France: Fusion Muslim Chic?

By Alexandra Steigrad/Reuters

PARIS/ROTTERDAM (Reuters) – Clad in skinny jeans, wrap dresses and carefully sculpted headscarves, a generation of young Muslim women is making its mark on Europe’s urban street culture, and influencing mainstream fashion.

The daughters of migrants to Europe from Turkey or the Maghreb, these girls say they are as conscious of style as of Islamic dress codes–and want to fuse contemporary chic with elements of their religious and ethnic background.

“H&M and all the French stores have taken our fashion,” said Mahika, a 24-year-old from Paris. She sees Muslim influences in the current trend of wearing dresses over jeans, and layering sweaters and tops.

Shopping for clothes has become simpler, she said: young Muslim women are now able to dress entirely from mainstream outlets if they choose.

Many of her peers agree, although a Hennes & Mauritz spokeswoman said Muslim fashion has not specifically inspired their collections.

“I find it very easy to dress. You find all kinds of things in town. It is about combinations and it has got easier since you see the influence of our fashion in general fashion,” said 20-year-old Bushra Sayed, a student from Rotterdam.

“I am a Muslim but I am also a person who is interested in fashion and I want to combine all these things,” she adds.

Bushra wears a dark brown scarf wrapped tightly around her head and neck, a dark blue shirt, a figure-hugging grey tweed waistcoat and matching knee-length skirt over jeans.

Bushra’s look is a world away from the black voluminous robes and long scarves worn by more traditional Muslim women, which completely hide the contours of the body.

“For me it is important to cover my body, except the hands, feet and face. And within that I can wear whatever I want, but it should not be too tight and short,” she said.

“My mother, friends, and relatives are very enthusiastic and I did not have to fight at all for my own style.”

Bushra is among five women to put together MSLM, a new glossy fashion magazine in Dutch, French and English, aimed at style-conscious young Muslims offering tips, for example on new ways of covering the hair — with baseball caps, hoods or chunky knitted scarves.

The title of the English, Dutch and French language magazine–which the women call a “zero issue” or one-off for now–is a play on the Dutch word for female Muslim, Moslima, and the clothing sizes medium-small-large-medium.

“An increasing group of young women is exploring the boundaries of being veiled and seductive… they compensate the veil with figure-hugging apparel, expressive make-up and higher heels,” Dutch stylist Isis Vandrager told the magazine.

The women have also organized a fashion exhibition in Rotterdam alongside the magazine, displaying outfits made by Dutch designers with Islamic dress codes in mind.

One dummy in the exhibition wears a black halter-neck dress, while its back, arms and legs are concealed by a black-lace cat suit worn beneath.

“I see Muslim girls dress in very tight-fitting clothes these days so I thought ‘why not make a cat suit?’,” smiled Dutch designer Mada van Gaans.

Also on show are jeans by Italian clothing maker Al Quds, designed specifically for Muslims, with a baggy cut and multiple pockets, making it easier to kneel for prayer and store watches, rings or other jewellery when performing ablutions.

“It’s not just Muslims who are buying our jeans now. It’s a good fashion product, first of all. That means the spectrum of our audience is growing,” brand manager Susanna Cavalli said in a telephone interview from Italy.

The women behind MSLM and the show believe European Muslim street style might even one day influence women in the Middle East — but not yet.

“There are Turkish girls here who wear these scarves which are just so out there and striking — but they don’t wear them when they go home,” said Natasa Heydra, of MSLM.

In fact, the number of young women at the clothing fair of an annual conference of French Muslims in Paris shows interest in fashion trends from the Middle East and in traditional dress is still very high.

“It’s both to help women dress according to Islam’s rules, and also to meet a demand,” said Asmaa Buhallut on the aim of the clothing show.

In France, a country which fiercely upholds its secular identity and which banned the veil in schools, there are not so many Muslim designers, she added: brands and designers from abroad use the event to reach the French Muslim public.

The array of bright colored clothing on display also gives women a source of inspiration.

“What’s trendy are bright, vibrant colors, light fabrics, and in general, ensembles, mostly pants,” said 18-year-old Nassima, of Tunisian origin.

