From Niche to Mainstream: Modest Fashion Goes Global
Syeda Maseeha Qumer

Albeit a niche, modest fashion is one of the fastest growing fashion trends globally. Modest fashion defines clothes that cover much of the body, without compromising on style. The clothing can include garments with longer sleeves and looser fit (abayas), head scarves (hijabs) as well as tops, trousers, jackets that feature a modest cut.Modest fashion is no longer restricted to Muslim women and is applicable to any woman irrespective of her faith or age who chooses to take a stand on how she represents herself.

It is not oppressive but an expression of empowerment for women who find comfort in modest wear and want to confidently express it, thereby challenging commonly held perceptions around fashion and style.

Modest fashion is gradually becoming mainstream and has evolved into a big business with some major retailers and clothing lines vying for a piece of the market. Global fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Mango, Nike, ASOS, Gap, DKNY and H&M are launching modest fashion lines of their own, projecting it as the ‘go to’ look for customers. Nike has even launched its first range of modest swimwear complete with hijab for female swimmers. Fueled by an increasing number of fashion conscious millennial Muslim women, the modest fashion wear market is expected to grow to US$361 billion by 2023.

Attracting interest from big brands in the West, modest fashion is not going to fade any time soon. As more major fashion houses get on board attracting fashion-conscious women, the industry is set to only get bigger. Modest fashion brands are showing the world that women who wear hijabs can be stylish too!
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