With the recent celebration of World Hijab Day women across the globe shared what their relationship with their hijab is like on social media. Those who wear it everyday spoke about their experiences and those who wear it sometimes expressed how it made them feel. For women, it is not only a religious or cultural object but also a symbol of freedom – the freedom to choose what they want to do with their bodies, whether they choose to wear the hijab or not. We asked Ohio University graduate student Sundus Zahra what exactly a hijab is. “For me hijab is any piece of scarf, shawl, stole or cloth that you somehow style around your head,”, she says. She was brought up in Pakistan and wears hijab when she wants to. “From where I come from a lot of people wear hijab for religious reasons which is great. But I don’t always wear it for religious reasons.” So, we asked her to show us how she styles her hijab for when she wears it to class. Brace yourself for some serious fashion envy!
- Play with the prints.
“Hijab can be of different levels, hijab can involve completely covering your head or it could be slightly covering your head,” says Zahra. Here she wears a bright kurta (a long top typically till your knee) and understated straight-leg pants with embroidery. She pairs this with a bright hijab with floral prints that she casually throws around her head and shiny silver flats. This outfit is perfect for summer when you want to wear light fabrics and comfortable kicks.
- Ace it with accessories.
Zahra says, “How you play around with your hair and how you pair hijab with your earrings – it makes you look different.” Here she combines a top with busy prints with a solid-colored hijab in a soft, nude tone. She pairs this with her long, dangling earrings and wears eye-catching makeup. Pair this with high heels for when you must dress formally for an important presentation in class.
- Go all out with outerwear.
If you don’t want the hijab to be the focus of your outfit, pair it with bright jackets. “Different styles of hijab bring out a different personality in you,” says Zahra. She wears a pale pink hijab with geometric motifs along with a bright red trench coat. She keeps the rest of the outfit simple with a grey tee and fitted, black trousers. This is an easy outfit perfect for those 9 am classes.
- Dealing with details.
For when you want to make an impression, you can also pair your hijab with other eye-catching elements for a memorable look. Zahra says, “On my gloomy days if I put a bright lipstick and if I dress up it cheers me up.” She pairs her black hijab covered in silver accents with a drool-worthy jacket with gold detailing. Wear this when you’re fishing for compliments!
Most importantly Zahra suggests that you should wear hijab in a way that makes you feel comfortable and confident. “Everyone should be allowed to wear and style their clothes the way they want,” she says.