If you’ve ever stumbled upon one of Shahd Batal’s Instagram photos, you’ve probably wondered how to emulate her elegant, on-trend modest outfit formulas. Fortunately, the 23-year-old YouTube star is making it easy: Today, she dropped a style edit with ASOS, filled with a carefully-curated mix of comfy and chic pieces. The edit is a reflection of Batal’s unique sartorial vibe, which has earned her hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
“My style is very versatile, but I love mixing loungewear with workwear or feminine pieces with masculine pieces,” she tells Bustle. “Lately, I’ve been really into jewelry, so that’s what elevates my staple look and makes me feel the most confident. My personal style is always changing, and the hope is it always feels authentic to where I am at the time.”
Effortlessness was the main inspiration for Batal’s ASOS style edit. She wanted to highlight items that can travel easily and adapt to different events and environments. You’ll find pieces like a denim boiler suit and a tracksuit, which can be tailored and styled in unexpected ways, like with heels or combat boots.
And she included plenty of pastel to usher in the spring season. “I had spring in mind so I knew there needed to be a little color,” she says. “I’m blessed to travel often, but my biggest struggle is finding effortless modest clothes for vacations and events that don’t have surprise slits or cost a fortune. The goal was to make modest pieces that are accessible and affordable for women to feel confident and represented rather than an afterthought.”
Batal started her YouTube channel when she was in college and stayed “very shy” about it for the first year or so. She was creating beauty, fashion, and wellness content, as well as natural hair videos since she wasn’t wearing the hijab at the time. Then in 2016, when she decided to wear the hijab, she deleted all of her old content to have a blank slate.
“It has always felt like I’m taking my subscribers with me on a journey, whether it be my struggles in college, going from damaged to healthy hair, or my hijab journey,” she shares. “I never imagined I’d be doing this full time. The way I create content and the content itself is always changing. But I’ve made a commitment to remain authentic to myself regardless of where I am in life, and honor that instead of following trends or what I know would perform better.”
Modest fashion, she explains, is often misunderstood. People sometimes think it centers around the same looks or that it “has to be boring.” For Batal, her experience with modest fashion couldn’t be more different. She describes her go-to look as a turtleneck paired with baggy jeans or pants and Air Force 1s.
“That’s usually my uniform, and I’ll add a blazer or switch it up with heels or whatever I’m feeling that day,” she shares. “I actually fell in love with fashion more when I started wearing the hijab because of the challenge of elevating looks and making trends I loved work. Fashion is personal, especially modest fashion, and everyone deserves to feel comfortable and beautiful in their clothing.”
When it comes to her creative process, she’s always thinking about the kind of content the younger version of herself needed to see. “I’m still finding my voice and passions,” she says. “But I’m grateful that sharing my journey as a young Black Muslim woman just trying to maneuver her life in LA has resonated with others who look like me.”
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