Stallholder Ouslghozi Jkrom, selling traditional dresses and inexpensive veils, agreed.

Source

Hijab styles I like

BBC news did a little spread of the different types of hijabs, alhamdulilaah, I found it. Check it out

Here is a website that shows you how to wrap the shayla hijab: Click here and wrap away!

This website is for the hardcore Muslim divas! Brace yourself

Some photos of hijab styles (click on the picture to enlarge it).


I found these courtesy of hijab shop. I like the fringe in the front.

ohhh, this one is nice

Here is a tucked in style I wear when I have a presentation for work or go to a conference. I think it looks elegant.

I might try this when winter rolls around again, insha’allah.

This is the Mauritanian hijab. As you can tell, they take a big piece of material and wrap it around the body and to the head. They call it a malafah. In my years of being married to a Mauritanian I’ve been unable to wrap it properly. I also trip over the fabric, lol. Sudanis also wear the same type of garment but they call it a “thob”.

I love the way Malaysian and Thai sisters wear their hijab. I tend to wear mine like this if I have on a baggy shirt or I make the hijab bigger so it covers the breast area.


I found this pic on someone’s flickr blog and thought it was absolutely beautiful, mashallah. (If this is your photo and you don’t want it on your blog, please contact me and let me know).

Stunning!


I like the way she wrapped her hijab. Hmm…how did she get it to look so neat?

I will keep adding more hijab style to this post as I find them, insha’allah

It’s all about hijabs

When I first took shadadah in the 90’s there wasn’t an abundance of Islamic clothing sites or any Islamic clothing stores in my city. My friends and I, who had no sewing experience, used to go to the fabric store and buy material to “make hijabs”. I chuckle to myself when I think about how we’d buy hemming tape and iron down the edges, lol. During that time the only way a new, Jamerican Muslimah like myself could get a “real hijab” (i.e. one from overseas) was to rely on immigrant sisters to bring them from back home. Also, at that time hijab pins hadn’t made it on the scene so a sista was constantly buying safety pins which easily snagged on the fabric (thereby ruining it.)

So, after going through some changes and not wearing hijab for many years(another story in itself), I came back to find that there were so many different varieties of hijabs. There were different fabrics, colors, shapes, and types. What’s more, they were completely accessible to me. I could buy them online or I could go to a store and purchase them. With so much variety it’s often very confusing to figure out where to begin or what type of hijab to purchase. Fear not sisters, I am here to give my hijab advice. And trust me, I’ve tried ’em all…So I dedicate this post to the newly converted sisters, the sisters who are returning to wearing hijab, or putting it on for the first time.

The most common types of hijabs are:

The Al-Amirah Hijab or “two-piece hijabs”. It basically consists of an underscarf and tube-shaped piece you pull over it. (I usually wear these for working out). Al-Amirah hijabs tend to stop just above the chest. However, there are some that are longer.

-Similar to the Al-Amirah hijab you have the Kuwaiti hijabs which combine the shawl/oblong with the al-Amirah underscarf. I own a couple of these and what I like most is how they stay put throughout the day.

Square hijabs. This is basically a scarf that is folded into a triangle and placed on the head and then pinned under the chin. It can be wrapped several way but I prefer to wear mine like this. Not only does it cover my chest area but I like the way the fabric frames my face.

Triangle hijab. No need to fold or wrap this one. It’s already in a triangle and it is simply pinned under the chin. (I usually wrap it the same way I do the square hijab mentioned above).

Oblong or shawl styles hijabs which are rectangular in shape but can be wrapped around the head. Some sisters are so good at wrapping these that they don’t even need a mirror to put it on! I’m not one of those sisters. Though I tend to wear the square hijabs most often, when I do wear the oblong ones I find myself fixing it throughout the day. They don’t stay in place all day like the square ones. Some sisters don’t use any pins when they wear the oblong hijabs. This is another thing I can’t do. I usally pin it under my chin, wrap it around and then secure it with a stick pin which I place on the side.

