Why is it so hard to shop for modest clothing? For one thing, there are little to no brands that offer hundred percent modest clothes. But it shouldn’t be hard to dress stylish – regardless of faith, belief, and religion.
Fortunately, the incorrect notion that modest dressers are not interested in upscale, chic fashion is slowly fading away. The modest fashion industry is currently valued at $270B! And that only includes religious dressers. Plenty of people dress modestly for religious reasons while others simply prefer the modest clothing look.
Popular brands are starting to incorporate modest styles in their line-ups – offering tons of variety for various modest outfits and styles. The previous lack of modest pieces in the industry also gave rise to independent shops and brands that provide 100% modest clothing from swimwear, office wear, daily wear, and formal wear.
By all means, modest dressers should have the same opportunity to express themselves through fashion. To help you fill your wardrobe with pieces that suit your lifestyle and/or personal faith, I listed a few of my favorite modest brands and shops that offer stylish and appropriate clothing.
Ready to dress modestly and still look cute? Let’s hop in!
Essential Pieces For A Modest Wardrobe
Before we get on to the brands, I would like to drop the most essential pieces for a modest wardrobe. If you already have the basics (a black maxi skirt, plain tunic top, etc), then by all means keep them! Below are just a couple of other pieces that can add variety to your wardrobe no matter what your personal style is.
Knee Length Pencil Skirt
A knee-length pencil skirt is one of the best basic pieces that you can collect in your office wear wardrobe or anywhere you want to look more presentable. Its tailored and versatile design gives structure to any outfit.
Ideally, knee-length clothing is paired with opaque tights. This allows more coverage to the lower part of the body. During the cold months, you can wear a skirt with black ankle boots to balance the silhouette of the body.
A favorite modest piece of mine is a long dress, perfect for layering. A layering dress can look inappropriate if worn alone. It may come in a plunging neckline and thin straps – not the type you’d think of picking up at all.
But hear me out: a dress like that can transform your outfits by using it as an exterior layer for a basic base. Pair it with a long-sleeved turtle neck underneath to make the dress stand out, and alternate turtlenecks, sweaters, and colors under the dress to make this piece super versatile.
Long Sleeve Layering Top
A long-sleeve layering top is the next one on the list! Modest dresser or not, a handy long-sleeve top can be used in the fall and winter months. You can use it as a base for a tunic or a dress to minimize any more exterior layers. Neutral colors like black, white, and beige are the best ones to have. I also recommend investing in a few good turtlenecks to use.
I love denim skirts! In fact, I would prefer one over denim jeans. A jean skirt is flowy, chic, and feminine – perfect for a trip out of town or a night out.
There are so many ways to style a denim skirt, but my favorite ensemble composes a white long-sleeve top and knee-high boots. During winter, I wear my favorite gloves to lengthen the silhouette of my upper body.
Even shorter denim skirts can be styled modestly, with knit tights and boots.
A tunic top is loose and stylish which makes it a great alternative to a blouse top. A tunic top can be paired with black jeans or a matching tunic skirt. Incorporating prints and colors can elevate your look too. This top completes your outfit without much fuss!
A maxi skirt for every occasion – that’s what a modest dresser needs! Maxi skirts can come in different colors, fabrics, and textures, so don’t be afraid to get three, five, eight, or even ten maxi skirts in one color! All kidding aside, a maxi skirt is versatile and appropriate for any event – religious or not.
Everybody needs a tailored shirt or a tuxedo blouse in their closet – modest dresser or not. Having one makes everyday dressing easier, especially if you’re in a rush. Don’t know what to wear? Wear a tailored shirt with bootleg trousers and you’re good to go. Too formal? Wear it with an A-line skirt. So many possibilities!
A tailored jacket or a tuxedo is a chic addition to your wardrobe, whether you work corporate or not. The way I style a tailored jacket to make it look feminine is by doing it in Givenchy style. Grab a tailored jacket, a silk hijab, a nice thin belt, and an A-skirt and you’ll look like you’re on the way to a fashion show.
Modest swimsuits are fairly new to the market; that is why some of you may frown at this one. But in fact, it exists! The new and most fashionable one in the market today is made by Lyra Swim. More on that later!
Dri Fit Hijab
There are numerous fabric types for hijabs based on your beliefs and culture — crepe, linen, satin, cotton, all versatile but difficult to incorporate in strenuous and sweaty activities. Nike may not be the first to think about it, but they were among the first ones to publicly market the first activewear hijab. A Dri Fit hijab can be worn during workouts, at the gym, and on hot summer days.
A cardigan is a modest dresser’s all-around lifesaver. When a top you like doesn’t come in a modest style, you can simply style and wear it with a cardigan. It helps as a last resort but it can also be styled around with. Color blocking your outfit is one creative way to do it.
A kimono top can be used as a unique cover-up or a blouse itself. It can also be an alternative to the typical cardigan. Its structured look can elevate any outfit, which is why I love recommending kimonos to everyone, modest dresser or not. A kimono introduces new silhouettes and shapes to one’s usual looks.
