A few years ago, modest dressing was a term stereotyped for the way religious women dressed, covering themselves from head to toe. Modesty and fashion were entirely incongruent in many minds. Today, however, the fashion market has become saturated with new and changing styles, many of which happen to be both modest and trendy, worn by both religious and non-religious women alike. So, how is modesty perceived today – as a trend or a wider lifestyle?
Modest wear today has evolved to become a global phenomenon inclusive of people from all religious and cultural backgrounds. Modesty and fashion have come together seamlessly, and one reason for the growth of the trend is the large number of young influencers promoting the ideas of fashionable modesty, cultural diversity, and inclusion through social media. Modest fashion influencers have fueled this campaign of modest dressing, pointing out a niche in the global fashion market that isn’t as small as retailers may have once deemed it to be. Modest fashion is booming, and the retail category is expected to be worth more than $300 billion by 2021.
This evolution in the industry has resulted in mass market brands becoming more conscious of the needs of modest fashion consumers – they’re now designing for a gap in the market that had been previously overlooked for years. In addition to this, they are also growing aware of the many diverse approaches to modest fashion. Countless have defined modest clothing to be about headscarves and other Middle Eastern attire. However, the growing demand within this newfound culture has shown otherwise. People of all ages, religions, and cultures can identify with the idea of modest dressing, each with their own definition of modesty.
A trend can be defined as something attracting and increasing in popularity through the medium of social media, in a short period. A large number of people are now speaking about the trend of modest fashion and are following it, some perhaps without the appropriate knowledge of where modesty is rooted. Modest fashion may also be interpreted as another trend in the fashion industry that was created by influencers, however, it has a much deeper history and ideology behind it. This modest fashion campaign should not be appropriated as just a trend for brands to market and gain profit from. Modest fashion may have different interpretations, nonetheless, it is a choice of dressing that has cultural, religious, and personal connotations behind it that deserve to be highlighted and respected. Mass market brands such as H&M, are becoming more open to diversifying their product offerings and are creating more modesty-conscious designs within their ranges, and this is a step in the right direction. Modest fashion should be marketed as a part of everyday life, rather than just a trend.
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