Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beating the heat while being modest

 Summer can be an ordeal for us ladies who choose to dress modestly. There are the obvious physical discomforts of being hot but there are some other less obvious discomforts that come from the judgements of others. I feel like people don't pay as much attention to modest dress in the winter but as soon as summer hits I always seem to get a lot of questions about how can I stand to dress like that and why don't I stop or does my husband force me to cover. The best solution I have for the summer grilling (cheesy summer pun :) ) is to answer questions with total honesty. I choose to dress the way I do because it is a religious requirement and following my religion is a choice I freely make. I feel more comfortable covered than I do exposed.  When summer comes the heat may make it a little more difficult but modesty is a year round requirement and I do try to carefully choose my clothing so that I will be pretty comfortable even on those hot summer days.
   That brings me to the whole beating the heat portion of my post :). Like I just said one of the most important things you can do to keep cool when it is roasting outside is to choose the fabrics and fits you wear carefully. I tend to steer towards loose cotton garments. I love cotton because it is breathable which is a lifesaver in the summer. I also tend to size up my garments in the summer. A true to size abaya from Khimar would be a medium for me and that could work year round but  I like even a little extra room in the summer so I get plenty of airflow.

  Another thing I like to do is opt for lighter colors when I can. Lighter colors are cooler and also can really give you the look and feel of summer.
. . .a little lighter. . . .
 . . or a lot ;).
I also like to apply the same principle to my hijabs. I tend to choose lighter or brighter colors and I definitely go for lighter weight fabrics. I pack up those heavy pashminas and bring out the cottons and viscose hijabs.
   Sometimes on really hot days I just totally opt out of wearing an underscarf and try to create looser styles that still give me the coverage I want. I tend to save all of the layered or fancy hijab styles for the winter or special occasions and go very soft and easy in the warmer weather.
   One thing that is super obvious (and yet I often plan wrong ;) ) is to dress for whatever it is you plan to be doing. A really nice fitted sleeve abaya might be perfect for  a day at the mall or lunch with friends or a day at the office but might serve as a human crock pot if you are watching your kids soccer game or are spending a day at the beach. So it is really nice to have both casual and more dressed up options. Sometimes just having a casual breezy look makes me feel more comfortable. I don't get as hung up about moving around freely or worried about something getting spilled on me. A relaxed outfit can really relax my mood on a casual day.

     I also like to travel with a trusty water bottle wherever I go. I cool drink of water is a miracle worker in keeping you cool and in keeping you healthy. My mom likes to freeze her water bottles so they will thaw out little by little wherever she goes and she will always have a really brisk drink to keep her cool.
    I do my best to beat the heat in the middle of summer. Plus, I always like to keep in mind that if it is heat wave outside then pretty much everyone else is hot too.  . . and hey I might just be cooler in my loose flowing abaya than the girl in a tank top and skinny jeans. (I don't know how anyone wears tight jeans in the summer because that makes me hot and uncomfortable just thinking about it :)) Keep calm cool and covered ladies :D.


  1. Love it. I also don't know how people wear tight jeans or a tank top. Even though the sun feels lovely on your skin you actually feel hotter.I love to wear linen, even though ironing is a nightmare at times. Its ashame you dont do any linen jilbaabs.

    Also recently talk about lack of vitamin D in muslim has been a bit of concern for me, not that im thinking of unconvering. Just wanted your personal thoughts on this matter.

    1. Salaam. First I would like to let you know that we love linen too and are currently sampling linen to find the perfect fabric to suit our styles as well as provide maximum comfort and quality. We are really excited about all of the new designs we are working on so please keep checking back to see our new designs and fabrications.
      The Vitamin D question is a pretty interesting one. After reading your question I have started considering devoting a post to this topic in the near future. From what I understand it is relatively easy to get the amount of Vitamin D you need. If you are fairer you can get Vitamin D from the sunlight very quickly. If your body is covered and your face is showing you can still get Vitamin D from the sunlight. If you wear niqab it can become more complicated, particularly if you have a deeper skin tone. One simple solution is that if you stay covered throughout the course of your day in public life then if you happen to have a private outdoor space at home or somewhere you can simply take a few minutes and enjoy some outside time there. In the summer it only takes a few minutes of sun times in a day to get enough vitamin D. It does take longer in colder months and colder climates. Also, on the upside Vitamin D can be found in fish, and dairy products and grains are often fortified with vitamin D and small amounts of vitamin D occur naturally in eggs, mushrooms and beef liver (:P). If you have a serious concern you could even discuss it with your doctor and see if a supplement is right for you. I think the consensus seems to be that sunlight is one of the best ways to get Vitamin D and that the amount you need is only a few minutes a day generally. Vitamin D deficiency is a concern not only for Muslim woman but can be a concern for lots of different groups. Darker skinned people absorb less vitamin D from sun exposure, People who spend most of their time indoors or don't take in much vitamin d in their diet as well as people who use a sunblock everyday (I actually do think a sunblock is a really great idea for protecting your skin in general.) I am not a physician but I hope some of that helps some. :D



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