How to stay cool in the Aussie summer in hijab!
With the mercury set to hit 40C (104F) in Sydney today, and 42C out west, where most Sydney hijabi’s live, and seeing the title of this blog pertains to temperature, its only right to include tips on keeping cool in hijab. Don’t miss Number 5 – my secret weapon against the heat.
1. The Maxi Dress
Fortunately its not just the 70s that love these things. Earlier this century Maxis made a comeback and due to their supreme coolness and comfort I am pretty sure they are here to stay. Long, loose, flowing, breezy. You can’t beat them for staying cool and covered. Spaghetti straps are especially good. I love this Chloe Trapeze Maxi in INK from Sportsgirl, its very light weight, completely opaque.
2. Cotton wide leg or harem pants
Keeping cool and modest, underneath your maxi go for light weight loose cotton pants. Cotton absorbs sweat, prevents possible chaffing and maintains total coverage. Fortunately harem pants are everywhere at the moment. SES Fashions were doing really light harem pants in a multitude of colours for around $10 not so long ago (which we all know is in fact a long time in the fashion world). Wide leg pants not so easy to find at the moment (unless you go for some PJ pants lol) but if you’re handy with a sewing machine you can whip them up in half an hour. Whilst you will find pants in a wide range of fabrics, I really do recommend sticking with 100% light weight cotton.
3. Light Cotton Shirt or Cardigan
Stick with the 3 L’s when choosing your sleeved garment – Long, Loose, Lightweight. Tempt and Valley Girl in Australia usually have cotton shirts in a multitude of colours, or try this batwing style from Glassons.com
4. Chiffon or Soft Polyester Hijab
Hijabs in chiffon are barely there, or you could choose soft polyester as shown below in this one from Hijab House. (I don’t recommend tying it in a big bow around your neck though, go for more straight forward pinning).
5. The Wet Headband
This is it folks. Be cooler than non-hijabis on the hottest of hot days. Simply dunk your headband under a nice cold tap, ring out most of the water and put on before heading out into the sunshine. The great thing about this is thats it portable – that is – you can refresh (re-wet) your headband on the go, just pop into any ladies room whilst out and about.
I’m not sure how this goes with pre-sewn headbands or caps, but I work this tip with headband strips which I make myself because I find caps and pre made headbands too loose.
DIY Headband strips - All you need is a piece of fabric and pair of scissors.
Buy stretch poly cotton off the the roll. You only need 20cm for 2 headbands. (Most shops will sell you this and it will only cost a dollar or two).
Try Spotlight, Lincraft, or that charming little Asian shop in Chester Hill on Waldron Road down near the corner of Campbell Hill Road. (The lady always gives Salams, and she’s not Muslims, God bless her!)
Taking your 0.2 metres of fabric, fold in half length ways then cut. Now you have 2 strip headbands. No sewing required. With these homemade strips you can control the tightness of the head band around you head. The wetted knot on the back of your neck will also deliver continual coolness!
6. A breath of Fresh Air
This is a tip for every girl, hijab or no hijab. Keep this handy Lush toner water in your handbag and spritz your face for ‘a breath of fresh air’. Divinely refreshing and lightly fragranced with aloe, rosemary and rose.
7. The Coolness of Iman
Let us not forget the coolness of faith (Iman) that comes with being Muslim. Inner peace through submission to the Creator of the universe and all that exists, daily prayer, giving all your worries and griefs to God helps keep you cool as a cucumber on any day.
Have a great day no matter what you wear! Peace.