The Art of Wearing Hijab Part 2: Abaya Style
How often have you tried to commit to abayas and backed up under the pressure of the belief that abayas are boring, dull-colored and UNFASHIONABLE!
This week, and in continuation of last week’s article, comes part 2 of: The Art of Wearing Hijab, as we prove how trendy and fun wearing abayas can be. So let’s get down and reveal all the do’s, don’ts and tricks to help unleash those long forgotten abayas laying in our closets in a way that we can still look fashionable and be satisfied.
First things first, what is the general concept of abaya?
There is a huge debate whether or not the abaya goes under THE official attire for a Muslim female (refer to part 1: The Concept and Art of Wearing Hijab). Never the less, regardless of that, the general definition of an abaya is ever the same: A loose-fitting full-length opaque robe worn by some Muslim women. (Merriam Webster, Port 80)
From this point on, and with the basics having been set, I will be sharing my personal experience with abaya fashion. Being the owner and designer of 3abéyti (pronounced: ābéyti- meaning: My abaya), I first felt a huge weight from the fact that I didn’t want the brand to present the abaya in any form of “anti” or lacking the concept of what Islam orders concerning what the attire should fulfill. Yet, the plan was to present the good ’old traditional “costume” in a new contemporary way. From there I started analyzing the definition and connecting the dots between all of the conditions for wearing a correct Islamic abaya and I ended up coming to the conclusion that there are no restrictions whatsoever to colors, cuts or designs as long as it is decent to the extent of not emphasizing body curves. At this point the magic really starts when you can finally think of the abaya as a maxi dress, an A-line dress or even a Pencil dress. All is permitted as long as the body shape is not hugged, and the sky’s the limit from there!
Tip 1: Plain meets Graphics
Do you have a plain abaya mocking you in your closet and keeping you wondering: Why on earth did I ever buy that dull thing? Well, plain can be a blessing sometimes! Get out that poor “dress” and mix it with a rich graphic scarf of yours. You can either go with analogous shades (shades of same color) or complementary colors (contrasting) to that of the base abaya. Don’t hesitate to go all the way to your bag, shoes and even accessories. Just decide where you want the eye to focus:
Is it on your ever-loved heavy-graphic scarf? Then sync it with your bag of a dominant color and keep your shoes and accessories neutral and humble. Or, if you choose a plain yet funky colored scarf, then go all the way and match to your bag and shoes – making it supportive of both. You can also add some soft metallic accessories to complete the look.
Want to focus on your whole look all together? Easy! Play around with the shades of your plain base. Go up a shade or two for your scarf and down two shades for your shoes and bag, or try picking a pastel color and add a matching pack to your outfit: scarf, accessories, shoes and bag. You will look as if you fell in one of Dior’s palettes.
Hint: Keeping a color wheel postered in the closet can be most helpful to figure out the difference between complementary and supplementary (analogous) colors to that of the primaries.
Tips 2: Add Ups
Don’t hesitate to unleash the stylist in you. You will be amazed at what you can manage to add on top of your plain abaya: cardigans, sport jackets, blazers and even vests. Just be creative and respectful to the religious concept. Mix and match your shoes and bag to the over all style (sporty, casual or formal).
Belts are also a great option to breaking down your one-piece wear into an illusion of a two-piece. Try it, but be careful not to pull it too tight around your curves and fall out of the abaya concept.
Hint: Such looks are much emphasized by plain neutral scarves and bold sunglasses.
Tip 3: Buy your “Piece” of Mind
Just like a bad-hair or a bad-eyeliner day, we ladies can also go through a bad-fashion day. Out-do such out-of-trend moods by simply investing some money in purchasing ready to wear modern abayas. The options of styles and designers have grown massively wide throughout the last few years. From sporty to sport-chic and even formal styles, the options are almost endless. And online shopping has become a source to accessing any brand at all. (Check our designs for contemporary abayas and abaya-dresses at http://www.facebook.com/groups/3abeyti)
Hint: Try to purchase at least three abayas, one of each of the main styles: sport, sport-chic or daily and formal.
In conclusion, abayas are indeed a well-defined concept, but they are pretty much in fashion, just as much as any other style. So never hesitate to wear it: DO style it but DON’T break it!