An important aspect of religion that must be observed is the Islamic code of clothing for both men and women. The appearance is a symbol of what one has in his/her heart.
Sadly today’s modern society is madly and blindly running behind fashion. In fact, vulgarity and un-Islamic values have been introduced and injected in our society in the name of fashion and style.
The design of our dress must avoid three grave sins: show off, arrogance, and self- indulgence. Also clothing should not be worn for the purpose of gaining reputation or increasing one's status in society.
Ibn 'Abbas RA said, "Eat what you like and wear what you like as but avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance." (Bukhari)
The Quran describes the purpose of clothing:
“O children of Adam! We have bestowed upon you clothing to cover your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness - that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember”. (Surah Al A’raf verse 26).
Clothing worn by Muslims should be clean and decent, neither excessively fancy nor ragged. One should not dress in order to increase the admiration or sympathy of others.
The overall appearance of a person should be dignified and modest.
Our clothes should cover the body adequately with dignity and good looks. It should not fail to satisfy the requirements of adequate cover-up of the body. Nor should they be so ugly and awkward that instead of increasing beauty, it grades the person's appearance.
In today's brand and fashion conscious world, where people spend lots of money to make a "fashion statement" and impress others, we are forgetting that we are falling into grave sins and attracting Allah's punishment by trying to impress others.
Allah will punish those who wear clothes for fame and arrogance
Abdullah ibn Umar رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever wears a garment of fame (to show it off), Allah will make him wear a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection and then He will set it ablaze with fire.” - Sunan Ibn Majah 3607 (Hasan)
Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Whoever wears a piece of clothing in order to show off and that people look at it, Allah will not look at the person till he takes it off (Allah will not look at him so long as he is wearing them).” -Tabarani
Abu Hurairah رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه related: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "While a man was walking, dressed in clothes admiring himself, his hair combed, walking haughtily when Allah caused the earth to swallow him. Now he will continue to go down in it (as a punishment) until the Day of Resurrection.'' [Sahih Muslim].
It has been narrated by Muadh Ibn-Jabal رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه that when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent him to Yemen he said to him:
"Beware of luxury, for the slaves of Allah do not live a life of luxury." [Ahmad]
Allah will reward those who abandon fancy, expensive clothing out of Humility
Anas ibn Malik رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever gives up fine clothing out of humility for Allah while he is able to wear them, then Allah will call him on the Day of Resurrection in front of all His creation and He will allow him to choose whichever garment of faith he desires.” -Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2481 (Hasan)
Sunnah Duas while wearing a garment that help to avoid pride and showing off:
Reading the Duas of Sunnah and focussing on their meaning before wearing the clothes can protect us from developing sinful emotions of Arrogance and show-off.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, If anyone puts on a garment and says: "Praise be to Allah Who has clothed me with this and provided me with it through no might and power on my part," he will be forgiven his former and later (minor) sins. -Abu Dawud
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه reported: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, wore a new garment he would name it, for instance, a turban or a shirt or a cloak, and the Prophet would say, “O Allah, praise is for you that you have dressed me with it. I ask you for its goodness and the goodness for which it was made. I seek refuge in you from its evil and the evil for which it was made.” -Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1767 (Sahih)
We should remember that the type of dress we wear is a personal choice to submit to Allah rather than the fashion of society. It is a choice to be beautiful in front of Allah, rather than to people. And it is a choice to cover and dignify the body Allah has blessed us with, rather than give in to a consumerist culture based on ego-worship, arrogance and self-gratification.