A sister said she'd be interested to hear how my hijab style had changed since moving to the Gulf.
Well, for one thing, I no longer favour Khaleeji glam embellished abayas covered with colours. Maybe cuz I live somewhere where this isn't the classiest act in town anymore???
Also, in North America, I liked to go more for embellishments as this made non-Muslims less afraid. I don't have to care about that here in Oman, alhamdulilah.
I tend to go plain black but stylish new shapes, and a plain black shayla with a plain black niqab. I have so many abaya styles, Islamiyia, Abaya Raas, Baloon Sleeves, Grecian, Bisht, Farasha, Suri, ect... I love them in plain black. I find it easier to express myself with the cut and design rather than the embellishment. I also tend to favour closed front styles.
It is not that I think this is more religious or more correct, but I like to save my money, and you can mix and match with a plain black abaya waaaaaaaaaaaaay more. Also, in Oman, it is totally okay to wear coloured hijabs, and we have some pretty cute ones.
I would love to wear coloured abayas the same as my black ones, of cute cuts, but that'd make people whistle at me here, so I refrain as much as I want to call these black-only ignorants out for making rules in Islam for what ISN'T a RULE.
I wear more creative coloured outfits in people's homes, because around non-maharam, I still have to wear hijab, and here I can wear any form of jilbab, from Omani, to Saudi, to Emirati, to Canadian and Iranian, and it doesn't matter one bit.
But outside the house, just for pure ease (and maybe I aM GROWING UP??? LOL) I like luxury black abayas, and quality niqabs and shaylas that are easy to wear. I am saving my MAJOR cash for house clothes like cute shoes, jewelry, and dresses, which is more important here in the Gulf. Whereas, I found, in the West, one has to be very careful with their wardrobe so non-Muslims find them interesting enough to accept dawah from:)
When going back to Canada, I am DEFINATELY getting some coloured versions of my abayaat made, as well some embellished khaleeji styles, but I tend to hate the crystalized abayaa as the crystals just don't last as long as quality embroidered ones, no matter the name brand. I also tend to wear headbands and broaches on my hijab in Canada, whereas here in the GCC, I totally don't. Because they look not as classy as my sleek niqabs and shalyas;)