Lively New Fashion Trends for Muslim Women

A Guest Contribution from Nousheen

For those unacquainted with Islamic women’s clothing, jilbabs and abayas are both long, dress-like garments that cover a woman’s body. Either a jilbab or an abaya can be worn over everyday clothing, providing full coverage and creating a modest silhouette.

Some people might find these kinds of coverings to be dowdy or constrictive, but emerging trends in Muslim fashion are proving that these garments can be as individual and unique as the woman wearing them.

Fashion Fighting Famine 2013 Fashion Show, March 31 2013 in Irvine, California.
(Photo: Ritzy Photo)

Fashion designers have recently begun to realize that Muslim women are a huge demographic hungry for gorgeous clothes that fit into their lifestyles. Jilbabs and abayas are cropping up on runways all over the world with beautiful new details and embellishments, proving that haute couture can thrive in Islamic culture.

(Photo: Yannis Vlamos/InDigital/GoRunway)

"Revealing the body beautiful has become a fashion cliché.. Baring it all looks increasingly like yesterday’s trend" (The New York Times Style Magazine, March 19, 2013)

These new styles may help Muslim women living in Western societies to feel more accepted and more fashionable among their peers while also allowing them to express their personalities through clothing in a way that was difficult to achieve in the past.

New Stylistic Trends

One major new trend in the evolution of both jilbabs and abayas is the cut of the garments themselves.

In the past, this apparel has always been loose and free-flowing, with very little shape or form. Modesty is certainly a goal in Muslim women’s wardrobes, but a bit of fine tailoring can add an element of sleek styling without being revealing.

Tailored jilbabs now appear as long overcoats, with a slightly more defined waist area and buttoned lapels. In fabrics like light suede or khaki linen, the glamor factor is present but not overdone.

Long tailored suede coat -

There are also changes in the fit of the skirts of these pieces. Rather than a classically simple straight form, designers are adapting the skirts to feel more feminine.

Additions such as a longer train provide just as much coverage as the jilbabs of the past but allow the fabric to swirl around the legs gracefully.

Tiered ruffles along the skirt are also growing in popularity. In colored lace, these ruffles give off an almost flamenco-like vibe.

Marchesa Fall 2013
Tiered ruffles dress - Marchesa Fall 2013 RTW
(Photo: Stefano Masse/InDigital/GoRunway)

Finishing Touches

Intricate adornments are another way that jilbabs and abayas are becoming highly personalized.

Floral embroidery around the hem of the skirt and sleeve can transform a jilbab from plain to luxurious, and this style is readily available for women of all budgets.

Long sleeve floral embroidered gown by Valentino - Fall 2013 RTW

For dressier occasions, look for jilbabs and abayas adorned with detailed beading along the bodice, lending a regal elegance to the wearer. Adding bead work or embroidery might even be an easy task for a woman who is handy with her own sewing machine.

Another way to dress up jilbabs and abayas is with trim along the sleeves or hems in brightly colored or metallic fabrics.

A black abaya with sleeves adorned with bright pink edges is a subtle standout, as are jilbabs incorporating gold or silver closure ties.

Fashion Fighting Famine 2013 Fashion Show, March 31 2013 in Irvine, California.
(Photo: Ritzy Photo)

A beautiful collar can also be added to both jilbabs and abayas without detracting from their function. Over-sized collars give off a cool, retro image, while a daintier collar bespeaks a gentler femininity.

The embroidered white fall collar and the intricate sleeves' detailing - Valentino Fall 2013 RTW
(Photo:  Gianni Pucci & Yannis Vlamos/InDigital/GoRunway)

The message is clear that jilbabs and abayas are quickly joining the ranks of high-fashion women’s clothing. Rather than being seen as boring, these pieces should be viewed as blank canvases that can be imbued with all of the identity and charm of the lovely ladies who put them on.

Creative Islamic women will always find a way to infuse their own essence into their wardrobes, and this season is sure to bring a new wave of exquisite new trends which do just that.

Nousheen works as a content specialist at, a site that offers Islamic Clothing. 

(Images, credit: Hilal, FashionFightingFamine; inserted by Rania)


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  1. OMG, these are all so beautiful. I would actually wear these and I am of another faith.

  2. Stunning! Actually Bella clothes recently inspired me so much.
    The collection has superb!

  3. Moslem Jilbab wardrobe and fashion trends could be present.

  4. Excellent designs. I'd love to have such designs in my wardrobe.


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