Sports Jilbab

What do people think of sport’s jilbabs? Are they really practical for actual sports activities or are they just a fashion statement, a style of dress (like wearing a track suit simply for comfort)?

Islamic Design House - SisterHoodTo me, Islamic Design House’s Route 01 Silk Route Collection looks great. I would buy all of them if I had the money. Okay, not all of them, but Sisterhood, Active Girl and Day Dreamer would be on my shopping list for sure.

I actually bought a sports jilbab from them a few years ago. It’s one of the early ones, not as stylish as these, but it’s still super comfy: long, loose, black & white, with a hooded top. It doesn’t get used for sports much though; mostly just for informal gatherings.

But could they be worn for actual sporting activities? I love jilbabs and abayas as a form of dress. I don’t care what anyone says: I think they’re fabulously elegant, modest yes, but not an invisibility cloak. Most women in the west only get to wear a nice graceful dress on special occasions: a dinner party or a wedding, but an abaya let’s a woman be graceful every day.

But could you run in one? Most people would say no, though I’m not totally agreed. Sure, a professional sprinter definitely couldn’t. But if you run like me (well, that’s not so much running as a very slow jog), then you don’t exactly need the room for long strides. Still, I think if these jilbabs are designed with sports in mind, I think it must be more for the likes of netball or badminton.

Shukr Clothing also have a range which they call Active, which seem much more practical, but no where near as cool in my book – though perhaps that’s just personal taste. Certainly they give your legs freedom to move, while still modestly clothing your body. But I could only see their Printed Hoodie going on my shopping list. Once again, though, I don’t really think they have been designed with serious sports in mind.

Now Friniggi sports tops are a different matter: they have clearly been designed with sports in mind. The hemline sits just above the knee, so you have freedom to move, and they’re made from moisture-wicking fabric, so great for keeping you cool and dry. They look sporty and are much more practical than the alternatives, if not as elegant. But let’s be serious: that last characteristic is hardly a requirement on the sports field.

Personally speaking, I guess I’d like to see a cross-over, the cool of the Route 1 collection with the practicality of Friniggi. If it was possible to get a sports jilbab that was actually practical for running, I’d buy it. It would have some clever folds or zipped sides. But no, you’re right, that isn’t going to happen.

The best we can hope for is to have each of these companies enter a team into our obstacle course challenge race, their members wearing their active-wear offering, and we’ll see which of them emerges victorious. There’s a sponsorship opportunity if ever there was one.

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