Typically though, the grandmothers either wear a band niqab or a gold birqa, like in the pic above (only no braids and hair sticking out). And only typically beggars (and religious pious Egyptian sisters but more commonly beggars) wear the overhead abayas here that are of a closed style. The open style is more local (though not of my age group). My maxi, stylish purse and shoes, give it a younger air. Somehow, because of all the fabric, I feel very high fashion, rather than dowdy.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My UAE look isn't very UAE (unless you are a rockin' Grandma)
I like overhead abayas and I just can't get away with wearing them in Canada (Canadian non-muslims think I look like some alien Beduoin-foreigner LOL, or they just get weirded out by them too much---and since I also think shoulder styles are more than perfectly halal...). So I asked Aalia to help me find one here. What I like best about them is they are airy underneath (so less sticky and hot), and no men follow you in them. I am serrious. We had an unexpected experiment that supported my theory. I have always loved Shaikha Sabeela of Bahrain's shiny satiny overheads. Anyways, women that aren't grandmothers here in UAE don't generally wear them. Foreigners definately don't wear them. Saudi women from the Nejd and near the Rub Al Khali, as well as Saudi grandmothers and teachers, do. Older generation Emiratis do. These two groups wear the open style abaya-raas, with a khaleeji thobe, or Emirati house dress (or party jalibiyia for special occasions) underneath. I wear my maxi dresses (pink and green) and a plain black shayla (with tonnes of chest coverage---down to my mid rib-cage to prevent flashing anyone if my abaya blows open) underneath. To wear my way, first I put on my underclothes (if I was wearing a modest jalbiyia I wouldn't need to style my shayla with as much chest coverage but in a maxi I do), then I put on my half niqab around my head not necessarily pulled up to my mouth yet (I have yet to buy a really nice flip one---I only have Saudi string styles). Then I put on the overhead. I like to pin it on the inside, on the shayla, on both sides of (above) my temple, for extra security, but you totally don't have to. My overhead from Madinat al Zayed is shiny satiny fabric so it can slip. Then I can pin some jewelry on my head for pretty look under the folds of the overhead (but I don't do that for walking around where lots of men are), and pull my half niqab up so it covers my face. I accessorize with a trendy purse and girly shoes. I like this look because it is so simple. And I have the excuse to buy pretty jalibiyias rather than abayas (which my husband would like). And it has the added bonus of being a deterent for men (I don't get mall stalkers while shopping when in an overhead and my face covered.). I intend to add a tassel-close to the collar bone height of the abaya-ras to make carrying my purse easier.