Has it occurred to you that you have been hearing the term “Modest Fashion” quite frequently lately? That is because Modest Fashion is quite a thing now. Influenced by socio-cultural characteristics of a certain country, the term generally refers to fashion trends revealing less skin. In other words; dressing fashionably in a modest way.
There isn’t much evolution to modest dressing but the proof that it is the most fashionable thing at the moment dawns from runway shows and street styles. In fact, Marks & Spencer launched their new AW19 Modest Collection in the Middle East earlier this September. Despite the brand’s major criticism last year for the same “Modest Fashion” collection, it looks like things have changed now. The collection is now being embraced with open arms.
Here’s how Marks & Spencer’s Modest Fashion collection looks like
The AW19 Modest Collection features long sleeves, high necks, below knee-length dresses, kimonos and flowy pants. The color is earthy, neutral and subtle. (Picture credit: Marks & Spencer)
How did Modest Fashion become a trend in 2019?
Paris Fashion Week Fall 2019’s show set the anthem of modest dressing. Since fashion weeks are almost, always expected to show skin and be revolutionary, the idea of covering up and becoming revolutionary, hit hard. The trend spread globally and before you know it, America and Australia had embraced Modest Fashion on runways. In fact, Melbourne Fashion Week partnered with Modest Fashion Runways for its 25th edition.
Even Net-a-Porter recently launched its Modest collection category, including ankle-length maxi dresses from Gucci and Miu Miu. Designer brands including Prada as well as fast-fashion brands like H&M amped up with Modest collection this year. The Banana Republic launched printed silk Hijabs.
Many opine that this massive shift happened because of major public influence. With influencers around us, fashion is no more a trickle-down effect from runways to the audience. In fact, it is the other way around.
Thanks to influencers, particularly from the Middle East, who made covering up as fashionable as showing skin.
What’s included in Modest Fashion?
Hijabs and Head Coverings
Varieties of hats have always been in vogue. Scarves made its debut as a fashion accessory in the early 19th century. As for Hijabs, it became a separate fashion empire in the last five years. In 2015, Dolce & Gabbana released a collection of Hijabs and Abayas followed by H&M, DKNY, Nike and more.
This year we witnessed a boom in the head accessory starting right from Bucket Hat. In the Paris Fashion Week, a Finnish-Somali model Salma J caught the attention of the world when she showed off her Hijab as the most fashionable statement. Salma’s debut show was walking for Aalto, along with three other Hijabi models. The Hijabs went alongside headscarves and berets on the Fashion Week runway.
Taking Modest Fashion above average is the higher neck designs. No, not high necks. The 1940s design is elevated with ruffled necklines. Louise Vuitton experimented with “jester collar” and made the ruffled-neck a staple this year. The metallic and neon colors also made high necks an appealing choice to look modestly chic.
Longer skirts and Layering Up
Goodbye sequin dresses and hello long and lowered hemlines. The Fall/Winter 2019 collection at Paris Fashion Week abounded in maxi skirts, but Celine took it to the next level with shin-length Bermuda Shorts. Added to that, layering and covering up became an aesthetically pleasing fashion of the season. Of course, there were mini-skirts this year, but the look wasn’t complete with tights or leggings to complete the look. Knee-length skirts were paired with high boots. The idea being; reveal less skin.
Winter automatically calls for a cover-up with outer-wears, but in Modest Fashion, the outer layer is given extreme importance now, more than ever, especially with length and silhouette. Just take a look at what Marc Jacobs had to offer in the runway! Marc Jacob’s known for sexy and sheer designs for women decided it is now time to drape women head-to-toe in berets, coats, long skirts, and high boots. The overcoat’s A-silhouette was unlike anything we had seen from him. Many designers are now following the mantra that oversized clothing is a new way of power dressing.
Why Modest Fashion is much more than fashion?
Modest Fashion may be a trend for 2019, but it is way more than that. It is an overall victory for women from everywhere. The sheer acceptance of modest dressing, which was once looked down upon, is making waves in the fashion industry today. Haute Hijab, a Hijab brand, raised more than $2 million, and Vogue Arabia featured Vogue’s first-ever group Hijabi cover. In fact, Modest Fashion was estimated to be worth $230bn in 2014 and is predicted to reach $327bn by 2020. This sudden boom may cross the mark.
This inclusivity has made the world an accepting place despite the spread of Islamaphobia in several countries. We never knew fashion gives hope, but Modest Fashion, despite controversies is a silver lining we needed in today’s industry
Women are entitled to wear whatever they want. Whether you want to show skin or hide it, all power to you!