Wearing black for women is not a must. They may wear other colours that are worn only by women, do not attract attention and do not provoke desire. Many women choose to wear black, not because it is obligatory, but because it is farthest removed from being an adornment.
The conditions of muslim dress:
1. It should cover all the body apart from whatever has been exempted
It is obligatory to cover all of a woman’s beauty and adornments and not to display any part of that before non-mahram men (“strangers”) except for whatever appears unintentionally, in which case there will be no sin on them if they hasten to cover it up.
This means that she should not display any part of her adornment to non-mahrams, apart from that which it is impossible to conceal such as the cloak and robe, i.e., what the women of the Arabs used to wear, an outer garment which covered whatever the woman was wearing, except for whatever appeared from beneath the outer garment. There is no sin on a woman with regard to this because it is impossible to conceal it.
2. It should not be an adornment in and of itself. The outer garment, because if it is decorated it will attract men’s attention to her.
3. It should be thick and not transparent or “see-thru” because it cannot cover properly otherwise. Transparent or see-thru clothing makes a woman more tempting and beautiful. There are women who wear clothes made of light fabric which describes and does not cover. They are clothed in name but naked in reality.
4. It should be loose, not tight so that it describes any part of the body. The purpose of clothing is to prevent fitnah (temptation), and this can only be achieved if clothes are wide and loose. Tight clothes, even if they conceal the colour of the skin, still describe the size and shape of the body or part of it, and create a vivid image in the minds of men. The corruption or invitation to corruption that is inherent in that is quite obvious. So the clothes must be wide.
5. It should not be perfumed with bakhoor or fragrance. The prohibition covers perfume applied to the body, it also covers perfume applied to the clothes. The reason for this prohibition is quite clear, which is that women’s fragrance may cause undue provocation of desires. The scholars also included other things under this heading of things to be avoided by women who want to go to the mosque, such as beautiful clothes, jewellery that can be seen, excessive adornments and mingling with men.
6. It should not resemble the clothing of men. It is forbidden for women to imitate men and vice versa, this usually includes dress and other matters.
7. It should not resemble the dress of kaafir women. It is stated in sharee’ah that Muslims, men and women alike, should not resemble or imitate the kuffaar with regard to worship, festivals or clothing that is specific to them. This is an important Islamic principle which nowadays, unfortunately, is neglected by many Muslims, even those who care about religion and calling others to Islam. This is due either to ignorance of their religion, or because they are following their own whims and desires, or because of deviation, combined with modern customs and imitation of kaafir Europe. This was one of the causes of the Muslims’ decline and weakness, which enabled the foreigners to overwhelm and colonize them.
8. It should not be a garment of fame and vanity