As I mentioned you have so many different types of fabrics; chiffon, cotton, georgette, polyester, rayon, satin, lyrca-cotton combos, silk etc. One of the most frustrating things for me (if you haven’t guessed already) is when the hijab won’t stay put all day and constantly has to be readjusted. I also don’t like it when the hijab just won’t “lay right”. For this reason I like the georgette fabric . You really can’t see it in a picture but you can certainly feel the difference in the fabric. One type of hijab that I always find myself tugging on throughout the days are the Italian satin hijabs. They’re so pretty and sure to make an outfit look dressier but oh man…they slip and slide all day.

Similarly, there is much variety in terms of color. You have everything from the standard black to orange, green, ocean blue and everything in between. I’m not one of the sisters who believes in wearing only earth tones, black or white. I like colors (and most earth tones make me look sick. I stay away from beige, light olive, and certain browns.) Though I love black hijabs, for some reason people are more afraid of a Muslimah in black than in any other color. I usually won’t wear a black hijab if I have a presentation, am traveling, or attending an event for work. It really freaks people out! Anyhow, apart from the colors you have hijabs with embroidery, sparkles, fringe etc.

The way I see it, just because I have to be covered doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with it. I like to experiment with color, texture, fabric and style. I think the best way to end this post is to leave you with some pointers I’ve picked up along the way. (Feel free to add any in the comments section).

-Don’t use safety pins on light or delicate fabrics. Not only do they poke holes in the hijab but they can rip or snag it. I recommend using hijab pins.

-Consider different fabrics and their use for different situations. For instance, the Italian satin hijabs I mentioned above can be really hot in the summer time. I once wore one in South Florida in July. Big mistake!

-For my African-American, Caribbean, and African sisters: Don’t wear cotton hijabs or cotton under scarves on a regular basis. Also, be careful with the polyester and chiffon hijabs as well. They break our hair off. Most likely the friction from the fabric will thin out your hair around the temples and sides. I learned this the hard way. I was living on Organic Roots Stimulator’s Fertilizing Temple Balm. Oh, what a tragedy.

-Also, for my African-American, Caribbean, and African sisters: Wear a thin satin or silk underscarf with hijab. I went to the beauty supply store in the ‘hood and bought a “lady do rag” and small satin scarves that are used for bed time. Alhamdulillah, no more breakage. (And to think, my non-Muslim hair dresser was saying I shouldn’t wear hijab anymore, hmph).

-Use the shoe holders (that hang on the door) to keep your hijabs organized. I’ve found if I can’t see a hijab then I may forget I have it. This also prevents your hijabs from taking up space in your closet.

-When I lived in Florida, the sisters and I used to have “hijab swaps”. That is, we would bring the hijabs we normally don’t wear (or don’t like anymore) and trade them with each other. You’d be suprised at how much someone might appreciate the hijab you no longer wear.

-One trick I use is to not always wear the same hijab with a particular outfit. Apparently, people think you have on a different outfit if you switch the hijab. I thought this trick only worked on non-Muslims but it appears to work on Muslims too. I don’t know how many times sisters have asked me if I had on a new outfit when I just wore a different hijab with the outfit. (BTW, I always tell them it’s a different hijab not a new outfit).

Battling for hijab in a predominately Muslim country?

I find it utterly sad and disappointing when women have to fight to wear hijab in a predominately Muslim country. May Allah save us all.

Egypt anchorwomen battle for hijab
By Ranyah Sabry
BBC News, Cairo

The last four years in the lives of TV presenters Hala El Malki and Ghada El Tawil have been a continuous struggle brought about by their employers’ refusal to implement two court verdicts.
It all started in 2002 when the two presenters decided to wear the hijab head covering worn by many Muslim women.

But their employers objected and they were excluded from appearing on the state-run TV station where they work.

Believing that they had a right to appear on the screen the TV anchors took their case to the civil court. The court ruled in their favour and ordered they be returned to the screen in 2003.
When the state TV station refused to comply with the ruling, the two presenters went to the state court which also ruled in their favour in 2005. But again the station did not comply.

But last month, when they tried to force the station to abide by the earlier rulings, they were rebuffed, with the court saying it had already dealt with the case.

Dress code

The two anchorwomen now want to make their case an international affair, and are seeking out other jurisdictions through which they can fight for their rights.

