In the quest to become more modest and wear a wider range of mainstream clothing, the key to achieving stylish yet covered looks heavily relies on wearing strategic inner clothing pieces. As someone dressing more modestly in the last few years, I learned that I could keep wearing all my previous clothes by adding only a handful of extra 'inner' staples. I have come up with my go-to list of inner clothing pieces that not only provide additional coverage but also serve as the foundation for any modest outfit and will broaden your wardrobe horizons.


1. Hijab Undercaps

If you cover your hair, the base of any hijab style is an undercap. It's like a primer in your make-up routine. It prevents the hair from showing, especially those crazy baby hairs! It lets you wrap or securely pin your hijab around it and helps keep it in place. There are a few different styles of undercaps, such as tube hijab caps and bonnet hijab caps. Ninja hijab caps have a built-in neck cover, which is useful if you prefer a more flowy, loose hijab style and want to maintain neck coverage.


2. Neck covers and arm covers

Neck and arm covers are a great way to cover those areas, meaning you can wear a wider range of clothes without needing lots of layers. I love wearing my hijab in a turban style, so I wear many neck covers to adequately cover my décolletage. A brand that has many modest essentials, especially for hijabis, is Modest Behaviour. They were the first brand to sell silk-lined hijab caps, and they sell both neck and arm covers. UK-based turban brand Ajwari sells innovative turban wraps as well as arm covers in a range of colours.


3. Bodysuits

Bodysuits broaden your wardrobe potential, as you can wear nonconventionally modest clothes such as sleeveless, off-shoulder, and open-back styles. They help provide additional coverage where needed and guarantee that your back and stomach are covered.

Many retailers sell bodysuits from fast-fashion to shapewear brands. Ruuq created the first-ever bodysuit with an attached full-coverage hijab cap. The bodysuits are made from lightweight and breathable material, and they have long-sleeve and sleeveless options and nursing options for breastfeeding mamas! This year, Ruuq also launched a mock-neck version of their signature bodysuits.

4. Tank Tops and Long Sleeve Tops

Round-neck or high-neck tank tops offer coverage for the chest and neck areas, especially if you are wearing clothing with a low or open neckline. Long-sleeve tops do the same but also provide additional arm coverage. Fares, the modest fashion brand created by Jasmine Fares, and Culture Hijab have a wide range of good basic tops, both sleeveless and long-sleeve, in a range of colours with modest necklines.

This year, Ruuq came out with innovative oversized long-sleeve tops. One design comes with an attached hijab cap, and the other comes as a mock neck, mirroring Ruuq's bodysuit collection. As the tops are oversized and have a curved scoop hem to cover you in all the right places, they can be worn as both an inner clothing piece and just on their own without the need to layer. They also have thumb holes, giving you additional confidence that your arms will remain covered when moving around or working out.


5. Leggings and Tights

Leggings and tights offer coverage for the legs and are helpful to maintain coverage when you are on the go. Full-length leggings are a staple in my wardrobe. I wear them nearly every day, especially when I wear a dress or a skirt, to give me added confidence that my legs are not going to show. Tights are also a great way to add additional coverage. They come in various thicknesses, and in the winter, they add the benefit of keeping your legs warm! Lots of brands sell leggings and tights. My Secret, the Egypt-based sleepwear brand founded by actress and activist Nicole Jenes, have full-length leggings. For women who prefer looser-fitting leggings, Dignitii, the Canada-based modest activewear brand, has leggings with a more modest fit.


6. Slip dresses and petticoats

If you are thinking about abaya life, slip dresses are a necessity. They serve as a seamless and sleek layer underneath an abaya or a kimono, providing an extra layer of coverage whilst keeping with the overall fluidity of the look. They are also perfect for layering under sheer dresses. Petticoats and underskirts serve to provide a layer under a skirt or dress and are particularly useful with lightweight and sheer fabrics preventing outfits from being see-through. Underskirts can also help prevent certain fabrics from clinging to your body for a more modest silhouette. Australian brand Boutique Nour al Houda has a great selection of modest essentials, including slip dresses and petticoats. Veiled also has a wide range of slip dresses.


Investing in these essential inner pieces will open a world of possibilities when it comes to dressing modestly without compromising style. Whether you are trying to figure out how to wear sheer fabrics, open necklines, or just want extra coverage, this list has you covered (pun intended!). Modesty is not just a style; it's a statement. In the words of Coco Chanel, "Modesty is the highest elegance", and with the right inner clothing pieces, you can make that statement with style and elegance.

Love Ola Abdelhadi

مارس 10, 2024 — Rifatun Jannat

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