On Trend: Modest Fashion Goes Mainstream


Just in time for wedding season, Ramadan, Eid and alllll the summer events, we’re checking out modest clothes that are timely and on-trend (plus, some on sale). Want to know what to wear to an Iftar? Read on.

SO, last fall when, while perusing The New Yorker at the airport and waiting to board, I stumbled upon Batsheva Hay Rethinks the Traditions of Feminine Dress and was super-intrigued. The article details how “Inspired by Victorian, Amish, and Hasidic styles, the New York designer’s clothing is both subversive and coveted.” I was enthralled. It’s not necessarily so much that Hay’s clothing goes against the grain, but more so the timing — and the context — within which she’s designing.

“We’ve been coming off years of just almost no clothing,” said designer and writer Christopher Niquet. “We thought that was the last frontier, and then we went into basically no clothes at all.” But it is perhaps no coincidence that this “super-conservative trendy thing,” as one stylist put it, has taken off at a moment when the dynamics of sexual power are being dramatically questioned. Niquet, relayed that, two years ago, “people said these were ‘Don’t f*** me’ kind of clothes, but it was said like an insult.” Now, he said, “I think it’s a little bit more of a badge of honor.”

Modest Clothing Goes Fashion Forward

I sent the article to S, and knew it would come in handy eventually. When I heard Michel Martin and Asma Khalid discuss the new online retailer The Modist on All Things Considered, I knew a trend was rising. Asma points out how much the clothes bring her joy.

It’s called The Modist, and it’s sort of brand image style is that it’s trying to present, quote-unquote, “modest clothing” to women. But it’s very aspirational kind of luxury fashion. So, in all candor, I can probably afford, like, 1 percent of the stuff on their website. But it’s very aspirational…So I am a Muslim, and I do wear a headscarf. But I should preface this by saying that the site itself I think is very clearly non-denominational. And so they will highlight sometimes Muslim women, but they’ll often highlight pictures of Kate Middleton.”

I recently checked out The Modist. The founder, Ghizlan Guenez, fills a non-denominational niche inspired by a Muslim upbringing: “35% of her business understandably comes from the Middle East, while another 35% comes from the United States, and the remainder 30% comes from the rest of the world, of which 15% is from the UK.”

Let’s just put this out there — the pieces on The Modist are FUN. It is pricey — after all, it’s couture and super-cosmopolitan. But it seems like an easy go-to for someone who prefers modest clothing, or for others who have big events and need statement pieces. They also have some curated edits — Vacation, Wedding, Ramadan, Street Style, Workwear (seriously pretty blouses + pants suits) — if you know what you’re looking for. It seems like THE place to shop online when you need to add some classy drama to your outfit (or wardrobe). 

*Sale Alert: Currently The Modist has a ton of pieces on sale for 40% -50% off! Trust me — I’ve been watching it for months, and sales are rare.

The Modist: For Cosmopolitan, Covered Up & Statement Pieces

So, the items here show you just a small range of the pieces The Modist has to offer. From bright and funky to super-glam and demure — you’re covered. PLUS — the descriptions of these pieces are the best — words to make you swoon — and buy some high-fashion. There’s everything from streetwear-chic to the most glammy-glam couture you could dream of. Whether you’ve been invited to a Ramadan Iftar or an Eid al-Fitr celebration, need something dramatic to wear to your 25-year reunion, are attending a wedding, or just need some solid investment pieces to upgrade your daily wardrobe, The Modist is good for all those things. Don’t forget to check out IRO’s metallic leather pants, because why not (and they’re 40% off)? BTDubs — we know the prices are high. This is couture — runway, designer, sustainable, upmarket — but these are TRUE investment pieces, long-lasting and special-occasion worthy. And even if they’re not in your budget — they are so much freakin’ fun to look at. Enjoy!

Dresses & Jumpsuits on The Modist

Pants & Jeans on The Modist

I’m not including all the lamé  trousers from your wildest dreams here, but there are many…like these silver ones.

Jackets & Skirts on The Modist

Tops & Blouses on The Modist

Shoes & Accessories on The Modist

Ramadan Edit on The Modist


There my friends, is the rare schmata commentary you’ll get from me (actually, you’ll get a bit more this weekend). I hope you peruse The Modist, and don’t forget to check out Batsheva Hayyou can shop her dresses here. Such good stuff.


PS: Don’t forget to check out our SUPER-comprehensive Memorial Day Sales Page!

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Lex is our resident nerd, watchful editor & Chief Innovation Officer. Voted most likely to win BIG on Jeopardy!, she keeps us ahead of the curve, whether in mapping out strategy that has us dropping content at the moment you’re Googling for it, or branching us out into new channels/ media & letting us know what trends are giving. If you sit in on any meeting, you’ll often hear the phrase, “Ok, so Lex was right…” With her own personal style (boots, dresses, scarves), she doesn’t consider herself a fashionista, but she is keeping us #well #sustainable #empathetic #inclusive #current #DownToEarth & #OpenMinded; her wisdom ranges from yoga home practice & Feng Shui-ing an apartment, to living overseas & crushing analytics.

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  1. Thanks so much for this post! I love The Mom Edit but I live in the Middle East and a LOT of the fashion featured is impractical for the culture here. Keep the diversity in fashion coming!!!

    • Thanks, Rachel! So good to hear this is useful to you. BTW…I have a “what to wear in….” post in the works, but was debating on making it for the Middle East, or specific to Dubai — which is where I lived for three years. Where do you live? I know what to wear in Dubai would translate to a few other places (including Lebanon & Turkey, though they’re not not ME), but not all or even most of the Middle East. I think if I make it “in Dubai”, people will be able to figure where it applies, but do you have any thoughts? Would love your input. xo, Lex

  2. This post!! Those clothes!! Alexis- I love your posts. I love that you are finding your voice on TME. I love that your viewpoint is a just a little different and one never knows what you are going to write about or share with us. Please don’t stop!!!

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