The rise of modest dressing

Style hasn’t always been the priority when it comes to modest dressing, but The Modist is changing that.

By Kildare Village

1 October 2019

Despite its rich and enduring legacy, modest fashion has left a lot to be desired in the style stakes. Now, as perceptions around the aesthetic change, more and more designers are meeting the demands of their globe-trotting, fashion-forward customers with collections that eschew plunging necklines, short sleeves and even shorter hemlines.

“Dispelling stereotypes around modesty being old-fashioned, boring and solely driven by religious concerns is core to what we do,” explains Ghizlan Guenez, founder of online luxury fashion platform The Modist. “Modesty exists on a spectrum and is very subjective. At The Modist we focus on fashion and functionality and are agnostic as to why a woman chooses to dress modestly.”

It’s this dedication to showcasing style and personality that endeared the brand to Bicester Village near London. The international shopping destination – one of 11 in The Bicester Village Shopping Collection – is where The Modist has launched a pop-up boutique for the first time in Europe.

“It’s really exciting that, together with Bicester Village, we are enabling new and existing customers to experience us outside the digital space. Our aim has always been for customers to easily find an elevated, fashionable and modest curation that appeals to their style direction and lifestyle choices,” adds Guenez.

Choice, and exercising one’s choice to live and dress a certain way, is empowering

Ghizlan Guenez

Founder of The Modist

Open until 24 September, the pop-up will host a selection of designs from some of the biggest names in luxury fashion, as well as collections from The Modist’s own brand, Layeur.

When it came to creating the new label, Guenez was motivated by the frustrating lack of options for women wanting to dress with discreet flair. “The product was fragmented, there was no styling inspiration, no relevant curation, no content that resonated with me, and this is exactly what we set out for The Modist to be,” she says.

“The Modist was created to solve a problem and so is the case with Layeur, which we launched last year to fill the gap for a brand that caters entirely to the modest dresser.

“I believe that we have shown that modesty can be elegant, cool, chic and whatever you make of it.”

This rise in modest dressing is changing the way women dress, impacting those across the globe whether they dress modestly for religious reasons or not. “Our women range from those who are modest dressers because it’s simply a style preference to those who prefer this way of dressing because of age, work or cultural considerations.

Ultimately, we believe in choice and that exercising one’s choice to live and dress a certain way – be it in a modest outfit or a revealing one – is empowering.”