“We will go as far as we have to, it is our right to wear the veil,” Ghada El Tawil told the BBC.

She says some 75% of Muslim women in Egypt wear the hijab and so the presenters are not trying to do anything out of the ordinary and there is certainly no political agenda.
“If I was a doctor or a university professor there would be no problem about me wearing a hijab on television, so why can’t I do it reading the news,” she said.

Human rights organisations say the presenters have a right to wear the veil in exercise of their personal freedom.

But there is some opposition on the streets of Cairo about whether veiled anchorwomen would be a good thing on Egyptian TV.

“I don’t like to see a presenter with a veil. Actually I hate to see my society going this direction. It is not Egypt, it is not my country, it is not my Egypt,” said one Cairo resident.

“This is a dress code they should stick to. If these anchors insist on the veil then she has to choose another job. Taking it to the international court will not solve anything,” said another.

During the past four years more than 30 female anchors working in state TV are thought to have chosen the veil at the expense of their jobs.

But if these two pioneers, Ms Malki and Ms Tawil, eventually return to the screen with their hijabs, the state broadcaster could find many others wanting to follow their example.

SOURCE

Review of Islamic clothing sites part 3

(from the Abaya Store)

The Abaya Store, Average abaya price $40, Average hijab price $10

This site ships from Malaysia. I didn’t know this and it doesn’t say it anywhere on the website. However, fear not! I ordered from them and received my abaya within two weeks. I love the fact that they have unique, colorful abayas we normally don’t see. I assure you, you won’t be able to find abayas like this anywhere else. There are two downsides though: (1)Their abayas tend to run rather small. The cut is smaller than the abayas that come from the Middle East. Though I normally wear a 2 or 3 in abayas size, I ordered an extra large and I’m very happy that I did. (2) They don’t seem to have an abundance of abayas. Right now they only have three colorful ones up. Insha’allah they’ll put up more soon.

eShakti, Average shalwar kameeze $50

This site is not a “Islamic” website but they have many modest pieces of clothing. I have their flared sleeve top and pants set. A good thing about this website is you have the choice between their ready-made clothing and custom made outfits (at no extra charge). Naturally, if you want a custom made outfit you have to have ALL of your measurements. (They walk you through how to measure each part of your body). I’m not one to wear shalwar kameezes too often- I find they’re not really made for someone shaped like me (you know, a Black woman’s shape). But this site gives me hope yet. In addition to the shalwars, they have shirts, skirts, jewelry and some very cute rompers. Insha’allah, one day I’m going to figure out how to “Islamize” this romper. It’s so cute! BTW, it takes 15 days for your order to ship.

GNL USA, Average skirt $15, Average pants $15, Average vest $25

This clothing provider is in desparate need of an update. I own a pin-stripped shirt/pants combo I purchased several years ago (which is classical and doesn’t go out of style) but most of their clothing is rather outdated. With the exception of this wrap floral vest, I personally don’t see much else worth ordering. Some time last year they sent out a survey to former customers asking what their clothing interests were and annoucing that they do plan to add new styles to their clothing line. Let’s hope so.

Islamic Fashion Center, Average abaya price $40, Casual wear $19

This website has very reasonably priced abayas. I met the site’s owner, a Puerto Rican sister, when I lived in Florida. She actually hand-delivered one of the abayas I was going to wear for my walimah. (Naturally I appreciated the gesture). They don’t have the most cutting-edge, fresh-off-the-runways-from-Dubai type of abayas but there are certainly some worth checking out. It appears as if they’re running out of their items and I’m not sure if they’re planning to restock or move on to something else. Insha’allah we’ll see.

Primo Moda, Average shirt $50, Average sport suit $85, average suit $95

I’ve browsed this website back and forth for almost a year before I finally ordered anything. I had been to their booth at the ISNA conference and I didn’t think the clothing quality was worth the price they were asking. (Apparently I wasn’t the only one because I didn’t see a lot of traffic near their booth). Several weeks ago I finally purchased a pink version of this: linen outfit (mine was a skirt shirt combination). I like it because it’s simple and elegant. This site has two sections I often don’t see on Islamic clothing sites, one for formal attire and another for sports wear. Though I’ve never purchased anything from their formal section, I do own a pink version of this outfit which I purchased the from Canadian Muslim. It’s very comfortable…so “Islamically fly”.

