For the many Muslim women who choose to wear modest clothing outside their homes, summertime fashion can be a challenge. Religious guidelines that suggest women wear head scarves, long-sleeved shirts and pants or long skirts are easy to follow during Chicago's long, cold winters. The challenge comes when the weather heats up and the store shelves are filled with shorts and tank tops -- pieces that, without longer layers, don't work for many Muslim women.
Clothing designer Sarah Juman-Yassin found that young women who wanted to wear modest clothing on hot days had to borrow an oversized shirt from their brother's closet or wear something more suited for older women.
Too many of the lightweight long shirts sold in the summertime are meant as swimsuit cover-ups and are too transparent for women trying to be modest, she said. So, the Toronto-based designer launched her own designs on www.justlongshirts.com in 2003 and now caters to a great mix of customers.
"There are many Jewish and Christian and Orthodox women who also want to dress conservatively but were having a hard time finding modern yet modest shirts," she said.
For three Chicago-area women we talked to, finding appropriate -- and fashionable -- outfits is really a matter of knowing your style and choosing individual pieces that are versatile. (MORE)