Clothing rules for Muslims have long been the subject for debate, especially when it comes to the restrictions that have been placed on Muslim women. Those who wish to adhere closely to the faith can find it difficult to shop for clothing, since most Western designers and clothing retailers do not carry the kind of clothing that Muslim women need to stay within the confines of the religion. What it comes down to are three options for Muslim women who are looking for new clothes.
The most obvious place, and the place that other women would go to, are traditional department or retail stores. This store typically have the biggest selections of clothing, and if anywhere was going to have what a Muslim woman was looking for, this would be the place to look. The problem is that there are few places in the United States where there is a concentrated enough Muslim population for retail stores to bother carrying Muslim clothing. This means that Muslim women have to adapt Western clothing and designs for their purposes, with often disastrous results. The clothing does not fit well, it does not look good on the woman’s body and there is not much in the way of selection. In terms of price, if the woman can find clothing that will fit reasonably well, this is a good option, but it is by no means ideal.
Because the internet has made the world such a small place, and now people can buy from any company they want to from all over the world, Muslim women have greater access to Muslim clothing vendors and shops. These companies provide the very best in Muslim apparel and they are usually located in places with a large Muslim population and strong ties to traditional Muslim culture. Online shops give Muslim women the greatest selection when they decide to go shopping, and the shops can offer competitive pricing when compared to a regular retail outlet. Unfortunately there are some problems that can come when shopping for clothing online. Stores may have difficult return policies, and clothing can be hard to fit without trying it on. In addition, customers run into the problem of shopping at a store that is located overseas, underestimating the amount of time and money that it will take to get the garments sent internationally.
The final place where Muslim women can find the clothing that they want is to have the items made by a seamstress. This gives the customer total control over the design and the fabrics, and the garments will be made to match the size requirements of the customer. This is perfect for special occasions and formal events, where a unique dress or outfit is needed, but it is cost prohibitive to purchase all of one’s clothing from a seamstress. Women can decide to make the clothing on their own and do all of the work themselves. This will save a lot of money, but the amount of labor involved can be daunting and not worth the effort in the long run.
Muslim women will find that their options for clothes shopping are a little more limited than women who are not dressing to Islamic clothing restrictions. It is important to dress appropriately and to find garments that will make the woman look good, and that is something that takes Muslim women in the West a lot longer to do than it does Western women.
I am Nyasia Jalil, and I am the mother of three teenage daughters living in South Carolina. We do not have a Muslim store in our area, and we often feel cut off from other members of our faith, but I have always believed that it was important to keep practicing Islam in our home. A few months ago I was looking for Islamic clothing for my daughters and I stumbled across Artizara (www.artizara.com). They are an Islamic clothing based here in the United States and they had all of the garments that I needed for myself and my daughters. I highly recommend them to any woman who is struggling to find suitable clothing.