SYJC and Just Long Shirts, Shirt prices ranges from $21.00-$58.

As the website title mentions, all you find here are long shirts. The only shirt I’ve ordered so far from this site is their Black accent tee. True to their word, the shirt is long. (Since I’m only 5 foot 2, the shirt actually comes to just under my knees). If you want to wear jeans with a slimmer leg (and you’re short like me) then their shirts are perfect. I imagine the shirt would fall a little above the knee for taller sisters. They ship from Canada.

Reviewing Islamic clothing sites part 2

Artizara, Average shirt price $60, Average skirt price $50

Again, I know what you’re thinking. Expensive! Something I failed to mention in my previous post is that I don’t shop at any one site for all of my clothing. I buy “pieces”, as my friend Indiigo likes to call them. I can’t offer an honest critique of Artizara since I just bought something from them last week. The shirt (pictured above) was something I really wanted. I spent days trying to decide whether I wanted to spend the $54.99 plus $5.00 shipping costs. My co-worker finally encouraged me to buy it based on the condition that I would not buy anything else for another month. (I’m not sure if I’ll be able to abide by those conditions). Anyhow, I love the entire outfit the model has on and can see myself stepping in it all now. Since I’m not buying anything for another month *giggles* I guess I’ll have to wait on the gold or bronze shoes.

Al Hannah, Average abaya price $43, Average hijab price $10:

I haven’t ordered clothing from this site in a very long time. It wasn’t like I had any problem with them. Their prices are very reasonable and their customer service was decent. I just find some of their clothing to be rather plain and kind of geared toward older Muslimahs (or those who want to dress in a simple manner.) Not the fashion divas like myself, lol. I do have it in my mind to buy another beaded and tasseled hijab which I haven’t seen anywhere else. This site has some great accesories like hijab pins, henna, underscarves and even this great product for performing istinja, called the brig wudu. No more plant waterers or cups in the bathroom! Anyhow, this site also has great beauty products like Bakhour, oils, and even Middle Eastern sugar wax (a product I’ve yet to try but heard is excellent for hair removal).

Al Ikhlas, Average abaya price $50, Average hijba price $12:

I bought my Eid-ul-Adha outfit from this website last year. It was very comfortable, of great quality and the price wasn’t too bad either. (I bought it in orange). I haven’t ordered anything else from them though I frequently visit the site to see what new clothing items she has. A board member for the oganization I work with asked me if I wanted to attend the Ebony Fair event next month, insha’allah. I told her yes but now I’m looking for something to wear. (I KNOW you can’t go to a Black fashion show looking shabby- esp. when it’s being sponsored by the AKAs.) I’ve been thinking about ordering this shalwar kameez for the event…I’m not sure yet. But as far as Al Ikhlas concerned, so far so good.

Crescent Moon Boutique, Average pants set $45, average dress $40, Average shirt price a mere $21(!)

I read about this sister in Azizah Magazine a couple years back. Her prices are reasonable and as I recall, she’s an African-American Muslimah who started this site because she felt frustrated when she couldn’t find modest but stylish clothing to wear to work. I remember vigourously nodding my head as I was reading the article. SO far I’ve only purchased one shirt and a couple hijabs from the site (for all of my head nodding). They were of good quality and didn’t fade or come apart after several washings. Insha’allah I plan to support this sister. I’m in need of a white button down shirt (a staple for working Muslimahs) and she has one for $21! Insha’allah I will order one next week…I mean next month *wink*

Islamic Boutique, Avergae abaya price $50

I have to say that I really liked the two abayas I purchased from this site. (One of them was a thick, cotton, sporty hooded abaya that looks like a track suit.) I have yet to order anything else from them even though my mouth has been watering over this abaya for two years! What’s the problem you ask? The shipping! It’s around $20! I’m not the greatest at math but add $20 to a $64 abaya and it equals TOO MUCH MONEY. (And the shipping costs go up the more you order). To make matters worse, the clothing ships from Egypt and the sellers claim the item to be much cheaper than you bought it for when it passes through customs. (Maybe I’m wrong but I think they’re saying it’s cheaper so they can avoid paying a heavy customs tax on it). Meanwhile, you’re paying $20 in shipping costs for an item that they’re telling customs is $25 or so.
There’s another site which I think is affliated with Islamic Boutique called 2 Hijab whom I’ve ordered from that does the same thing. Again, I was practically salivating over this abaya but I can’t do the $20 shipping cost with the same shady customs declaration as the aformentioned site. It’s too bad because they have some nice abaays and hijabs.

