Bejewelled: Pairing the Hijab with Jewellery


For those who wear the hijab, pairing jewellery with modest attire often proves to be a challenge. Zinah Nur Sharif shares her tips and photographs on how to make it work.

I’m one of those people who believe that every season of the year is jewellery season. That bracelet is always in fashion, and those necklaces could go with any trend at any time of the year. I also believe that jewellery is essential to our personal style because it reflects our character and personality. Dictionaries define jewellery as a form of personal adornment.

Fine jewellery, precious gems, glittery stones and plain gold chains are fashion mainstays. Jewellery adds an edge to any outfit, and can be worn for any occasion.

If you’re not a hijabi, finding the best ways to wear a necklace or earrings to complement your outfit is probably straightforward for you. But for hijabis, or women who sometimes wear the hijab, matching jewellery with our outfits can be a bit more complex. We worry that wearing some jewellery, such as earrings or small necklaces, may end up being covered by our hijab.

As a jewellery collector and hijabi myself, I was once on the verge of giving up wearing jewellery with the hijab. I couldn’t figure out a way to have my favourite necklace or green stone earrings on display with the rest of the outfit. It took me some time and effort to work it out, but I finally did. So now I’d like to share the result with you!

Necklaces can simply be worn over the hijab, especially if they’re big. The same goes for pendants. If you’re a turbanista, just wear any necklace as normal – there’s little hassle involved. Hijabis will have to deal with the layers of hijab fabric under the necklace, or learning how to place it around your neck and over your hijab without building ‘lamps’ of fabric. It’s best to pull back a few layers of hijab around your neck, and then put the necklace on. But I’m afraid this normally won’t do at all for fine necklaces; they’ll be overwhelmed and drowned in layers of hijab fabric. That said, kudos to those of you bold enough to know when to break the rules!

Another way of wearing a necklace over the hijab is by placing it on top of your head; yes you read that correctly! Use your necklace as head jewellery. This method is only suitable for special occasions, unless of course it’s in your style to be brave on a regular basis. For casual ways of wearing head jewellery over your hijab, headbands are a less dramatic option. And let’s not forget hair clips: If they are bejewelled, pretty or cute, just clip them on the front edge of your hijab like you would on your hair.

Earrings are a bit of a challenge to wear over the hijab. You don’t want to end up looking like Dumbo the elephant with large earrings giving the illusion of huge ears! To get around this, change the way you wear the hijab. I’ve discovered that, by wearing a turban and just loosely putting a hijab over it, you can have the earrings on display without showing your neck. Take a look at the 11th picture in the gallery to see how I’ve done it.

Turbanistas won’t struggle with wearing earrings. Even if you cover your neck with an underscarf, you’ll pull off the look just fine. The earrings will simply dangle on the side without looking weird or alien.

Finally, wearing ‘arm candies’, aka bracelets, is rather straightforward – simply place your arm candy over your long-sleeved top or just at the edge of the sleeve.

Words work well, but images work better! Flip through the gallery for more of the bejewelled medley of hijab and jewellery.

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