Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Me & My Abaya

Do you have to cover up? I always get this question from my friends or people I meet. Like most things in Saudi I have a love/hate relationship with my abaya. My FB status this week was "good thing about my abaya - doing school runs in my pj's".

Abaya's are worn over your clothes and it covers your body from the neck down. While it's not a legal requirement to wear them, you would be the only woman not doing so in the entire city, so social pressures and the prospect of being harassed by muttawa (religious police) and Saudi men is enough to motivate expats to respect their cultural traditions. Non-muslim expats do not wear headscarves except during Ramadan, out of respect for their holy month. However I always have mine with me just in case. Most Saudi women wear the trio of abaya, headscarf, and niqab (face veil).

You never need to worry about what you are wearing anymore. My purchases of clothes for myself has become almost nil. This makes my husband very happy.


  1. Oh my gosh, I can see how it can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good you don't have to worry about what you are going to wear but I would think it would be so hot when the temperature soars. I wear a uniform everyday to work so I never need to worry about what am I going to wear. Then in my downtime I just wear jammies or jeans and a tshirt.

  2. Tracy you are right about the heat. When the outside temps are 50 degrees and you are wearing black head to toe it is very uncomfortable. I try to wear as little as possible, most of my wardrobe is shorts and tanks.

  3. And you wouldn't have to worry about weight gain 'cause who is seeing you in tight clothing, right? Ok, I like the idea of owning an abaya more and more!