In the workplace, looking modest and looking professional go hand-in-hand for the Muslim sister. Putting together an ensemble while considering color coordination, modest fits, and decent accessory choices requires some thought and planning. However, there are more options out there than you might think! Here are some ideas from around the web. Take a look and get inspired!
Office Wear Ideas
Remember that when putting these ideas from the web into practice, you should be keeping the essence of hijab in mind, i.e. draping a scarf on your chest, wearing opaque socks and reasonably-heeled or flat shoes, and using modest accessories. That doesn't mean you don't have to look presentable and groomed, please do make sure everything coordinates well!
But also make sure that nice black suit jacket is at least reaching mid-thigh if you're going to wear it with pants. Some of the jacket sleeves will not reach all the way to the wrists, so watch out for that too when buying. Consider buying blouses in a slightly bigger size to allow for shrinkage and to ensure that they will be loose enough.
Also remember, you don't need to be dressed in designer brands from head to toe to be stylish. Shop smart and keep an eye out for bargains. And remember to pick neutral colors for suit pieces, so they will last you through different looks. You can change the blouse, scarf, shoes, and bag colors to make new outfits over the years, and these will be easier and cheaper to replace than suits. And if you find a suit that's almost perfect hijab-wise, see if it's possible to get it slightly altered so it fits you well.
The Professional Abaya
If you wear the abaya full-time, or if you are working in an environment that requires it, you can still make it look even more professional than it already does. Don't get abayas with details like huge black lace cuffs and frills or multicolored neon crystals. Look for sharp cuts and simpler designs instead, because you need to look serious and professional at work. And make sure to get at least one abaya with pinstripes! It doesn't need to be black. Navy, brown, grey, even an eggplant or dark green color will work.
Seasonal Outfit Samples
Abayas work well to cover pregnancies, especially pleated abayas. If you treat a closed-front abaya as a black dress, you can match it with all sorts of jackets and cardigans to create different outfits.
Over the past decade or so, there has been a marked improvement in the plus sized styles offered by retailers. Before, the selection was generally limited to jogging suits and skirts in unflattering prints. Now a range of styles fill the market. There is better professional wear available now, as well as sophisticated evening and casual wear.
Here's a directory of online stores that offer modest clothing.