Fashion, Lookbook

10 crucial pieces of clothing that every hijabi has trouble finding in Egypt

Nearly all of these are items everyone else takes for granted.

While proper hijab requires wearing clothes that are not transparent, do not define our curves, and do not show skin other than our faces and hands, we hijab-wearing women struggle to find clothes that adhere to these rules while also satisfying our fashionista desires. Without a doubt, it is really hard to find high quality Muslim appropriate clothes, and I don’t know why.

Most of these are awkward Hijab wardrobe fixes that we totally need solutions for. Click To Tweet

For example, for some unknown reason, it seems that long sleeves, opaqueness, and lengthiness in a loose-cut top cannot co-exist.

If it’s a long-sleeved shirt, it’s always too short. If it’s long, it ends up being sheer or sleeveless. If it’s long and non-transparent, it ends up having three-quarter sleeves, a style that even some non-hijabis still cannot wrap their heads around. So, as a veiled Muslim woman, falling in love with a cute blouse I see doesn’t mean that I can buy it and trudge my happy way home.

It is not that simple.

If I decide to go ahead and buy it, I’ll have to consider all the factors that come into play, do my math, figure out solutions – all before heading off for another shopping tour, hunting for one or some of the following fixes listed below.

In the end, most of these are actually awkward make-shift Hijab wardrobe fixes that we totally need solutions for.

 1. Detached sleeves

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A vital article for Cosplayers, Goth girls, Shredder and, yeah, Hijabis. But, in our case, they are not a fashion statement or a weapon, they’re a necessity as long as fashion makers will continue to produce the absolutely pointless and incomprehensibly widespread trend of the quarter-sleeved shirt.

2. Long-sleeved t-shirts for layering

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Because most clothes in our stores are not meant for hijabis, there is no other way but to layer away. Sheer, white blouses? No problem. Crochet tops? Tank? Cap? Elbow length? These long-sleeved babies have got us covered.

At some point in our lives, some of us have even been guilty of wearing them under spaghetti strap dresses, especially evening gowns. Shameful, I know.

Sheer, white blouses? No problem. Click To Tweet

But, in our defense, check out Kim Kardashian here. Apparently, she’s bringing it back in fashion and looks to me that she’s been drawing some inspiration from Egyptian weddings.

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 3. Opaque nylon socks

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Socks on sandals? Well, we don’t have much of a choice. Proper hijab involves covering your feet, but they haven’t made fully-covered airy summer shoes yet.

Sounds like an oxymoron, right?

Well, if shoe designers managed to make these and have gone through the hassle of inventing glow-in-the-dark shoes, they might as well give our need for full coverage summer shoes a try.

Socks on sandals? Well, we don’t have much of a choice. Click To Tweet

Until then, if we don’t want to spend our entire summer in loafers and sneakers, we have to adjust to the sweaty, prickly feeling that comes with wearing these thick nylons with our sandals in 105-degree heat.

4. Pins, pins, and pins

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One below the chin to pin up the two ends and as many as we want around the circumference of our heads. If we’re going for a complicated wrap, we’ll need a dozen or more. They keep our hijabs in place and secure them to our clothes to cover up gaps, and they come in handy if we want to discipline a harasser in public transportation. In all honesty, we wouldn’t mind forgetting all about them.

They poke holes through our scarves and keep on disappearing. If we haven’t accidentally swallowed one ourselves, we definitely know someone who has.

Solutions? How am I supposed to know? My job here is to just b*tch and moan.

5. Long t-shirts that actually cover our booty

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When we find one of those, it becomes a wardrobe staple. They can’t be worn on their own because they’re too clingy, but they serve as excellent extensions to short blouses when worn underneath them. We can take out all those short and skimpy tops we thought we could never wear in public. To hijabis, long shirts just make everything wearable again – but, that is only if we can find a shirt that is the ideal length.

6. Bandanas

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These are like underwear, but for the head.

Many wear them to keep their hair from slipping out of their scarves or to keep silky scarves in place. Some even use them as fashion accessories, matching them with their outfits and wearing them in a way a non-hijabi would.

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7. Extra scarves

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Some people think hijabis only need one scarf to cover their hair. Think again.

Sometimes the only scarf that matches a certain outfit is transparent, and we have to do a double scarf wrap.

If we decide to do a turban style, we need an additional scarf to cover up the neck and chest area. Furthermore, we sometimes also need to cover up the chest area with our headscarves for the scarcity of nice-looking, loose fitting tops. If the scarf on our head is not long enough, we use an additional scarf to do the job.

8. Boleros

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If we want to avoid the fashion crime against all things glam mentioned in number 2, we resort to bolero jackets – especially when we’re wearing an evening dress and don’t want to cover all the fabulousness up. The only problem is that they are not all that available in stores (especially long-sleeved ones!), so we often need to have them custom made.

9. Cardigans

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They are every veiled girl’s best friend, and it has nothing to do with the weather or the season. They’re not an extra piece we take with us on our way out, lest it gets chilly at night.

They are a bare necessity that serves the purpose of number 3, yet looks better on tank tops and short sleeved blouses. I’ve honestly lost count of how many of these I own.

10. Prayer onesies

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What happens when we’re blissfully walking around unveiled at home but need to step out for a few minutes to hang the washing, fetch something from the balcony, or open the door for the delivery guy? Get fully dressed? No!

We throw on these convenient onesies (or Isdal as we call them in Egypt) and are good to go.

Mona A. Moneim

Mona A. Moneim

Mona Abdel-Moneim is a full-time copywriter at a branding agency and a former university teacher with an MLitt in the study of Muslims, Globalization and the West from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Besides learning the guitar and polishing her writing skills, she is now focused on her voluntary work in Education. She loves cats, Cadbury's Crunchie, deep conversations and everything indie.

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