Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fashion Wednesday: Colorful Abayas

We have been in the Kingdom for quite sometime now. I have been told that there was a time in Saudi not that long ago when it was not obligatory to wear an abaya. I have many of my baby pics with my mom in a park in Riyadh with no abaya. The desi clothing we wear, the shalwar and qameez are in my opinion if not very fitted are very hijab friendly.

      Anyways, I dont know exactly but its in the early eighties when it became obligatory for every woman      ( dont know if its a written law anywhere but they do enforce it strictly) in the Kingdom to wear an abaya. The strictness of wearing the headscarf, I have seen varies from city to city. I havent seen Mutawwa or the vice police roaming the roads or the malls in Jeddah. maybe once or twice in my entire life there. And even then they weren't directly talking to a woman, they were just saying aloud to everyone to cover up.   I know that its  really really strict in Riyadh you can read the stories here. I know for sure its much more strict in other cities of KSA. In a mall in Hail. the mutawa are ALWAYS present and you HAVE to cover even your face. Khobar is another story. In the past three years, i havent seen many mutawwa out and about. I have seen westerners without an abaya or a headscarf in the malls in dahran. But yes I was once caught up by one. I was wearing  a very plain cotton abaya the only thing different in it was it was Purple. I was coming out of a shop and my husband was stopped by the vice GMC. they told him that your wife is not wearing an abaya as an abaya is suppose to be black.

       I am not an expert on Islam or How we should be covering up, or how much we should be covering up. I do know that it is left to the person in question. Modesty is the First rule in clothing in men and women alike, followed by no skin showing and the clothes being lose. The rest is between me and my Allah. I didn't get the Abaya being only black part much either. An abaya (outer covering) is suppose to help me cover myself up but what color it should be and how it should be made is not dictated. I do not like myself to be  lost in the sea of black. I do not like to be the black ghost either. I posted about this matter awhile back here.

 For that me and my sister have come up with some new abaya ideas. We wanted them to be simple, modest and not over  the top but it let us be the individuals we are ( helps my husband spot me in the mall when i am drooling over the jeweler store window as well).

Do tell what you think of them, We had made some dark colored abayas as well. Will show you those soon as well.


  1. hi...i just found out your blog @expat-blog. and i read this post of yours..and i love this post on your blog...I am an expat and christian...and i think colored abaya is great and fashionable...I do respect you and your religion, even if muslim women covered themselves with black cloth, i think that there's still fashion in it...i wish we could wear neon pink or printed abaya...that would be creative....


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