I disagree with this, really. But I am not big on considering clothes in any great higher, spiritual sense ... for me a person wearing what pleases them to wear is an excellent reason for their choices of dress.
on many days, i am right there with you. perhaps because this process (of coming to religion, and all that is related to that) still feels very new to me. that and all of my family and any friends outside the masjid have a very different idea of what looks beautiful. i have struggled with that over the years in various ways. it should by now, when i am in my (ahem) 30s, be a non-issue—it is embarrassing to think family/peer pressure can still be so strong.
my (nonreligious) dh teases me good naturedly and tells me the scarf is cute. he is not exactly sure what to make of it, but wants me to be happy. however, around totally nonreligious friends i have not felt comfortable to wear a scarf—because even if i wore a scarf because i think its beautiful, for nonreligious friends it is perceived as part of my religiosity, and that makes me squirm. maybe i need to just do it, get it over with, let it become no big deal.
that said, clearly all of my overthinking complicates things unnecessarily. i remember taking a scarf from around my neck, making a loose headband out of it—i loved this for years, even before immersing myself in this faith. i think i have self-consciousness, because to dress a certain way in the US does give a public religious identity, to an extent. to say i just like the clothes....that feels like only part of the story.
Jo, your story makes sense to me and is a good reminder hat this all an unfolding. also, i tend to take things too seriously, and need to lighten up on myself!
YSM, thanks for your comments. i understand what you mean, that feeling beautiful when covered is a kind of gift and baraka.
tomorrow i can pick up my Arabic cds from the library inshaAllah. than you all again for the support and friendship here. salaams.
I do understand ... I mean, I keep hanging on this pendulum that has gone from boho chic to all-black ninjette niqabi to at the moment bordering on all the way back to boho chic, covering various shades in between, and while some of that is me just doing what I want to do, an awful lot of it is tied up in how I want to be perceived in particular times/places/circumstances.
Since I don't proselytize for religious dress, but I'm generally all too happy to proselytize for feeling good about one's appearance, may I suggest that a lot of more bun-style and other "up-do" headwraps tend to be read in a less religious (and generally entirely non-Islamic) light, and therefore might work without quite the same discomfort? Because they don't read as "hey, look, Muslim woman, right here!" they also tend to be a little more comfortable to wear one day and skip the next ... there's not that sense of having committed to a thing attached.