Featuring (from left to right, top to bottom): Zafirah, Nina, Misfaiza, Sri, Iffah, Amirah

While specific items of clothing have become irrevocably associated with certain religions—nuns with habits, and monks with robes, for example—it seems that style and creativity of expression are not the first things that come to mind when we think of religion. Loosely translated as ‘modesty’, aurat is a set of principles which instruct on the way Muslims should act and dress, among them the covering of one’s arms and legs, and hair for women. While interpretations may differ in the specifics of what constitutes modesty, we can broadly see it put into practice in a number of similar ways—long sleeves and full-length bottoms, and the wearing of the hijab, or headscarf. However, far from seeing this as a restriction, Muslim ladies have been taking the opportunity to express themselves through their choice of headgear. Those who choose to keep it classic and wear hijabs choose fabrics with strong colours or bold patterns, while others use colourful scarves as turbans or head wraps. While many practice modesty by keeping to neutral and dark colours, they add detail to their outfits by layering up with light jackets and accessories, or by playing with form and proportion—think high-waisted bottoms, roomy wide-legged pants, and flowy skirts. In their own way, these ladies demonstrate that it is possible to mix faith and fashion.

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