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The Muslim veil: modesty has its own style

Hijabs du jour and hijab don'ts: Whether the Muslim veil takes the gentle Pakistani drape or the face-hugging Saudi wrap, it is a style statement.

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For many Muslims the question isn’t “Should I veil?”

It’s “How should I veil today to match my outfit?”

As the trend of wearing hijab spreads, so, too, have hijab fashions. Women from New Jersey to Jakarta are trying new ways of wearing wraps taught on YouTube or showcased on runways. They’re wearing silk print scarves and scarves from The Gap, sheer scarves with sequins and hot-pink frilly scarves, scarves awash with the Fendi logo.

Whatever the look, hijabistas share one style principle: This is not their mother’s head scarf – conservative, plain, a little too formless.

“It looks kind of like a tent,” JoKima Hamidullah says of her mother’s veil. “Like a burqa,” but shorter.

The New Jersey housewife, who offers hijab du jours and hijab don’ts on her Islamic fashion blog, one of hundreds filling the Internet, gets her ideas from mainstream trends.

Looks vary by country but blend across borders. Pakistanis, known for draping a scarf (or dupetta) lightly over their hair, are seeing more women envelop their faces Saudi-style. In Egypt and Europe more women are wearing the “Spanish style,” tying their veil like a bandanna, then sweeping its strands into a graceful side ponytail.

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