Islamic fashion as a phenomenon stemmed from the combination of a set of Islamic practices (in which the need to cover a specific set of body parts is present) and of the rising need and desire to include these specific clothing items in a broader fashion industry. The global growth of “an Islamic consumer sector, which explicitly forges links between religiosity and fashion, encouraging Muslims to be both covered and fashionable, modest and beautiful,” is relatively fresh: Islamic Fashion as a particular phenomenon started appearing toward the 1980s.
The most recent developments in the field have caused a varied public discourse on a series of different levels, from the political, to the religious, to the cultural. Different positions are taken by different participants in the discussion of the politics and cultures of Islamic fashion.
Islamic clothing is clothing that is interpreted as being in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Muslims wear a wide variety of clothing, which is influenced not only by religious considerations, but also practical, cultural, social, and political factors. In modern times, some Muslims have adopted clothing based on Western traditions, while others wear modern forms of traditional Muslim dress, which over the centuries has typically included long, flowing garments. Besides its practical advantages in the climate of the Middle East, loose-fitting clothing is also generally regarded as conforming to Islamic teachings, which stipulate that body areas which are sexual in nature must be hidden from public view. Traditional dress for Muslim men has typically covered at least the head and the area between the waist and the knees, while traditional women's dress conceals the hair and the body from the ankles to the neck. Some Muslim women also cover their face. Islamic dress is influenced by two scriptural sources, the Quran and hadith. The Quran provides guiding principles believed to have come from God, while the body of hadith describes a human role model through the traditions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The branch of fashion industry influenced by Islamic principles is known as Islamic fashion.