Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guide to the Jilbab Size Chart

About the Jilbab

Just what is a jilbab? Basically, it is a collective term for all loose fitting and lengthy clothing items that Moslem women wear. But unlike the other clothing pieces worn by the Moslem women, this jilbab is basically a form of a coat that is meant to be worn over the clothes so that the Islamic requirement for wearing the hijab will be met automatically.

However, in Indonesia, the meaning of the Jilbab gets to vary slightly from its traditional meaning. In this country, the jilbab is known simply as a head scarf. This head scarf may or may not have a visor on it, which is a value added feature meant to help in protecting the skin on the face from the harsh sun.

The jilbab is known by many names. It may be called the jilbaab. Others call it the manteau, which is French for mantle. Still others call it the jubbah.

About the Jilbab Size Chart

The jilbab size chart is basically meant to serve as a guide for Moslem women as to how they are going to choose the right jilbab product for them. The jilbab size chart has two forms. One form is the chart which actually lists the various jilbab sizes a Moslem goods store currently has. Another is a diagram which lists all the elements in a jilbab in great detail, which will guide both the Moslem woman and the tailor in coming up with the best sized jilbab.

The jilbab size chart has four basic elements. These are the length, the sleeves, the bust, and the hips of the jilbab. The length refers to the measurement taken from the middle of the shoulders up to the woman's heel. The measurement for the sleeves, on the other hand, are taken from the shoulders up to the wrist. The bust measurement is taken around the bust up to the fullest point, with the tape measure going under the arms. For the hips, the tailor measures around the fullest or the largest part of the hip. All these elements would be shown on jilbab size charts, and knowledge of all these is important in coming up with the best sized jilbab for a Moslem woman.

Just some tips: make sure that the jilbab has some size allowances so that it will be comfortable to wear. The most advisable is an allowance of at least 5 cms for every measurement. It may also be a good idea if one could fit the jilbab before actually buying it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Jilbab Shopping Experience

On my quest for stylish jilbabs, I looked high and low for a designer who could provide me with something that did not look like it was off the racks. Being a career woman, I do not have time to go and explore the tiny Islamic boutiques all around Chicago that offer conservative yet chic clothes for Muslim women. But after trying out a number of different styles by various shops, I reached the conclusion that I will have to take drastic steps if I really wanted to wear something nice.

So a few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to spend some time exploring the undiscovered world of Islamic fashion! We went store hopping in search of the perfect designer that will leave us satisfied with their creativity. During this trip, we were surprised to see a few that were offering jilbabs and hijabs that were unique and interesting. However, we continued our search throughout the suburbs. A local listing from yahoo kept us going from one town to the other; looking at numerous outfits and trying on a few that appealed to us.

Our trek finally took us to a very small Islamic dress designer in Orland Park. Her name is Sarah and she works out of her own house, creating masterpieces that are very elegant and stylish. She had a range of jilbabs for work, daytime as well as evening wear. One look at her inventory convinced me that this is the place that I had been looking for all the time. Her sense of colors, cuts and styles really impressed me, as she offered gowns that were not like anything I had seen so far. Although she carried other apparel items for Muslim women, her specialty were jilbabs.

After trying on a few of her articles, I was satisfied that they were conservative as well as flattering at the same time. It was great to see this blend of the east and west so skillfully combined that I was sure I would be her customer for years to come. A few jilbabs that I bought were perfect for wearing at work, as they were made in subtle colors and cuts appropriate for an office environment. Others that I bought were evening jilbabs, that would generate ooh's and aah's from my fellow female friends at any social event.

Sarah has been designing jilbabs for a few years and according to her, she started the business when she felt that shopping around got frustrating for her in terms of not finding nice outfits that fit the needs of working Muslim women in particular. As she herself used to work in an office environment, she was well aware of the constraints and issues that Muslim women faced in the selection of a wardrobe that was suitable for work as well as social events. It was very refreshing to see such talent and skill in a local businesswoman and at the same time it was a blessing to finally find a designer who could provide me with items that I loved!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Is a Jilbab and Where Do You Buy Them?

So you have a presentation coming up or a play production or perhaps you're a Muslim immigrant bringing their religion with them and you want to be able to buy your clothing the same as you did back home. After all, there aren't really many places that sell the jilbab - so what's an immigrant to do? How exactly do you go about retaining your religious beliefs while at the same time wearing the clothes that you always have?

First of all, there is the whole discussion as to what a jilbab is-after all, if you don't know, it can be quite confusing. However, the term is more of a generalized thing. Kind of like hat is in any country-hat could mean anything from fedora to a beanie to a skullcap. The same goes for the jilbab-it could mean any type of head-covering for a Muslim woman.

This includes the hijab, which is a very comfortable, usually quite decorative head covering. This is worn outside of the house and pretty much anywhere else that you can think of in the company of men that are not strictly family members.

These head coverings are not plain and as a matter of fact can come in a wide variety of colors. You could have several head coverings as well, if you really wanted to. There are loads of patterns as well, from geometric patterns to more intricate patterns.

Then there is the task of actually finding and buying your head cover. You may find that it's a harder task than you may have previously thought-but as a matter of fact, you can find a head covering in quite a few places.

First of all, you could look at your local stores. This can take a while and if you don't know what to look for, you may find yourself searching for hours and hours. Or you may find that your local stores don't sell them unless you live in an area with a large Muslim community and so you have to either search for a specialty shop, go to a tailor, or make one yourself.

Which brings us to another option-the tailor or making one yourself. A jilbab is essentially just a scarf or other piece of material made into a head cover-but it's not as easy as it looks. If you're new to the US, then you may find yourself working far too much to have the time to create one anyways. Not to mention that is really is a bit much to buy one from a tailor, especially if you don't know how much it will end up costing you.

Then there is the last and best option-ordering online. It's quick and easy to order your head coverings-and best of all, they don't cost a whole arm and a leg. That's pretty amazing! The last thing that anyone has to waste in this day and age is money, and luckily you can buy your Islamic clothing online for cheap and wonderful prices!