Womens modest clothing, generally covers a little more of the body. There are a lot of cultures and religions that have a difficult time finding clothing that meets with the needs laid out by their religious texts and that is still considered stylish. So, if you are interested in starting a modest clothing business, there is definitely a market for it. Here are four religious groups that require that their women dress modestly for a variety of reasons, and each should be your target market for sales.
While the Old Order Amish rarely leave their farms and still make their own cloth and clothes, the Mennonites are a little less strict. They often come into the nearest cities and towns to peddle the items they craft by hand, and to shop. Their religious beliefs reflect a verse from the bible that speaks to the modesty of women, and how women should be covered from their head scarves to their feet, and how they honor their husbands by dressing modestly. Mennonites also do not restrict themselves to wearing just black and white, as the Amish do, but they are willing to wear colors and patterns. They still have to dress very modestly, but they often buy a few new pieces of clothing when they shop.
Muslim women are also required to dress modestly. They wear head scarves and hijabs, a covering for the female head as well as the religious covering of the hijab. Their long tunics touch the floor, and all skin from wrists to torso and shoulders to toes must be covered. Their religious reasons mimic the Judeo-Christian reason for dressing modestly, although Muslims take it a step further to hide as much of the face as possible to prevent lust and honor Allah's teachings.
Hasidic Jews, both men and women, dress modestly. Unlike the Muslims, however, Hasidic Jewish women are allowed to wear dresses that come just below the knee, so long as they also wear tights or nylon stockings to cover the rest of their legs. According to dress customs of strict Jewish law, women's and men's heads must be covered at all times. Women can wear anything from a beret to a special wig, and in some sects, the women wear two head coverings, similar to the Muslims.
The Hindus also dress modestly, but it has less to do with religion and more to do with comfort and tradition. The men wear pants and long tunics, the women wear saris and scarves, and even the children wear two-piece outfits that covers their bodies. Out of all of the religious groups, the Hindus dress in the most colorful of fabrics, believing that color is representative of all life and of the chakra, or life-force, in the body. These simple clothes protect the whole body from many of the biting and stinging insects of India while allowing the body to breathe in the intense Indian heat.
Being Culturally Sensitive
Whichever groups you choose to market your modest clothing to, be sure that you are always culturally sensitive. It helps to know how certain groups might react to seeing Muslim or Jewish clothing offered in the same store, and deciding how you can sell both without offending the other. As you begin this business venture, learn all you can about their religions and their cultures so that your customers all feel welcome in your store. Also, it is a very good idea to separate your clothing by the religions into different areas of the store, and provide ultra-modest dressing rooms where customers can try on the clothing and still honor their spiritual and religious beliefs.