A silk scarf is not an essential but something good to have, especially on formal occasions. Silk scarves come in all prints, designs, and colors — all giving a classy and chic vibe to the wearer’s look. A nice scarf, luxury or not, is something that a modest dresser should consider adding to one’s closet for special days.
A trench coat is something you probably already have. If you haven’t gotten one yet, the best and most versatile colors to have are black, khaki, and off-white. A trench coat can be worn over a shirt-and-jeans ensemble and over a tight-fitting pair of pants. It’s a great piece for layering outfits that completes any modest look.
Turtle Neck Top
A turtle neck top is as versatile as any modest shirt because it can be worn as is or as a layering base without fuss. It gives comfortable coverage which allows you to move freely without an exterior cover up. A turtle neck top also comes in handy during the cold months.
Culottes are like skirt pants. They’re wide, flowy, and long. Having one in your closet gives you a whole range of outfit ideas — considering how flexible you can be in them. Personally, I love bringing culottes when traveling because it gives the vibe that skirts do but also does not restrict me from spontaneity which something you should have when on a trip.
Long-Sleeved Maxi Dress
A maxi dress is something that you can easily slip on without effort. This piece of clothing is a lifesaver, especially during spontaneous moments when you get invited to a brunch out or a gala with friends. Maxi dresses come in different shapes and sizes, but my favorite would be a ¾ sleeved maxi dress with a cinched waist. Definitely a must have!
A modest peplum top usually comes in long sleeves with a slightly longer tutu. This allows coverage around the buttocks area when wearing pencil skirts or slim-fit pants. A peplum top can also make it easy to look feminine and chic with its nice seamless flair.
Arm sleeves are must-haves for a modest dresser who is into streetwear. It gives coverage for when wearing shirts and short-sleeved button downs. Arm sleeves can also provide thermal benefits to the wearer, which is a huge plus! It can be worn underneath a jacket to reduce interior layers during the cold months.
Modest Fashion Brands To Check Out:
Here are our favorite modest clothing brands to shop for all styles and budgets.
Though Madewell is known for its feminine designs (printed cardigans, long-sleeved sundresses, and men & women’s basics) the brand first started as a workwear company that sells bib overalls.
Madewell is not a hundred percent modest fashion brand, but they offer varieties of maxi dresses and bottoms fit for a sophisticated basic style. And these are all super high quality pieces that will last you a long time! I recommend checking out Madewell for pieces that you can layer.
They also have tons of blazers, cardigans, and jackets in classic, neutral and pastel colors that a modest clothing dresser will love choosing from.
Who says modest fashion dressers can’t follow trends? Chicwish offers a variety of long-sleeved dresses, cardigans, and blouses in peppy and romantic colors. I particularly adore their long-sleeved tie dresses that come in floral prints and soft colors. These provide ample coverage that are suitable for every modest dresser.
Chicwish loves playing with fun and youthful colors like lilac, yellow, and lime green. If you’re looking for a dress to wear for a baby shower or a birthday party, definitely consider Chicwish! Plus, there are just too many modest clothing pieces to count that still feel very stylish.
And, Chicwish is definitely more budget-friendly than some of the other modest clothing brands on this list. If you’re on a budget but still want to dress modestly and feminine, check out Chicwish.
RELATED: A Totally Honest 2022 Chicwish Review + Haul: Is Chicwish Legit?
Anthropologie is part of the URBN, the brand that owns Urban Outfitters, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain. Knowing the line up of these brands lean into hipster styles, there is no surprise that Anthropologie gives off the same vibe.
I love their kimonos, kaftans, cardigans and dresses. Anthropologie is not a 100% modest fashion brand, so you still have to double-check for hidden cut-outs and exposed areas when buying clothes from them. Regardless, they have a fairly nice selection for modest dressers, and the clothes are very artsy and boho instead of strictly modest, so you can still look super fashionable.
Surprisingly, this large trendy brand has a selection for modest dressers. The brand recently collaborated with Iman Troy to curate the most beautiful kaftans, abayas, and hijabs found in their accessible online platform. The brand highlighted feminine and relaxed silhouettes that are perfect for every modest dresser’s wardrobe. Iman mentions how easier it was for her to mix and match outfits ever since the brand’s big release of their modest pieces.
However, Shein also has lots of modest fashion pieces naturally, especially their maxi dresses, modest swimsuits, sweaters, blouses, and more. This site is massive so there are plenty of modest outfits to be found at a super cheap price!
14. Princess Polly
What I love about modest fashion is the ability to hone one’s creativity to its maximum potential. When you have a larger surface area to cover up, there are more chances to mix and match. Imagine how fun it is to play with fun silhouettes, especially with brands like Princess Polly! Once you open your mind to non-modest pieces, you’ll see how many outfits you can create.
We recommend shopping at Princess Polly for pieces that can be layered, such as chunky sweaters, trendy but tailored pants, and maxi dresses.
13. Christy Dawn
Think modest vintage dresses, fairycore and farmcore. Christy Dawn is a brand created by a woman who found love in thrifting clothes in California, her hometown. She says her origin says a lot about her style and her mission to create a sustainable mark in the industry.
She creates designs made of deadstock fabrics that are usually thrown in landfills after being kept unwanted by the market. Christy Dawn is sustainable, ethical, modest, and gorgeous.
