4 Influencers on the Modest Summer Staples They Love

There is a particular science that comes with putting together an outfit in the summertime. It is a delicate balance of piecing together items that will keep you stylish but that are also breathable to minimise heat retention. This is particularly pertinent for women who dress modestly, as fabric choices and silhouettes become increasingly important factors. With summer well and truly here, and a sweltering heatwave currently hitting various parts of the UK, I tapped four influencers—Sally Ashour, Amira Khan, Hafsah Mohammed and Yusra Siddiqui—to ask for their expert advice on dressing modestly for summer.

“Pay attention to fabrics because cotton and linen wear so much better in the heat,” explained Siddiqui. “Even though a dress may look breezy and airy, the fabric of it may actually make you take in more heat if it’s something like polyester or viscose.” Khan of ModestMira echoed these sentiments, saying, “It all really comes down to the type of material you're wearing and keeping it loose and flowy while still allowing air to travel through keeping you cool.”   

So what are the summer staples these stylish women rely on this time of year? Fluid midi dresses, hats and heeled sandals are high on the list. As are oversize button-down shirtsslip skirts and thin long-sleeve tops. Keep scrolling for their tips for dressing modestly in summer, as well as the wardrobe staples they rely on throughout the season. 

Sally Ashour, Founder & Creative Director of Sally de la Rose

What are your tips for dressing modestly in summer? 

The best tip I have for dressing in the summer is to find a garment that doesn’t require a lot of layering. Summers get pretty hot, and you definitely want to wear something that will keep you cool. Since I wear the hijab, we have to cover our arms, legs and chest, so I love midi dresses with high necks and full sleeves. Slits are okay, but I’d prefer dresses that don’t have any slits that you can easily throw on and just add on a scarf! 

What are your favourite summer staples? 

My favourite summer staples would definitely have to be my beach hat, kitten heels and my Jacquemus mini bag. 

Which brands do you turn to for summer clothing? 

I turn to my brand, Sally de la Rose, most times because I sell vintage clothing that is most times modest and easy to throw on without having to layer any other pieces to turn it into a modest look. I also rely on it for scarves since I’ve been super into satin square scarves, and I sell a whole bunch of different styles and colours. I also love Sister Jane, Daily Sleeper, Who What Wear collection and Orseund Iris. They have great modest pieces that are easy to wear and style as a hijabi, which I love!

Amira Khan, Founder of ModestMira 

What are your tips for dressing modestly in summer? 

Avoid heavy layers. I still love to layer in the summer, but switching from the heavy winter layering to a much cooler and breathable light layering. My favourite outfit right now is a thinner high-neck top or even short-sleeve cotton top layered with an oversize poplin shirt, a pair of mom jeans or wide-leg trousers (again keeping it quite loose and breathable) and a pair of cool sneakers. 

You can never go wrong with a long-sleeve; a flowy, light-material midi or maxi dress; and a pair of kitten heels or trainers for either a more casual or more elegant look. It all really comes down to the type of material you're wearing and keeping it loose and flowy, still allowing air to travel through, keeping you cool.  

What are your favourite summer staples? 

A long-sleeve midi/maxi dress that you can just throw on without the hassle of covering or layering and which you can transition from day to evening. Breathable and light under-tops to wear underneath certain items. A pair of wide-leg trousers and jeans for a more casual approach, which can be jazzed up, if it needs to be. An oversize shirt—right now, Arket has some amazing overshirts you can just throw on and just gives that cool but smart edge to an outfit. And a pair of Converse. You can never go wrong with a good pair of Converse! As for a more elegant approach, a pair of mules, which always adds a more mature style to any outfit.

Which brands do you turn to for summer clothing? 

Right now, I am absolutely loving Arket, H&M, Topshop and Weekday.

What are your tips for dressing modestly in summer?

I love colours, so I will say play with bright colours and layer light pieces. Dressing modestly takes a lot of layering. If you want to wear a gorgeous slip dress, pair the dress with a sheer top or a T-shirt underneath, and you are ready to go!

What are your favorite summer staples?

Slip dresses, strappy sandals, and a wide-brim hat. 

Which brands do you turn to for summer clothing?

I wear a lot of pieces from Elora Collection. I also love Cult Gaia, Zara, and Kai Collective.

Yusra Siddiqui, Fashion and Beauty Contributor 

What are your tips for dressing modestly in summer? 

Dressing in the summer is obviously quite difficult for someone who covers, but some tips I’ve found that work best for me are to pay attention to fabrics because cotton and linen wear so much better in the heat. Even though a dress may look breezy and airy, the fabric of it may actually make you take in more heat if it’s something like polyester or viscose. Second, as much as I love layering, I try to go for pieces that can be worn with minimal additional pieces possible. Think statement tops, patterned skirts and dresses. Third, opt for lighter colours! As someone who loves a good all-black 'fit, this wasn't easy for me to grasp, but not only does a good dose of lilac and pistachio green look phenomenal, but it also doesn’t take the sunlight as harshly. 

What are your favourite summer staples? 

My favourite summer staple, especially in quarantine, has been stealing my dad’s button-up shirts, especially the white ones. They’re the perfect oversize fit and pair well with skirts or jeans. Not to mention they’re just so comfortable and breezy. A second staple would have to be slip skirts. I’ve practically started to hoard them because they’re not only easy to style but are much more versatile than dresses. 

Which brands do you turn to for summer clothing? 

A brand that I’ve been relying on heavily this summer is Vela Scarves. As someone who wears a hijab, dressing for summer with additional fabric on my head is not an easy feat, but Vela makes a scarf out of a light modal material that is not only breathable but also comes in a variety of fun hues that match any outfit. I’m pretty sure I own almost every colour. Second, I’ve been living in Weekday’s T-shirt dresses that essentially feel like pyjamas. (I can admit I’ve slept in them a handful of times.) 

Next up, the biggest S/S 20 fashion trends you need to know. 

Related Stories