12 or a size 32. It is hard to connect with your sexuality and feel positive about your body. What can I say? Haters are gonna hate.

You are not always going to feel good. That’s just the truth. BUT dressing up for intimacy (getting that extra lift and cinge so to speak) can go a long way in making you FEEL SEXY in your body and help you to create AN AMAZING atmosphere in the bedroom.

So let’s talk lingerie MP Women.

I like it and I think that it really can help you feel all VA-VA-VOOM. If you are a bit sensitive about certain areas of your body-use lingerie to enhance and conceal. It will help you be more in the moment and less self-conscious.

Here are some pieces that I like. You can thank me later ; )

(Babydoll & Knickers Set)

(Hot Pink Lace Panel Set)

(Black & champagne body suit)

(Red Bra & Knickers Set)

(Polka-Cami Set)

(Waist Cinger Set)

**You can find everything featured above here**

February 21, 2011



“Where have all the Iman make-up products gone?!” Years ago, this was the question I asked a lovely sales representative as I stood baffeled in my local Target.

“They got rid of them to introduce some new stuff into the cosmetics department” was her non-chalant reply.



Okay so I was being a bit dramatic. (And, thankfully, IMAN products are back in Target!) Yet, if you are a women of color whose complexion demands a broader selection of make-up options, you might understand the sense of disappointment I felt. I have tried numerous affordable make-ups but nothing takes the place of my IMAN make-up, especially when it comes to one product. Don’t get me wrong- I like BENEFIT, NARS, SHISEIDO and MAC PRODUCTS. But nothing can take the place of IMAN’S STICK FOUNDATION! It is super blendable, creamy and comfortable to wear.

(Available for $14.99 @ Target)

I also am enjoying the look and feel of the IMAN line of lip glosses.

(Available for $9.99 @ Target)

February 14, 2011

Orange. Gold. Paisley.

Try a pop of color in this rust-orange tunic dress by Evans.

Complete with dark jeans, silk scarf, platforms and gold jewelry.

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February 13, 2011

Dorothy Perkins Maxi DrEsS

Here is a light, maxi-dress to help you welcome spring:

Rather than going dark-I would complete the look with a bold cardi, light accessories and wonderfully textured flats.

Black tie dye maxi dress
42 GBP –
Dorothy Perkins dresses »

Green crew neck cardigan
18 GBP –
Crewneck cardigan »

Satin big bow aliceband
6.50 GBP –
Hair bows accessories »

Jewellery – Accessories – evans
10 GBP –

Light Weight Pashmina (Wheat)
$7.73 –

February 9, 2011

Anna Scholz @ La Grande Dame

I try not to subscribe to the rules. You know the ones specific for the larger woman. Don’t wear prints, stripes or patterns. Don’t be too colorful. Wear black constantly. Black is great but but breaking the rules can be awesome.

That is exactly why I love these two pieces by Anna Scholz available at La Grande Dame.

The first is a long, belted, striped cardigan. I would wear it with dark-wash jeans and a soft pashmina.


The second piece is a cotton – cashmere, color block wrap dress. For coverage I would either wear it with a light layering tee or a turtleneck.


February 7, 2011

Spring Forward: African Print Inspiration

The textures, the patterns, the colors. So lovely.

Great pieces from NakiMuli Inc. (dubbed as America’s Funky Sweetheart) a Brooklyn based line that features funky-African inspired clothes up to a 3x (size 22/24) & accessories.

Denim-African print dresses & neck scarves from Wada-Africa