Putting together a modest business outfit is a problem many Muslim women face. Here are some tips Muslim students and professionals have shared to help dress modestly yet professionally for interviews, career fairs, work and other business-related events. (Brothers can also benefit from some of these tips!)
Professional Clothing for Interviews
The interview is the first impression the interviewer will have of you so it’s important to aim for a professional rather than trendy look. Here are some styles you could follow:
- A long-sleeved buttoned up shirt with slacks.
- A long blouse that goes to mid-thigh length.
- For slacks, opt for the wide-leg trousers rather than the “skinny” style.
- A shorter blouse can be worn with a long maxi skirt (with no slits) for modesty and comfort. Skirt should be preferably black-colored.
- Recommendations: pleated skirts look more professional than A-line or peasant skirts.
- With a blazer, wear a long shirt or tank-top.
- A long cardigan is also appropriate and can give more coverage than a blazer. Choose darker colors such as black or navy.
- A trench coat can also give more coverage, especially ones that go knee-length. They are good for most seasons.
- The hiijab, or headscarf, should be plain rather than patterned. Solid colors are recommended, such as gray, white, navy and black.
- Use pins and an undercap to hold the hijab together so it does not look messy.
- Spandex materials.
- See-through hijabs
- Skinny jeans or pants –this looks very unprofessional.
- Printed or very colorful hijabs
- Checkered, polka dots, or strong animal print blouses
- Wear closed-toed shoes.
- Flats and platforms are good choices as they don’t make noise.
Office Attire After Being Hired
It is highly recommended to continue dressing professionally after being hired, even if everyone in the office is wearing casual clothes (such as jeans and T-shirt), as it will make you stand out.
“Dress for the job you want, not necessarily the one that you have,” academic and career counselor Madina Humkar recommends.
- Macy’s, New York and Company, and The Loft are some examples of stores where these modest, professional clothing can be found.
A final piece of advice…
You should never feel pressured to compromise modesty in order to achieve a professional look, and we hope these tips can help with that.
A good piece of advice to always keep in mind: “Dress for Allah (swt)”.