Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Evolution of the Abaya

The abaya has gone through some pretty drastic changes over the past few years.  I think when the average person thinks of an abaya images of a graceful flowing black garment trailing behind someone striding across an exotic middle eastern back drop  come to mind. The abaya is actually much more than a cultural garment. It is a real symbol of modest beauty and in many ways emblematic of Islam. Not all muslimahs wear abaya of course but it is a garment of real iconic and religious significance to many women. However for many Muslims living in the west the selection of appropriate Islamic garments  had been seriously lacking. For starters ordering online has often led to receiving ill fitting and utterly unstylish and unflattering options not to mention the atrocious fabrics we were often being marketed. As a woman living in the west if I choose to wear an abaya it is pretty much an all day garment for me.  Work, shopping, travel, get together s  . . wherever my day takes me here in the west it is more often than not in company that is not segregated by gender so my obligation to cover spans the majority of my day.  So if my outer garment is my all day garment  I want comfort and I want a little style and something that suits my personality as well.

Somewhere along the way the traditional abaya was widely replaced by the iron on super bling abaya. In general we got the same poor shaping and fabrics but with a healthy dose of crystals glued on. Don’t get me wrong I do love a little bling but a few shiny crystals don’t suddenly make an outfit stylish and might not always be the best choice for everyday wear.
(Sorry bling . . . I love you but you are smothering me ;) )

Lately there has been a lot of buzz and excitement as Muslim designers have stepped up and done all kinds of new and exciting things in abaya designs.  Abayas in all colors and shapes have been gracing the catwalks in the Middle East and across the globe. The traditionally black garment has been seen with pops of colors and insets and gorgeous draping and flowing styles. The abaya has officially gone couture J. While I am glad that the beauty of modesty is being embraced I don’t have a thousand dollars to drop on a designer garment and although I wouldn’t mind being draped in beautiful fabrics it really isn’t a practical everyday style for most of us either.  I think most of us wait for the runway trends to trickle down into practical fashion (and practical price ranges). 

                                  Introducing the Elegant Range from Khimar Online

Now I want to tell you what trend I am really excited about.  Abaya designers right here in the west are getting on board with the wave of updating the abaya  and bringing designer touches to our everyday abayas.  At Khimar Online there  are ranges of abaya for all different  tastes,  styles and needs.  In this post I would like to take a look at the elegant line because it so directly reflects that desire to have a touch of couture in our everyday lives.  The elegant range gives a serious dose of style without compromising any of the modesty you want as a Muslim women (or any woman desiring beautiful modest fashions.
        The beautiful coat flare abaya showcases a classic wrap around styling and  attention to detail that give  the abaya a very classy upscale look. The bodice of the garment is beautifully tailored  and balances out the graceful full flair of the skirt. The tonal grey on grey detailing of this abaya make it perfect for anyone looking for a softer look that can go from professional to casual to dressed up for an evening out.

(Coat flare abaya  £54.99        100% cotton jersey      machine washable)

With the navy marine abaya you can get all of the look of vacationing in your summer home or jet setting off to the Mediterranean .  If you are like me and don’t actually have the yacht that is still no reason to not have the style ;).

 ( Navy Marine Abaya £45.99  Fabric: 100% Cotton Jersey Care: Cold wash gentle cycle)

If you are looking for a delicious berry tone then this is the abaya you have been looking for.  This abaya was made to be seen in motion. The full skirt gives you modesty and grace as you are surrounded by waves of flowing fabric. This abaya is loaded with feminine details. The cuffs and collar are accented with drawstring bows in a complimenting fabric and a delicate flower corsage adorns the bust .
(Berry Heart £54.99 Material: 100% Cotton Jersey and cotton printed trimmings Care: Cold Wash Gentle Cycle or cold water hand wash)

Tie me in is an understated beauty with a simple satin bow adorning the neckline. This abaya is perfect for the nursing mother too and is great deal at only £39.99.

The classic styling of a polo top has been translated into an abaya here in the Cuff Chic. It is actually more like a polo abaya kicked up a notch with some really cute extras. 

 This abaya is also only £39.99 (deal time :) ). It is a winter weight cotton jersey knit.

For these styles and more check our website

The elegant range really offers a  great option particularly to a lot of us Muslimahs living in the west. The addition of designer details gives us the fashion and personality we want. Cut is king in many of these styles.   No amount of detail can make up for a poorly constructed garment.  The cut of these styles has been perfected to flatter and give you that graceful full flair you want in an abaya and still provide modesty. To be modest  does not have to mean to be unattractive or unstylish but rather to cover and carry yourself with the appropriate respect and dignity.  Does being modest or looking stylish have to be uncomfortable? Nope.  Introducing cotton jersey into the world of abaya has personally been one of my favorite new trends.  Comfortable, breathable, machine washable. . . . the trifecta of what makes a perfect fabric. Why are we always so intent on making new synthetics when Allah already graced us with some pretty perfect natural materials to work with J. This is a trend I really hope is here for the long hall. Cotton jersey hangs nicely and the cotton jersey at Khimar is a perfect mid-weight. It is light enough for summer wear but is also opaque so there are no modesty issues and the garments are well tailored so the fabric floats over the body rather than clinging to it. Khimar strives to offer reasonable prices for quality garments.  The garments in the elegant range offer an additional benefit for the investment in that they are year round garments in most climates. The fitted sleeves  make them perfect for layering sweaters, blazers or jackets in the winter and the cotton jersey makes them comfortable on warmer days (not to mention that cotton jersey is a bit more wrinkle resistant than a woven cotton. . . . think t-shirt versus dress shirt).  Some styles offer pockets and cuffs that open so the sleeves can easily be pushed up for wudu . ..  and all of the other stuff that  life with little ones throws at you J. 

If you are looking for a tailored garment than can go to work, everyday or be dressed up this is a great range to check out.  The elegant range is perfect for those searching for an Islamic garment with western sensibilities, great style and practical features.

Stay tuned for more great abaya collections and fashion tips and tricks.

Salaam ladies.


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