Being stylish (differ or equal to) Consumerism

(Image credit: Stylish Sisters, Hijab Style Blog)

What did you think when you read or hear the word "being stylish", or, see stylish people/fashionista? Has a thought of "consumerism" or "over-consumption" ever crossed your mind?

This post are meant for not only veiled Muslimah in particular, but also for all fashionista in general, intended just for sharing thoughts.

Before I wear hijab,  I just know a little bit about style and fashion. I even didn't know that there are lots of variety on hijab style, either the Muslim fashion.

At that time, I was really a not-care-about-fashion person. I had a lack of knowledge on fashion world and its terms. I have a perception that fashion is identical with consumerism... Thing that I really avoid because I thought it is one of the low mentality in person.. thing that is really unimportant and superficial in this "spiritual world" which we, as human, are asked to be a "khalifah" (leader) in this world, to well-manage and nurture the world and all its creatures.

And then when I try to wear hijab at the first time, I felt FREE! I enjoyed it. Until now I've been enjoying the feelings.. the feeling of being safe, comfort, free, protected, and the excitement of having the ability to avoid social pressure to wear revealing outfits and also for going incognito ;) It is ME that have the right to choose what people can see from me.
You only see what I CHOOSE you to see.
 That is freedom for me.
On the first days I wear hijab, I was simply wearing a common triangle paris hijab wrapped in a simple style in earth-tone hues. This simple look has already made me happy. But sometimes, when I looked at the mirror, I felt drab and thought I looked old-fashioned.

Then, in the process of learning the hijab further more, I found a couple of sites that I thought "Wow, these are awesome!" I remembered that the first hijab fashion blog I read is Hijab Style. While looking around in that site, I saw some outfits that Jana has mixed-and-matched.. My heart was jumping up and down, filled with excitement: "I never thought that Muslimah outfits could be set that way. They look fresh and stylish! During my entire life, I thought Muslimah wear were just tunics and "gamis" (jilbab/long-sleeved shapeless maxi dress).

From that time, I kept continue to search about Muslim fashion and on how to create an innovative trendy Muslimah wear with creative hijab wrapping. This was the time I made my first introduction to the wider fashion world. I want to look fresh.. I want to be different (in a positive way) and stand up in the crowd.. I want to show to the world that covered style can be stylish and beautiful. I feel passionate in the inside. I knew that I have been fallen in love with fashion.. ;)

But now, when I think again about it, it is very logic for the new hijabi to be in love with fashion. I believe that many of you have this feeling too, especially in the recent days when Muslim fashion are blooming around the world.. :)  It just comes naturally.

Based on my own experiences during my early days of wearing hijab.. when you felt that you have to get rid of your "old" clothes and replace them with the new ones, the question that come up first in your mind is: what should I buy?!!

"I don't have enough modest clothes."
"I don't have enough long-sleeved tees, shirts or tunics."
"I need a cardigan to cover my sleeves when I wear my short-sleeved tee.. And I need it in a variety of colours to match it to my outfits."
"I need a light-weight coat to be worn with my sleeveless maxi dress."
"I need a neck-extension to cover my neck when I wear my low-necklined tops."
"I need an under-dress to be worn with my transparent maxi dress."
"I need maxi skirts to replace my mini skirts." "I need wide-leg jeans to replace my skinny jeans."
"I need a long-sleeved tee in various colours as the basic pieces for my looks."
"I need a modest swimsuit to go swimming, to go to the beach."
And the list go on.. and on.

And then, it comes the time that you must buy your hijabs/headscarves/headcovers.

"I don't have any headscarves yet."

At first, you thought you just need hijabs in neutral colours: black, white, navy blue, creme/beige. And then, you thought that you need more hijabs in different colours to match with your colorful clothes. You need hijabs in colour pink, brown, green, maroon, yellow, sky blue, red, etc. Then you need them in gold, silver, with glitters for party. Then you need the comfortable ones for workout.

 And because now you're wearing hijab, you need to match the headscarves with your outfits.

During this time, you thought that you need headscarves in a variety of types. You have lots of things that come up into your consideration:

"I need hijab for going to school, for work, for everyday wearing/casual, for some relaxing occasions, for formal occasion, for party, for workout, etc."

