Under the hashtag #BlackoutEid, fashion fans have been showing off their ‘fits for this year’s religious holiday
Eid might look pretty different again this year, but one thing remains constant: Muslim women do not fail to impress with their outfits. A scroll through social media during Eid-ul-Fitr is like catching up with the hottest Met Gala looks the morning after the first Monday in May, as those coming together to celebrate the end of Ramadan slip into their specially curated ensembles.
Getting dressed up for Eid goes beyond fashion, though. Encouraged for all Muslims as a religious practice, wearing one’s finest clothes is an etiquette considered ‘Sunnah’ – or ‘way of the Prophet Muhammad’. Whether stepping out in traditional clothing that speaks to their culture or going for more westernised looks, one thing is non-negotiable: those celebrating must not – and do not – come to play.
With indoor mixing out for the most part for a second year in a row, under the hashtag #BlackoutEid, Black Muslim women have been getting creative when it comes to showing off their celebratory looks. From pulling garments from thrift stores to wearing bright colours whilst paying homage to their cultural roots, in 2021, Muslim women took the ‘wearing your best clothes’ to a new level.
Ahead of the religious holiday, we spoke to five Black Muslim women about their Eid style choices, how they’re celebrating, and what fashion means to them.
AMINA, 27, PORTLAND
“Fashion has been at the root of my self-expression since I was a child. I grew up wearing hijab and often felt like the outside world had a narrative about girls like me. Having a strong sense of personal style gave me that control back.
I picked a Dirac for Eid because it’s a day of celebration & it’s been important for me to go all out for anything worth celebrating, especially after such a tough year. I also decided to wear a colourful Dirac & pair it with some cute thrift finds.
I usually wear a Dirac on Eid because it’s a great reason to show people how beautiful Somali culture is. We fly effortlessly! I get style inspiration from music, movies, and the world around me. My style changes by the day, but being from the Pacific Northwest does have an impact on my more relaxed style of clothing. I try to offset that by wearing pops of colour.”
FATIMA, 26, SOUTH KOREA
“I got derailed halfway through Ramadan as I was moving places and I had no plans on what I was going to wear. During the pandemic I was on my phone online shopping all the time and I came across this dress last April. I haven’t worn it or the shoes before – I just kept them both in my closet. I’m currently in self-isolation and can’t leave my apartment, so I thought ‘I have these two pieces, let me work with what I have at home. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
When it comes to my fashion inspirations, I tend to gravitate towards bright colours and bold, patterned statement pieces. I love a ‘vintage’ look, for example a 70s or 90s-inspired look. I also love leaning into my femininity by playing around with funky skirts and bold dresses. With jewellery, I am usually minimalistic but lately I’ve been experimenting a bit more.”
ASMA, 27, SIERRA LEONE
‘’I look forward to expressing my divine self through my cultural clothing on Eid as it is not something I often wear. I love coordinating my outfits with my family during this time as it creates a sense of unity whilst celebrating individuality as the garments are tailored uniquely to each of us.
My look is West African inspired – I am Sierra Leonean, but we sometimes wear traditional clothing from other countries. This year I wore a Senegalese outfit called the Boubou but in Sierra Leone we call it a Bazin. I can be specific with my style for Eid and always prefer to wear some sort of kaftan garment.
When it comes to my general style I am inspired by an array of people and things, but for the most part I would say Rihanna’s chic, edgy, and effortless sense of style as well as my mother’s style are a great inspiration to me. My mom has always been bold with her sense of fashion and goes out of her way to wear what is not worn commonly. I guess I may have picked up on that growing up as I have always been daring with my fashion sense. I remember being the first to wear latex leggings at my high school. I just love the freedom of fashion and mixing it up with the taste of those I am inspired by.’’
HANA, 23, LEICESTER
‘’I love fashion and with Eid it is very important to look good. The fact that I love fashion and I get to express that on Eid is a bonus for me. I am really liking the colour white at the moment, and with summer approaching I like the lighter colours as I look the best in them. I paired it with gold jewellery as it compliments white silk very well.
When I was younger, I was very timid so I think that I used fashion as a way of self expression. I just love the thrill of shopping for new clothes and the creativity that goes into putting together an outfit.. A lot of my style derives from iconic figures such as Diana Ross and Audrey Hepburn. I have always admired that elegant and classy look so I would say that’s what inspires my style of clothing generally. Whilst fashion trends come and go, classy clothing is a style that will never go out of fashion.’’
SHAHD, 24, LOS ANGELES
“The way I express myself through fashion is a reflection of how I’m feeling that day or moment. Being able to wear different sides of myself is a huge part of self discovery and expression. Eid is easily one of my favourite days because of the outfit anticipation and joy surrounding it. I love when I can physically see how proud someone is and how contagious that feeling can be. I also love shared internet experiences like #BlackOutEid and the fit changes from day to night.
This year felt a little different considering everything going on, but we all showed up nonetheless. I was actually just thrifting the other day and came across this beautiful abaya tucked away in the sleepwear section. It was shocking because I never anticipated thrifting an abaya, but also a moment of pride to be back in Minnesota and surrounded by so many Muslims. I instantly knew I found my Eid fit.
My journey with fashion has been all over the place but I’ve always had my staples like button-ups, blazers, and dad jeans. A lot of my inspiration comes from just being outside, seeing an outfit I like and thinking ‘how can I make that work with my hijab?’ When I was still figuring it out, I’d always just looked at other women in modest fashion until I realised it was so limiting. Most trends I’ve actually liked, I can manipulate to make work – streetwear is usually modest so that’s a great place to get inspiration. I live in LA and the weather isn’t very forgiving when it comes to hijabi, so that has always played a factor and for the most part. I’d say my style is pretty relaxed because of it.”
YASSIN, 22, GAMBIA
“Adorning oneself is Sunnah (ways of the Prophet Muhamad) on Eid, so for me expressing myself means engaging in Sunnah. I like a mix of traditional and simple looks. I don’t like a lot going on, so to express myself is saying ‘Hey, this is who I am!’ whilst being rewarded for it.
Personally, because I love a traditional look, I sat down with my tailor and asked them to make me something simple that was still making a statement. She definitely did not disappoint. I was going through material that I had, and my tailors had disappointed me for the last five years, so I thought I would choose it this time.
My fashion sense is diverse. Somewhere between the girl next door (because I love being comfortable outdoors) and classy chic for when I am going out. A simple clean look that incorporates colours that compliment my skin is a must. And my inspiration is firstly African fits. I enjoy looking through Instagram explore pages since I feel like it caters to the type of style without committing to following or looking through one page. From there I can take bits and pieces of outfits that I like and put them together to fit my personal style.”
HAFSA, 24, LONDON
“This Eid was a bit different to the past years, because I usually wear a black hijab and abaya. But this year I wanted to do something with colour and celebrate Eid in a joyous way.
I felt like I could do that by wearing bright colours – I tried wearing a yellow dress, but it didn’t work, so I went with orange as it’s one of my favourite colours. I find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, and I like to wear clothes that represent the seasons – clothes that represent blooming, for example.
Eid is all about wearing your best clothes, and it makes me so happy to see everyone wear their best looks.”