It’s that time of the year again when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and everyone is outside enjoying the gorgeous weather.
Everyone except me…I’m more like a vampire clinging to the shade hissing at the rays of the sun lest I burn from the heat.
\Well I used to be like that..I’m better now..kinda
After many many years of wearing the hijab (since I was in grade 4 Allhumdullillah) I think I’ve finally mastered the art of surviving the summer’s heat while wearing a hijab and dressing modestly..and the fact that super chic stores like Salam Shop, Dara Boutique and Modah opened up in the GTA really really help!
Back in my day (I’m going to have an aunty moment here) the only options we had for hijabs were these thick cotton triangles with 3 inch trims of lace or these silk squares that looked more like tablecloths .Anyone else have to suffer those? I didn’t even bother with safety pins- I would simply tie the two ends under my chin in a huge knot and I was off walking barefoot to school uphill both ways of course . Problem was I used to love hanging upside down on the monkey bars- you can imagine what happened next- wish the magnetic hijab pins were available back then.
Ever notice how hijabis back in the day would dress like thugs? We didn’t choose the thug life- the thug life chose us. Over sized mens sweatshirts and wide leg jeans were the only clothing items that met the halal criteria! Things are so much easier nowadays Allhumdullillah- you can choose between material, print, size, style and accessories..I just wish these options were available back when I had disposable income!
The Hot Hijabi’s guide to Surviving the Summer Heat
When choosing an outfit on a sweltering day, you need to consider three things:
- it is not form fitting
- it is not transparent
it is made out of fabrics that don’t trap heat
the fabric is breathable
Hijabi’s represent Islam- look good please!
Islam dictates that our clothes should be loose and not form fitting which happens to be perfect for summer dressing. Loose clothes help air circulate through out your body and keep you cool. Tight clothes will trap moisture and body heat causing you to sweat and smell.
Fabrics that are breathable and light weight are ideal for hot temperatures. A fabric’s breathe-ability is determined by how fine the thread is and how loosely its woven together. To verifying if a fabric is lightweight, its really just as simple as picking it up – it should be light!
Good news: contrary to popular belief, baring your skin in the sun is actually not a good idea. Long sleeves and covering your body not only protect your skin from the suns harmful rays but they actually act as a barrier against the suns heat as well. When it comes to the sun less (clothes) is more harmful.
Let’s start from the head to the toe…
Hat: if you’re going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time you should definitely wear a hat for protection from the suns’ harsh rays.
A visor is excellent for a casual look. I looooove fedoras with hijab..they’re so elegant. Definitely opt for a wide brimmed hat for a more feminine look.
Look for sunglasses with 100 % UV (Ultra violet) rays protection and some HEV (High-energy visible) ray protection. Regardless of the latest fashion trend, make sure you cover your entire eye area. Eye protection from the sun is very important- and squinting causes premature wrinkles.
Your hijab should be a light airy material. You can find many cotton hijabs that are not transparent yet are light and breathable.
– light colours reflect the light and are excellent for the summer heat
– dark colours absorb heat
Dara boutique is an online hijab and clothing store “Designed with the Modern Muslim in mind”. They have hundreds of chic and modest hijabs, fully lined skirts and dresses on their website. Not only do they ship worldwide but they do FREE DELIVERY within the GTA (Greater Toronto Area)! What I love about their hijabs (besides the price and free delivery) is that they are so light and breathable without being see through!
The internet is swarming with gorgeous hijab styles that are perfect for summer.Opt for styles that are not tightly wrapped around your head or face. If possible, avoid wearing the underneath head cap (you may need to hold off on the bangs until summer’s over). Your body needs to be able to breathe- the looser your hijab, the less suffocated you’ll feel. Also, avoid pinning your hijab directly under your chin-pinning it above your ear will allow your neck and face to breathe better. Here’s a few of my favourites that I Pinned to my Pinterest Board:
Now the tricky part….
