Hijab (comes from the root words giving reference to) that which conceals, hides, conceals from sight, to keep private, seclusion. Thus, in context of religion, hijab refers to that woman who covers her face and conceals herself from strangers.Jilbab: a garment, a dress. Usually that type of attire which conceals the shape of a person’s body. ‘Jilbab’ is usually worn by woman that adheres to the advice Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) gave his blessed family regarding its necessity. From the ayah of the Quran we learn that women are to uphold the jilbab as a religious injunction. It also helps to ward of the stares of strangers as the shape of a dignified person.Men are also called upon to be modest in their presentation of the human self as well.The correct way to wear the hijab as defined above would be to wear clothing that would not expose the shape of any part of the body to a stranger. Hijab would be inclusive of the niqab (face covering.) The correct way to wear the hijab would differ. It would depend on safety issues, visibility, environment, level of comfort, etc. The concept and function of hijab would however remain constant.Jilbab would be inclusive of the above definition of hijab with the exception of face covering.Our preference at all times is modesty, regardless of whether a person chooses the hijab or jilbab mode of dress.Allah Certainly Knows best.
I usually use the word 'hijab' instead of 'jilbab' but I think from now on, I'll prefer the word jilbab. Because I frankly don't cover my face.