Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tips on Buying Abayas Online - Part 2

An Abaya or Jilbab is a loose over-garment that is worn by Muslims to fulfill their obligation of Islamic dress. There are different types of Abayas online and this article (part two of two) will look at some of the pitfalls to look out for when purchasing Abayas online.

Choosing the right colour

The colour of an item appearing on a computer screen is not always the Abayas true colour. The brightness and other settings of the computer monitor may distort the colour. Black is the most popular colour for women's Jilbabs, make sure it is colour fast, otherwise you will have wasted your money.

Type of fabric

One of the most important thing for getting the right Abaya is to choosing the correct fabric, it is also very important to get the fabric depending on where and when you will wear the Abaya, for example if you are wearing the Abaya in winter you will need a thick fabric. There are hundreds of different fabrics out there, so it is difficult understanding or recognising all the different names, the easiest way to make sure, is to get samples of the fabric from the store you are thinking of purchasing from, if they make the Jilbab or Abaya themselves this shouldn't be a problem. It may cost you postage, but it is cheaper than ordering a product and then returning it, as most stores will expect you to pay for postage yourself and some may even charge a restocking fee.

Shop polices

Check the shop policies on returns and refunds before putting your order through, no matter how carefully you choose the Abaya, you may have to return it for an exchange or refund, the last thing you want is for the shop to make it difficult. If you pay with PayPal it is very easy to raise a dispute and get your money back as PayPal gives preference to the buyer, so it is best to payment method if it is available.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Abayas - The Islamic Dress of the Gulf

The term 'Abaya' has many definitions and often there is a difference over what an Abaya looks like, what it consists of and what colours it comes in. The way I would define an Abaya is that it is a black long cloak (one piece) that covers everything below the shoulder except hands and feet. The Abaya garment is commonly worn among the Middle Eastern khaleeji (gulf) women.

The rational behind this definition is to set the Abaya apart from the Jilbab garment which has some similarities but many differences. Jilbabs to begin with have arms which are stitched to the main body of the cloak. It has many colours and has many designs such as hooded Jilbabs and has a wider range like smart, casual, work etc. Jilbabs can incorporate more style into the actual shape of the garment like frills, flares, ruffles, cuffed sleeves, laces, pleats and much more.

Abayas, on the other hand, are one piece garments with sleeves which are not actually stitched to the body of the garment but formed as one piece. This may sound as strange as it does but it is an age old custom amongst the Arab Khaleeji (Gulf) women to wear it like that. Abayas traditionally come with embroidery on the neck, sleeves or base hem.

Abayas come in light materials as long as the colour is black such as lexus crepe, a polyester type of material for a standard priced Abaya. Abayas made from internet crepe and satin materials are higher end quality and fairly expensive and can cost anything from £100 to £300 or over. Abayas can be open fronted with buttons all the way from the top down or closed.

Modern day Abayas worn by the younger generation are moving away from the traditional embellishment on the garment. The younger generation opt for more stylish geometric, floral patterns from silver or gold embroidery, bead, sequins, multi coloured crystals for standard or Swarovski for more expensive Abayas. These intricate patterns are added onto neckline, bodice, base and flowing flared sleeves with tassel to make it look more chic, trendy and elegant for younger generation to wear Abaya.