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What is an Abaya?

Jun 22, 2024 Covered Bliss

What is an Abaya?

An abaya is a timeless garment that's been through more style changes than a celebrity on the red carpet! Originally just a practical cover-up to beat the desert heat, it's now a symbol of modesty and Muslim identity with a fashion-forward twist.

The abaya has morphed into a kaleidoscope of colors and designs from its basic beginnings. Initially, in ancient times, Muslim women wore the abaya to cover themselves, helping them cover all curves from head to feet. Today, the abaya is no longer confined to classic black; it's all about expressing yourself in every shade of the rainbow. The options are endless, from a traditional black abaya to a vibrant pink abaya.

But it's not just about looking good; it's about feeling connected. Slipping on an abaya is like wearing your heritage with pride, embracing your roots while staying chic and classy. The abaya meaning has evolved, blending cultural significance with contemporary fashion trends.

Each abaya a hijabi wears tells a story, reflecting the individuality and culture of its wearer. Whether rocking a traditional style or pushing boundaries with something more contemporary, it's all about modestly celebrating your unique taste.

Abaya designs now include the kaftan abaya, open abaya, and abaya dresses in various materials like cotton abaya, linen abaya, and luxurious fabrics for special occasions like a wedding abaya or an Eid abaya.

For those seeking convenience, you can find an abaya in various styles and sizes online, including plus-size abaya options. Abaya sets and prayer abayas are also available for different needs. Whether it's a blue abaya for a pop of color, a white abaya for a fresh look, or even a sporty touch with a Nike abaya, there's something for everyone.

What to Wear Under an Abaya

Choosing what to wear under an abaya is essential for comfort and style. The versatility of an abaya allows for various layering options depending on the occasion, weather, and personal preference. Here are some tips on how to dress underneath your abaya:

Lightweight Tops and Bottoms

Lightweight tops and bottoms are perfect for everyday wear. Opt for cotton T-shirts or blouses and comfortable leggings or trousers. This combination is ideal for a casual look and keeps you cool, especially under a linen or cotton abaya.

Undershirts and Slip Dresses

For a smooth look, consider wearing undershirts or slip dresses. These are particularly useful under a more fitted or open abaya, as they provide an extra layer without adding bulk. Slip dresses in neutral colors, like black or white, blend well with any abaya design.

Jumpsuits and Bodysuits

Jumpsuits and bodysuits are trendy and comfortable options to wear under an abaya. They provide full coverage and streamline your silhouette, making them perfect for an open or more contemporary abaya fashion look. Choose breathable fabrics to ensure comfort throughout the day.

Leggings and Skinny Jeans

For those who prefer pants, leggings and skinny jeans are great choices. They are comfortable and can be easily paired with any abaya, whether it’s a plus-size or a more fitted style. This pairing is ideal for a casual yet polished appearance.

Special Occasion Wear

You might opt for more elegant attire underneath for special occasions like Eid or weddings. A beautiful Eid or wedding abaya can complement a chic dress or a matching abaya set. Accessories like jewelry and stylish shoes can further enhance your look.


For a more active lifestyle, consider wearing sporty pieces under your abaya. Brands like Nike offer athletic options that blend comfort and modesty. These are excellent choices for a casual day out or a more active setting, providing flexibility and ease of movement.

Why is Abaya Important for a Modest Hijabee?  

For many modest hijab, the abaya is an essential garment that plays a significant role in their wardrobe and cultural identity. The abaya is a loose-fitting, full-length robe worn by Muslim women to cover their regular clothing, ensuring modesty by Islamic principles.

One key reason the abaya is essential for a modest hijabi is its practicality. It provides complete coverage of the body, including the arms and legs, allowing women to adhere to the principles of modesty while also staying comfortable. This is especially important in countries with hot climates, where lightweight and breathable fabrics are often used to make abayas.

Additionally, the abaya is a symbol of cultural and religious identity. It signifies a woman's commitment to her faith and serves as a reminder of her connection to her religion and community. Many women also find that wearing the abaya gives them a sense of empowerment and confidence, allowing them to express their identity in a meaningful way.

Overall, the abaya holds excellent significance for modest hijab, offering them a practical and cultural garment that helps them maintain their modesty and express their religious identity.

What should we consider while buying an abaya?

When buying an abaya, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you find one that meets your needs and preferences:

Choosing the Right Fabric

When selecting an abaya, consider the climate and your comfort. Lightweight fabrics like cotton or chiffon are ideal for warmer weather, while thicker fabrics like wool or crepe are better for colder climates.

Ensuring a Proper Fit

Ensure the abaya fits well and is comfortable to wear. Please pay attention to the length, sleeve length, and overall fit to ensure it provides the coverage you desire without being too tight or restrictive.

Selecting the Design

Abayas come in various designs, from traditional to modern and embellished styles. Choose a design that suits your style and complements your wardrobe.

Considering Embroidery and Embellishments

If you prefer a more decorative abaya, consider the type and amount of embroidery or embellishments. Heavily embellished abayas may be more suitable for special occasions rather than everyday wear.

Choosing the Closure

Abayas can have different closures, such as buttons, zippers, or no closures. Choose a closure that is easy for you to use and provides the desired level of coverage.


Consider how easy the abaya is to care for, especially if you prefer low-maintenance garments. Some fabrics may require special care, such as hand washing or dry cleaning.

Setting a Budget

Set a budget for your abaya purchase and look for options within your price range. Remember that higher-priced abaya may be made from higher-quality fabrics and craftsmanship.

Where to buy a abaya

When buying an abaya, there are several options and factors to consider. Here are some places and styles to explore:

Online stores

Online shopping offers a wide range of options and convenience. Click here to shop online for abayas that provide a variety of styles, sizes, and fabrics. Consider stores specializing in modest fashion or Islamic clothing for the best selection.

Local boutique

Check out local boutiques that specialize in modest clothing or Islamic fashion. These stores often have unique and stylish abayas that may not be found elsewhere.

Specialty stores

Some stores specialize in specific abayas, such as those for special occasions or with unique designs. Look for stores that offer a variety of styles, such as open abayas, kaftan abayas, or plus-size abayas.

Custom Designers

For a genuinely unique abaya, consider working with a custom designer. This allows you to create a bespoke abaya according to your features and style preferences.

Popular styles and brands

Some popular styles and brands of abaya include Maha Abaya, Ariel Abaya, Umbrella Abaya, Emerald Queen Abaya, Hanan Abaya, Pleats and Trim Abaya, Saria Abaya, Dina Abaya, Marilyn Abaya, Rana Abaya, Yasmin Abaya and more. These brands offer various traditional and modern styles and cater to different tastes and preferences.

When shopping for an abaya, consider the fabric, fit, design, and closure to find one that suits your needs and style. Whether you're looking for a simple black abaya for everyday wear or a more elaborate abaya for a special occasion, plenty of options are available to suit your style and budget.


In conclusion, the abaya is not just a garment; it's a symbol of modesty, cultural identity, and fashion expression for Muslim women worldwide. From its humble beginnings as a simple cover-up in the desert heat to its current status as a diverse and stylish clothing, the abaya has evolved into a versatile and essential item in every hijabi's wardrobe. 

Whether you prefer traditional black abayas or more vibrant and modern designs, there is an abaya for everyone. So, when buying an abaya, consider these factors carefully to find the perfect one that reflects your style, personality, and values.

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