Following the success of our Modest Collection last year, we have teamed up with fashion brand owner and influencer, Saleha Bagas, to guest host monthly articles around the topic of modest clothing.
31 year old Saleha from Bolton has established herself as a leading content creator and designer within the modest fashion community. Each month she will be exploring new trends, sharing her favourite products and offering styling tips.
Keep scrolling to read our full interview and get a taste of what to expect over the coming months.
Saleha Q+A – Modest fashion, personal style and moreHow did you first realise that you could be creative with modest fashion?
I have always been creative with the way I dress and dressing modestly is a lifestyle for me, due to my beliefs. Therefore merging creativity with modesty came at an early age for me.
It probably started in my teens, when I would experiment with layering or would throw over a long cardi that enabled me to to feel comfortable and confident without compromising my creative style.
What are common misconceptions that people might have about dressing modestly?
Often people get confused as to thinking that if you dress modest then you cant be fashionable. Almost like “FASHION” and “MODESTY” are enemies, I would say this is one of the biggest misconceptions.
Another misconception would be that people assume its more difficult to dress modest and be fashionable as your choices are limited, which may have been the case several years ago, however now modest fashion is so recognisable that it is now readily available and provided by most mainstream fashion brands.
Another misconception on dressing modestly would be people think women are forced to dress this way when its actually a choice. I choose to dress this way and I love being covered in freedom.
“I choose to dress this way and I love being covered in freedom.”
Saleha BagasWhat made you want to start your own fashion label?
Growing up in a family surrounded by embroiders and seamstresses, I studied fashion design at university and after finishing my degree I always knew there was a gap in the market I felt I could bridge.
After finding it really difficult to find modest clothing, I knew this was the route I wanted to go down. I built up a community of Instagram girls who wanted to dress modestly and wanted inspo of how to look good whilst being covered, so I knew there was a market for it. I launched my own modest fashion label, SALEHABAGAS, which grew at a pace I didn’t expect and that’s when I realised just how big the demand was for girls like myself.
My aim was to build a brand that provides fashionably modest clothing for the modern woman without compromising faith, values and beliefs on any level.
Top three modest influencers we should all be following?
My top 3 fave modest dressing influencers are…[email protected] , @basma_k and @Umaymaabdul
The search for ‘Modest Fashion’ has gone up on Pinterest by over 500%- why do you think it is becoming more popular?
Modest fashion has now become more available on the high street for those wanting to cover up and still be on trend. More and more people are not afraid to be creative with dressing and expressing themselves. We are on a mission to break the stereotypical view that there are no ‘trends’ with dressing modestly. In the way that some girls feel empowered by showing skin, modest dressing girls feel empowered by covering up.
“In the way that some girls feel empowered by showing skin, modest dressing girls feel empowered by covering up.”
Saleha BagasWho is modest fashion for? (Do you need to be from a particular religion or background?)
Modest fashion is simply for anyone that wants to cover up and still be stylish. Regardless of faith, religion or background. The view that modest fashion is derived from religion or culture, is simply not the case. For example it could be for pregnant ladies that want to wear oversized clothes for practicality and comfortability. Covering up also could be for those that are body conscious and want to still feel great, those that want to avoid sun damage and protect their skin etc.
What are the staple items for modest dressing?
Firstly this black midaxi dress– its perfect to add layers over this for the ladies that want to hide their body shape or add a blazer to cover the arms etc it’s so versatile and can be dressed down with trainers and an oversized jacket! the neck is high so no need to layer with anything to cover chest area too! win win!
Secondly would have to be an oversized blazer! Could be a neutral or bold for a pop of colour! oversized blazers are great for throwing over an outfit to cover short sleeves, or fitted tops to add structure, they are just super classy and I live in them! I find that an oversized blazer really helps me cover and still look amazing with either mom jeans or smart trousers or even leggings!
Another staple piece would be a loose fit t-shirt dress! this one is super classy and can be dressed up and down again. not only is it loose, which is great as it doesn’t show body shape for those wanting more coverage, but also has a higher neckline and lower hemline which is perfect! I would add a blazer over this with a pop of colour on the shoes!
Shop saleha’s top picks
What advice would you give someone that wants to dress modestly but doesn’t know where to start?
Dont be afraid to explore what works for you. Its a personal journey, just enjoy experimenting and make it fun without being afraid to push the boundaries. Don’t fall into the narrative of what others interpret modest to be, personalise it to YOU.
Written by Liv Grady
August 24, 2021