Modesty for less or Rebirth of Chic, Average skirt price $60

Given the website’s name one would think their clothing is relatively inexpensive. However, they have some very expensive clothing on their site. (And I’m not sure if the clothing quality is worth the price either). The one skirt I did order from them is on sale for $60! Before they changed their website and the prices of their clothing went up, I paid around $30 for it. When the skirt arrived, I rushed to try it on and my STB ex-husband told me I looked like a belly dancer, lol. He thought the skirt was too shiny and suggested I take some of the sequins off of it. My inital reaction was to argue with him but as I looked in the mirror I had to admit he was right. It really was too much bling. So, over the course of three days I spent an hour or so taking off some of the sequins with a seam ripper. It’s still blinging but not enough to blind you. Here is the skirt I’m talking about. I actually like it.

The Hijab Shop, Average abaya price £31.95, Average hijab price range from £4.95 to £8.95 (I’m being lazy so you do the conversion):

Friends of mine in the UK were raving about a British clothing company called Silk Route and their abayas. I finally found a site that had carried their clothing and it turned out to be The Hijab Shop. So I ordered two abayas; one that looks like you have a t-shirt on over a dress (though it’s all connected) and another one that is made of a wind breaker type material with a hood (the perfect sporty outfit). Unfortunately, the sporty one didn’t fit me (even though I ordered the largest one and checked the measurements several times). I contacted The Hijab Shop via email asking them how I could return the item. No one ever responded. After countless unreturned emails I decided to ship the item back to their mailing address with the recepit and a copy of the emails I sent. For weeks I emailed them asking them if they ever received the abaya and when I was going to get my money returned to me. No one EVER responded. Naturally, I was upset. To this day I don’t know if they received the outfit and no one ever acknowledged my emails. So if you’re not in the U.K. then I don’t think it’s a good idea to order from this company unless you’re sure the clothing will fit. Hmph.

Reviewing Islamic Clothing Sites Part 1

Sisters often ask me where I find most of my clothing and I give them an answer many of them don’t want to hear- online. Trust me, I know why some people are hesitant to buy anything online; concerns about identity theft, concerns about finding the right fit, wondering what to do if your item arrives and you don’t like it etc. All legitimate concerns. I always buy clothing from secure websites, check my bank account almost everyday and review return/exchange policies before buying anything from a site. It’s very handy to have yourself measured and to save those measurements so you can use them as a guide. If necessary, you can email the clothing store’s customer service and ask them what the measurements are for an item. Beyond that, it’s really trial and error. (That’s why it’s important to know the store’s return policy). Here is a review of the clothing sites I’ve actually bought clothing from:

Al-Farah Islamic Clothing, Average shirt cost $24, Average skirt cost $39:

I like Al-Farah. I find their clothing prices to be very reasonable. If you’re looking for long button down shirts then you’ve found the right place. I also like their stylish but modest skirts. They have several different types of dusters. Those can be rather pricy but I think they’re worth it. I bought a denim duster which I wear as a dress. The quality of the denim is excellent. (I hate those 80’s-looking denim jlibabs some people try to pass off as ‘stylish denim’). Unfortunately, they don’t have the one I bought anymore. But they do have a gray one (which is one sale right now) that I’ve wanted for a long time.

Al Muhajabat Islamic Clothing, Average abaya price $60:

Since I discovered the site in 2001, I’ve only bought two abayas from them. I found the $60 price tag to be a little too steep for the type of abayas they’re selling. (I mean, there’s nothing spectacular about them worth spending $60 on). However, they have a decent selection of tunics, shirts and sometimes skirts as well. My advice is if you see a skirt or shirt you like, then you should purchase it if you have the money, insha’allah. They tend to go fast. Otherwise, I usually wait for them to have a sale and see if there’s anything I like. They have really great accessories like hijab pins and under scarves. If you ever have to return anything they will not reimburse you for shipping and they don’t do in store credit. (BLAH).

