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

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3 Comments to “Real Talk: Money & Hijabi Fashion Culture”

  1. Salam, I love fashion but can’t afford many of the things that I see on all of those gorgeous blogs. My solution: InshaAllah I plan on enrolling in a sewing course , maybe night classes and learn to make my own outfit. I mean for the price of 1 abaya, I could probably make myself three, on top of that being overweight, i can make them according to my measurements.

  2. I use the sets I post for style inspiration (in terms of how to put an outfit together) but I don’t buy the majority of the clothing I use in my sets. I tend to shop at Target, NY & Co, Marshall’s, Old Navy and places like that. Are sisters really spending $200 and up for a pair of pants, for instance? I’d be surprised if they were.

  3. I don’t and I def. do not promote that on my blog. ALthough I do focus on fashion sometimes I also emphasize minimalism, thrift, and frugality. I do not think it makes any sense to blog about a lifestyle that we are not living. While any blogger can post cute outfits and cute finds I really try to stay as realistic as possible.

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