Abaya, also sometimes called an aba, refers to a loose, robe-like garment, usually worn by women in the Arabic world.
Outside the Gulf States, you can still find women wearing this type of outfit, however less often.
In some countries with a large Islamic population, abayas are practically not used. India, Pakistan, Indonesia are some of the examples.
According to certain Islamic concepts, adult women should cover their entire body in public aside from hands and face, and abaya is designed largely based on this rule.
Women mostly wear it over a pair of pants and some sort of top. It may also be combined with a face veil, called niqab, or a scarf.
Sometimes women would wear long black gloves to cover their hands too.
Types of Abays:
The original abaya is a square piece of fabric used to drape the figure or a long robe covering the whole body.
Traditionally it was black in color, and while in the Persian Gulf states — Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — they still tend to be black, in other countries there is more variety to the style.
Modern abayas are rarely just a piece of fabric but rather a robe-cut attire.
Materials used in its production are usually light and flowing, crepe and chiffon being some of the most common ones.
Styling largely depends on the region: some add embroidery to the black fabric, while others are vividly and brightly colored.
Contemporary abayas may be manufactured as a one-piece or with an open front, similar to a coat.
Designer abayas also include decorative embellishments that add personality and festiveness to the outfit.
The tradition for Muslim women to cover their entire body has been a subject of many controversies for at least the past couple of decades.
While some of the countries, like Turkey, Pakistan, and all Central Asian countries have made this rule optional for their population quite
a while back. In other places, it remains a requirement and failing to abide by it may lead to certain repercussions.
However, in March 2018, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the country with some of the strictest rules announced that women, while still making sure their attire is “decent and respectful”, could choose for themselves what style they preferred to wear.
In this video, you will see a compilation of over 80 abaya designs which can be apparently ordered from the channel owner who is located in Pakistan.
The entire channel is dedicated to fashion compilations, from traditional and modern clothes to jewelry, footwear, and children’s
collections, occasionally including bed linen.