As Ramadan draws to a close, it seems the race to the finish line is ever-packed with the number of things we must complete before Eid al-Fitr comes around. After all, the festive hour of Hari Raya Aidilfitri is often one that sees endless hours of feasting, catching up with loved ones and sneaking in a satisfactory OOTD or two—all in between the multiple house visits to show one’s respect for the elders. Whether you’re playing host this Eid or the ones doing most of the visiting, the checklist of things to do are as bountiful as ever.
Apart from preparing the myriad of kueh, cleaning the homes and setting up the festive playlist, an essential part of every Raya occasion would be to get your outfits in order. From the traditional kebaya to the baju kurung and more modern abaya styles, an array of wardrobe options are often considered when Eid comes around—in part to elevate the mood and don a spirit of celebration. For those who wear the hijab (a head covering or shawl) with their choice of festive dress however, it proves to be an additional element that must be accounted for. With much of the visiting happening from day to night, not only must it guarantee comfort, but it should carry a certain sartorial flair that merges both style and the necessary level of decorum required for the modern Muslim woman.
Not to fret though, for according to Malaysian celebrity hijab stylist Didiyana Ehsan, there are more and more ways to wear the hijab nowadays—especially since social media makes it easier to experiment and learn different styles now. “People used to think that there is only one way of wearing the hijab but I think we can afford to be more open-minded about the way we wear it as long as it still abides by the modesty required for Muslim women,” she adds. For this Eid al-Fitr, Ehsan lets us in on some of her foolproof tips to approach styling the hijab with your festive wear this Hari Raya—and how to ensure they’ll take you through a whole day out.
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For those wearing it with the kebaya...
“With the kebaya, there’s usually embellishments or embroidery on the front, so I suggest wearing a hijab style that is more clean and minimal, ” says Ehsan. This helps to put the spotlight on the intricate design of your kebaya. Otherwise, people’s attention might be drawn away from the details of your outfit.
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For those wearing it with the abaya...
The trick to choosing the hijab is to know how to balance it with the rest of your outfit. Ehsan explains: “If your outfit is already bright or heavily-patterned, opt to tone it down and keep your hijab more simple but if your outfit is a plainer one, then you can explore and play with the design of your hijab.”
She adds, “With the abaya, those who opt to wear this usually prefer more modest hijab shapes but come patterned or in vivid colours, since the abaya itself is a modest dress form that is usually black. But nowadays, with more abaya colours and styles, you can also try to make it look more modern and pair it with a turban hijab style instead.”
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For those wearing it with the baju kurung...
“It really depends on the cut of your baju kurung since there are so many various types of baju kurung. If yours contours your body more closely, you can opt for a hijab style with a looser fit, but if you’re wearing a kurung pahang—where the cut of the blouse is looser—then try something that is neat and tucked in so that it balances with the slightly oversized fit of your baju kurung.”
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For those who want to jazz it up with accessories...
“Nowadays, there are so many hijabi women who are wearing it with accessories such as brooches or necklaces. But the most popular option is to wear your hijab with earrings peeking out from the sides.” Don’t be afraid to dial up on the glam with chunkier earrings or throw on statement necklaces to make your look more polished.
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On how to keep the hijab intact for the whole day...
“The most important thing is to choose the right inner. Look at your hair texture; is it smooth, or is it rough? For those with smooth, soft hair, opt for a cotton inner instead of silk or jersey inners.” According to Ehsan, this is to prevent your inner from moving around, so that your hijab will feel secure throughout the day.
“The material for your hijab is also important: make sure it’s something you’ll definitely be comfortable to wear throughout the whole day. Materials that are good for our tropics would be chiffon, matte satin-silk or voile—which are all breathable materials.”