E-Jilbab, Average abaya $60, Average Jilbab $64

I’ve ordered from this site on occasion. They don’t have the absolute best quality clothing but they’re decent. I love their hijabs though. Esp. the shawl style hijabs. They’re creative and cutting edge. I generally order hijabs if there’s an abaya or jilbab pants combination I really want (since you’re required to spend at least $50). They ship from Amman, Jordan and have a U.S. location. BUT, I’ve had some trouble with them when I’ve wanted to return something. It basically took me a month to get my money back even though the U.S. location confirmed that they received it. I emailed them several times before anyone responded. They gave me a half-baked apology after I threatened to never order from them again. A week after I received my money they sent me a 50% off code on my next purchase so I can say they successfully wooed me back. *smile* I just try to make sure the item is going to fit otherwise I don’t order from them if I have any doubts.

Jelbab.com or Sajeda International, Average jilbab $80, Average abaya $60

First off, I have to say I love the fact that they alter abayas and jilbabs for you. It takes at least $10 off the overall costs. Sajeda always makes quality jilbabs and abayas so you won’t be disappointed. They frequently have sales where there are no shipping costs in addition to the discounted clothing price. I don’t think I’ve ever paid the average costs of their abayas or jilbabs. I usually wait for the sale and then order. They have the latest accessories including brooches, under scarves, and hijab pins. They were the first ones to have the new stick hijab pins with the dangling pieces (a bad description but I don’t know what else to call them, lol). Their clothing ships from Amman, Jordan but if you ever need to return something they have a U.S. location to ship it to. They don’t pay for shipping though. Also, if you have an abaya altered you can forget about returning it. They won’t accept it. I found that out the hard way and eventually had to sell the abaya on EBay.

Marabo Online, Average skirt cost $50:

I read an article about the maker of this clothing line in the Washington Post. I was impressed by this sister’s ambition so I went to check out her site. I eventually ordered her Wool herringbone skirt which I absolutely love. It fits nicely and I didn’t have to alter it. (As us short people often have to do). I can’t speak for the quality of all of her clothing but the skirt I ordered was of excellent quality and insha’allah I think I’ll have it for a long time. I’m waiting to see what she has in store for her spring collection. Also, the sister did a great job answering my questions about the sizes and lengths of her skirts. Masha’allah she was very honest with me and didn’t try to trick me into ordering her clothing. (She even warned me not to buy it if I was over a certain height).

Shukronline, Average Pants price $50, Average shirt price $50, Average dress price $70 (happens to be my favorite Islamic clothing site):

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, they’re very expensive. I agree. However, their clothing quality is EXCELLENT. I have a couple shirts that I bought in 2001 and they still look brand new. Several months ago I spent a whopping $80 on a dress (as painful as it was). Not only does the dress fit well but it looks nice and is very comfortable. Again, excellent quality! Shukronline has THEE best clothing return policy. You don’t have to give them a bunch of reasons why you don’t like an item. (I’ve returned a pair of pants because I didn’t like the color). And they reimburse you for the shipping! In fact, once you’ve sent your delivery confirmation number to them they usually will send you a store credit within one day. TRUE STORY: Last year I bought two pairs of pants and a shirt from them. UPS left the package by the front door of my apartment complex. (Where at least 150 people live)! When I contacted Shukronline about it they were very nice and immediately gave me a store credit. I was very pleased.

The Canadian Muslim, Average abaya $70

This site is very expensive. Seventy dollars for an abaya plus shipping! Crazy. I’ve only ordered from them twice and both times they were abayas I really, really wanted. (One was a sporty abaya made with the mesh material usually found on basketball shorts) Insha’allah, unless they come down on the price I won’t be ordering from them any time soon. For the record, they do have some pretty decent sales. I wanted their denim suede abaya but I can’t bring myself to pay over $100 for it. I love it but no thanks.