I picked up a navy blue hijab from the fashion caravan. Its a combination of two of my favourite fashion choices : navy blue and pearls.
If you can find long sleeve shirts made out of linen or cotton -kudos to you. Otherwise you can improvise and still come up with cute heat friendly outfits.
Long summer dress with cardigan OR Long skirt, tank top & cardigan
I used to be one of those people who’s wardrobe didn’t change too much from winter to summer. I’d wear a summer dress but pair it with a sweater cardigan..unfortunately I had no choice- I could never find anything decent looking to cover my arms with. When people would ask me “aren’t you hot?” I would defiantly wipe the sweat from my face and pretty much lie “no, are you?”..hot is a relative term right? So technically maybe kinda not lying?
It’s the hijabi code– even if you’re sweating bullets you DO NOT admit that you’re hot It’s the hijabi code– even if you’re sweating bullets you DO NOT admit that you’re hot.
Allhumdullillah there’s so many cardigans available in light jersey and cotton fabrics! I buy as many as I can in all colours whenever I see them. I’ve found them at H&M, Bluenotes and Forever 21.
Modah is an Islamic Lifestyle shop conveniently located next to all my favourite halal restaurants in Mississauga. They are my go-to place for hijab pins– I have about 50 if you don’t take into consideration the 95 I lost. My latest obsession at that store is their one piece sleeves.
Is this greatest invention since sliced bread you ask? Pretty much they are long sleeves attached together from the upper back/shoulder area. They’re excellent for outfits that have see-through sleeves or no sleeves at all. Instead of wearing an entire shirt underneath your sleeveless outfit, you can avoid looking bulky and over heating yourself by wearing extra fabric on your arms! May Allah reward whoever came up with it!!!
So now we have more options for summer outfits!
I have a large collection of tanktops or sleeveless shirts that I wear under cardigans in the winter..as long as they’re loose I can pair them with the one piece sleeve.
Wear the sleeve first, then slip your tank/t-shirt over top. Voila! A long complete top without the added bulk and heat trap.
Yaaay Plazzo pants are in fashion!
They’re so perfect, light, airy and not form fitting. Modah carries some from the Montreal based Modesty collection .
I used to wear tights/leggings under my skirts and dresses in the summer- bad idea! Nothing traps sweat and heat like spandex and elastic materials. Unfortunately most skirts either have no lining or are see through in the sun making it necessary to wear something under them.
Slips– simply wear them under your skirts and dresses to ensure full coverage.
Shilwaar’s – I know it sounds ghetto fabulous but trust me this is a very good tip. The pant piece of South Asian outfits are called shilwaar’s. I have some in neutral colours that are cut more like a trouser- I wear them under my skirts and dresses. Try it before you judge! lol..just hike it up a little higher than normal and then enjoy the heat without exposing your legs or being uncomfortable.
Fully Lined Skirts- Modah has a gorgeous collection of fully lined skirts in summery prints. It’s such a good feeling to pick up a piece of clothing and only worry about whether or not it will fit you. Alhumdullillah gone are the days when I used to hold clothes up to the light to check to see if its transparent or worry about it being too form fitting. These trendy Muslim designers have taken a huge stress out of shopping.
I know, I know this post is really long- I’m waiting for my little sister to text me about it any second now! But there was lots to be said on this topic.
I know there’s a lot of new hijabis about to embark on their first summer while hijabi-Insha’Allah this post will make things easier for them.
Just remember the hijabi code and the fact that you have more options than tablecloths, triangles and the thug life.
I know it’s overly optimistic to assume this post will solve all your summer heat issues but we are so blessed to be part of a religion wherein we are rewarded by our intentions. Allah is aware of every single hardship we encounter for His cause and He SWT is absolutely the most gracious. Every time you choose the modest outfit over the skimpier one, every drop of sweat that trickles down your back, every strange glance you get at the beach..Allah will reward you!