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Can a mini skirt be worn modestly? The answer is a confident yes, when layered over baggy trousers, explains 26-year-old TikToker Maha Gondal.

Modest fashion inspiration has surged on TikTok as well as Instagram, with influencers expanding the narrative around what it means to dress modestly. The hashtag #modestfashion currently has over 1.3 billion views on TikTok. Gen Z and millennial content creators are leading the way, often leaning away from more traditional wear, such as abayas and kaftans, and experimenting with fashion and layering in a way that gives a contemporary spin on modest dressing. And, there’s a growing cohort of male modest fashion influencers like UK-based creator Mohamed Sharif who incorporates traditional Islamic pieces such as the kufis (the short, rounded cap that is often used as a Muslim prayer head covering) into his everyday “Scandi-minimalist” aesthetic.

“Gen Z is very experimental and creative, and the same goes for modest fashion,” says Gondal. “Layering is huge — you can really make any piece of clothing work.” This opens the doors to brands not specifically targeting modest consumers. Gondal, whose TikToks have received over 5 million likes, has turned to names such as Ssense, Farfetch and Ganni. It’s important for brands to understand that modest dressing is not always rooted in religious choice — many people choose to dress modestly for other reasons, ranging from personal aesthetic considerations to work requirements.

It’s a menswear opportunity, too, which has been identified by some brands. All Saints, Reebok and Asos are among those looking to tap into the modest fashion market by releasing Ramadan or Eid capsule menswear collections. Typically, these brands tap Muslim and modest influencers to support marketing.

Left: Gondal styled a Versace mini skirt and denim jacket to fit her modest aesthetic.

Photo: Kwame Essien / Taylor Wang