Then you need accessories for your hijab. You need beautiful brooches and pins to pin your hijab.

And, after all the basic stuffs you need have been got filled up, you thought you need some pieces to make the whole outfit looks prettier: adding a vest or bolero over your maxi dress, a necklace, bracelets, or a chic belt.

Then, without you've ever realized, you bought more and more hijabs, accessories, and also clothes, for (you think) your needs.

While it is, (honestly) in some way, exciting to have many new clothes (who doesn't love this? ^_^), at the end of the days, it also triggers a consumerism pattern. The intention may changes... by the time passes, you buy more and more clothes to follow the trends and try to be stylish by doing so (buying more clothes).

On the other hand, as a hijabi, because we have a must to cover all parts of our body (except face, hands and, some scholars think: feet), we need to think beyond we used to before. We need to be smart on how we pick the clothes we would like to wear.. on choosing the modest yet comfortable pieces from those bunch of stores.. or smartly working on layering stuffs to cover up those "revealing" outfits, and on how we mix-and-match, even clash, the wardrobe pieces, to achieve the look we want: when the whole outfit look modest, appropriate, yet fresh and stylish.

Eventually, all these experiences will sharpen your taste of fashion (eventhough we're still far from expert  ^_^).. added your fashion knowledge.. improved your skills on mixing-and-matching clothes. It comes by itself.. naturally.

But, there is a time when you need to stop buying.. whether it's only for a week, a month, or, if you can, for a year or more (this is not good for the clothing shops out there, right? ^_^). You need to learn how to be stylish in a budget. Buy only things that you really need. Improve your mix-and-match skills to an advanced level, so that you can mix-and-match clothes from your already-have wardrobe and still can look stylish without buying things more.

Or, at least, when you buy new clothes, consider to give away, swap or sell your "old" ones.

(Usually) Fashionistas in general, are being trapped in a consumerism lifestyle. They tend to follow the trends and/or buy more and more fashion items as an attempt to look stylish, to look different than others, and to have a different look each day.

It doesn't mean that being stylish and look fresh and fabulous is wrong.. No, it is good, even it is important, to have a clean, neat, appropriate and impressing looks. Even, as you can read in the Qur'an Surah 7:26, Islam allows people to treat clothes as a jewelry, to enhance beauty, as well as to cover nakedness.

So, in this context, the most important thing is to control our "nafs" (desire) to buy more and more things that we do not really need, and to learn sharing things we have.

What is your opinion?

Do you agree that an outfit mirrors its wearer's approach to things?

What did you think about style and fashion, and how it relates to consumerism lifestyle?
How do we hold back our desire to buy new trendy fashion items?
Do you have any tips and advices to share? Please share in the comment section below :)

Thank you for reading and sharing, Lovelies. Have a wonderful day!

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  1. I also have been thinking about this for quite some time :)
    But I don't think it's fair to judge other people's consumerism behavior from their fashion style only. For example, the smarter you get in mixing and matching existing outfits will give you a stylish look without being a shopaholic. 
    To update an old-fashioned piece you could do some easy refashions, or if you don't dig D.I.Y. you could simply buy a brand new outfit and give the old ones to people who need them more than we do ;)

  2. @QATheWorld Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Dear.. Love to read it :)

  3. Thank you for sharing, Ina!

    Yes, agreed.. the refashions and digging on D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) projects are really a great idea! :)

  4. Being stylish is equal to consumerism. You have to ask yourself why you want to be stylish. When you think that the first Muslim women used sheets as coverings, style becomes unnecessary. However, it can be harmless fun if it doesn't consume too much time.

  5. Since evolving with my overall head to toe hijab appearance, I've had to adjust my wardrobe. I've also gone through the phases you've described in your post. Now I'm more particular but relaxed about what I buy + realize that there will always be collections released regularly so I tell myself to try choose what is nice + what is required. Right now - I don't need anymore animal print hijabs! But I've been after a red floral print hijab FOREVER + have now found it online + the thrill of that single find is SO nice :)

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    I have bought this abaya before 2 month.It is very cool and give me very awesome personality. Don’t worry I’ll tell you guyes that from where I got this abaya at very cheap and affordable price.

    I bought this from Enwrap and they did reasonable discount for me…


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