12. Petal + Pup
Petal and Pup may not be a hundred percent modest fashion brand, but they do have a lot of feminine and trendy designs that can elevate any modest dresser’s wardrobe. Oversized puff sleeves, floral dresses, maxi dresses are some of my favorites from their line-ups. Classic pieces like tie-collar dresses are also readily available.
Petal and pup also has a similar taste with Princess Polly but even more modest with really high quality linens — perfect for those who seek for a reputable alternative.
Cleobella is a female-owned brand pursued by a traveling artist, Angela, supported by her husband Jim. They enjoy getting inspirations from their travels which are evident in the artistry of their designs.
Because of their travels, they also understood cultures that bind and empower women. Their openness can also be seen in how they market their pieces, avoiding any sense of exclusivity in any form.
Cleobella definitely has a more boho vibe, with lots of printed, flowy dresses that give off a cottagecore style vibe. Luckily, these types of pieces also work really well for modest outfits.
10. Electric Bazaar
If there are small modest fashion brands that you would like to support, Electric Bazaar should be one of them. Electric bazaar is small-scale and sustainable, benefiting artisans in low income communities. Think detailed embellishments, Balochi & Afghan embroidery, and rare antique patches.
Find beautiful kaftans and kimonos in their line-ups. They also offer a range of scarves in stamped and patterned designs which are perfect for every occasion.
If you know what to find and how to find them, you’ll see how easier it actually is to mix and match outfits. Asos houses a lot of brands — a lot of them non-modest but pretty much reputable for offering modest-friendly pieces.
Asos follows a lot of trends in a way that does not disregard timeless and classic pieces. That’s why this brand holds a place in every fashionista’s heart, modest outfit dresser or not.
8. Daily Paper
Daily Paper is for the edgy modest dresser. No brand can provide comfort and variety any more unique than Daily Paper. Daily Paper goes beyond the norm that modest dressers are only meant to wear feminine silhouettes. A safe space to express oneself — an outlet for the unconventional.
Daily Paper is an advocate for originality, which is why the brand stands out. A favorite piece of mine from the brand is their Black Loretta Sweater, a belted sweater in a nice kimono-like silhouette.
Na-kd may not be the first brand that comes to mind when thinking about modest fashion, but I could not deny how beautiful their structured dresses, basic fits, and wrap skirts are. Na-kd also loves playing around with texture and shape, often taking inspiration from influencers. Fresh, stylish, and chic is how I would describe their style.
When I hear about Na-kd, I think most about their skirt selection. If you’re looking for a variety of skirts to elevate your wardrobe, I suggest looking into this brand.
Classy, versatile, and elegant is COS’ primary style. If you’re looking for clean and crisp looks, COS is the shop to be. Among my favorite modest pieces from this brand is their shirt dress and a-line maxi dresses. Colors include black, olive green, and neutral colors.
They may not be a 100% modest fashion brand, but you’ll see that most of their designs are conservative and smart.
Next to COS, there is Uniqlo. Uniqlo garners a similar style with COS, focusing on basics and clean silhouettes. Unlike any other modest fashion brands, Uniqlo is backed up with Asian influence which is why their styles are naturally conservative.
Uniqlo is where you can get the best basic pieces from long sleeved shirts, button downs and quality trousers. They offer super cute dark academia pieces and really high-end modest clothing for an affordable price.
Monki isn’t a 100% modest clothing brand, why is it on the list? Check their shop and you’ll see why!
There are a whole range of black silhouettes, trousers, and jeans. Though they follow trends, they do not forget to add their own personal twists into their designs. Among of my favorite bottom pieces from the brand are the Nani Palazzo Pants, Mozik Blue Block Jeans, and Yulia Asymmetrical Jeans.
3. The Atelier Hijab
Want to elevate your hijab collection? Or, want to find a hijab for a special occasion? The Atelier Hijab offers a variety of hijabs in high-quality fabrics, including satin, silk, and chiffon to name a few.
As the name suggests, the brand offers a collection of head cover-ups, scarves, and hijabs fit for every modest dresser’s wardrobe.
2. Nor Black Nor White
Nor Black Nor White was established by two Indian sisters Mriga Kapadiya and Amrit Kumar. Despite being raised in Toronto, they showed interest in their roots by exploring their home country, Bombay, in 2010.
In their personal discovery, they found and established the brand with designs inspired by traditional processes like the Bandhani or tie-dye.
1. Lyra Swim
Lyra Swim is one of the innovative modest brands motivated by the lack of available swimwear for modest dressers. Nothing looks any more stylish than their iconic and chic burkini.
I love the quality of their fabrics and how body-complimenting their suits look regardless of body shape. It’s easy to feel good when you look good! Lyra Swim offers a huge variety of burkinis in different colors, prints, and lengths.
Disclaimer: This article is a general article. Modest fashion is tricky. Some modest dressers and believers follow more strict requirements than others. Some require a full cover-up, and some are even required to avoid bright colors completely.
The most important thing is being clear about your intention and being firm about your boundaries. And of course, being creative so that your individual modest fashion style still shines through!