As a Muslim woman living in the West you have probably experienced the pain that comes with trying to shop at a traditional clothing store. The store might have dresses that you like, but too often they are not modest enough to conform to the rules of modesty in dress that Islam asks of its followers. This can be very frustrating, especially if this is the first time that you have ever tried to buy a formal dress on your own. When you are out shopping for a formal dress there are several things that you should keep in mind that will help you find a dress that makes you look good, while still maintaining your modesty.
Start With A Boutique
The first lesson that you need to learn is that big box retailers, and even most large retailers in the mall, are not going to have what you are looking for. They carry dresses that are far too revealing or that are too tight for the modesty that you desire, so the better option is to search for a boutique. These smaller shops cater to more specialized demands, including Muslim shops that were created with the Muslim woman in mind. The best place to find these boutiques is online, as the United States does not have many areas where the population density of Muslims is high enough to warrant a brick and mortar shop. Online you can browse hundreds of styles and colors to find the one that is perfect for you.
Keep The Hijab In Mind
Another lesson that you will need to learn, and one that can be learned the easy way, is to shop for a dress that comes with a matching hijab. Matching colors is difficult as it is, but it becomes even more difficult when the options that you have are limited, like they are when you try to find a hijab on your own. When you try to find one on your own, you either have to buy the hijab and hope that the dress is the exact color that you saw in the pictures, or you have to wait to get the dress and then go shopping again. When you buy a set with a matching hijab all of the guesswork is taken out of the equation and you do not have to worry about the colors or coordination of the dress and the head piece at all.
Know The Event
This is true whether you are shopping for Muslim dresses or a traditional Western dress, but you should always understand the type of event that you are attending. For a business dinner or a cocktail party, a simple maxi dress will work just fine; however, if you are attending a black tie event, then you will want something a little more formal. Jilbabs with Palestinian embroidery is not only lovely, but it adds class and sophistication to the item that you are wearing. This is a good choice for the most formal of events, but not always a good choice for events that are dressy, but not overly formal. You should have a good selection of business casual, semi-formal and formal dresses in your wardrobe so that you are prepared for any situation.
Finding the right dress is hard for a Muslim woman, especially if you are trying to get a dress for a semi-formal or formal event. With proper planning and a willingness to shop at boutique stores, you will be able to find a dress that you will be proud to wear, and one that still upholds the value of modesty.
I am Samantha Abi-Hazzak, and I have been helping my daughters shop for dresses for about fifteen years. We generally like to shop at places like artizara.com because of the selection and the affordable prices. For every occasion we have been able to find what we need with Artizara.