How to choose your abaya?


Finding your abaya? What is abaya dress? How to choose the right Abaya for each occasion? Where to buy Abaya from? Abaya from Dubai? How to buy abaya online? In this article we are going to answer those questions.

Abaya is one of the most preferred Muslim women clothing in the Middle East. It is a beautiful long and loose dress with long sleeves, that creates that graceful “princess” look. This type of apparel has been always associated not only with the Arabian women, but also with these who had a good status.

Why to wear an abaya?

Abaya Style

The abaya is a very expressive women's garment. It just talks on behalf of you, the way you wear it, the way you look! With hundreds of choices and options for "customization" this beautiful clothing can become an evening-wear, occasional-wear or a regular daily-wear. It's comfort, soft and gentle female outlook is what makes it so special and preferable. The abaya is perfectly amalgamated with a shayla, hijab or even niqab, therefore it is the ultimate Islamic women wear.

Jamila is here to help you out picking the right abaya for each purpose. Carefully chosen, your abayas can become an irreplaceable and most essential part of your wardrobe.

Already fell in love with that sparkling piece in the mall? Or prefer to shop online? Hold on! Here are some important tips for you before making your purchase.

Classic Abaya

Abaya Fabrics

No matter how beautiful the abaya you liked is, if you know that fabric doesn’t bring you comfort, don’t buy it. If you are shopping online, it’s preferable to choose a refined fabric, since the synthetic material doesn’t usually give that natural fall (which brings the abaya elegance). Moreover, if the seller did not mention the fabric at the description, take the time to ask the same. If you have the opportunity to try the piece, then it has to feel light and easy to move with. Walk around, you shouldn’t feel discomfort or any extra weight.

Best fabrics for Autumn and Winter abaya dresses: corduroy, cotton jersey, velour, wool, cashmere, denim.

Best Fabrics for spring and summer abaya dresses (breathable): cotton, silk, chiffon, linen, viscose, chambray.

Abaya for each season

Abaya is a lifestyle rather than a change, ladies who wear abaya will mostly feel the comfort and grace they have with it and would’t likely change the style for the season. And here we will discuss best abayas for every season.

Abaya for summer

Abaya for winter

Winter Velvet & Satin Abaya

For a windy and rainy season choose winter abayas.
The perfect abaya for the colder weather should be:

  •  an inch or shorter than your light summer abayas
  • one size bigger than what you usually wear (consider that you will wear thicker clothes under it)
  • closing by buttons or zipper
  • an abaya with hood will protect your hijab from the rain

Jersey Winter Abaya
Jersey Tri Color Winter Abaya
winter abaya with hood
Hooded Winter Abaya
Black Winter Abaya
Fall Front Zipper Abaya

What to wear under the abaya?

under abaya dress

Both, the open and the closed abayas are still requiring another clothing underneath. Choose soft and light fabrics for your maximum comfort, or go for the traditional under abaya dress.

What to wear under open abaya?

If you prefer the open abaya, you can look gorgeous with it by wearing solid and simple colored dresses or sets underneath. The rule of simplicity applies especially if you go for an embroidered abaya with much decor. Then it’s better to avoid the multi-colored under abaya clothing, as well as the bold accessories.

abaya style
Under Abaya Outfit
open abaya look
Under Abaya Dress
two layered abaya
2 Layered Abaya Set

What to wear under abaya dress or a maxi dress (closed abaya)?

If you have chosen an abaya dress, then you don’t need anything below except of leggings, or an underskirt – the better choice for
summertime to let your skin breathe 🙂

Choose a scarf for your abaya

Many sellers combine abaya together with a hijab or shayla, especially designed for it. But not a trouble if it is not there! The scarf doesn’t even need to be the same color with the abaya, but it’s style and fabric has to match with the dress. Remember, that no matter how extravagant your abaya is, if the scarf doesn’t match it well, this could easily ruin all the glam and shine out of your entire outfit. Chiffon shawls typically match with most of the abayas.


Comply with your skin tone

If you are into fashion and beauty, you may already know which colors are your best match. You surely don’t want to end up looking like you are wearing a home robe by buying the wrong shade abaya dress.

Here are some major tips for you while choosing the right hijab and abaya color for you depending on your skin color:

Abaya and hijab for pale skin
Hijab for white and pale skin

-avoid the pastel and off-white colors

-experiment with brighter and fresh colors

Abaya and hijab for dark skin
Darker skin hijab

-avoid too bold colors
- go for the pastel shades, they look stunning on a darker skin

Figure out if you are cool or warm skin toned and wear corresponding colors

skin tone selector
skin tone to hijab color
Skin Tone Scheme

*notice how on the second image the color of the hijab is matching with the skin tones. 

1,5,6,7 – cool skin tone -> cold hijab colors

2, 3, 4, 8 – warm skin tone -> warm hijab colors

To conclude, even if you wear clothing which matches your skin color, don’t underestimate choosing the right tone. Else you are risking making yourself look tired, older etc…

More tips 

  • online shopping is very beneficial when it comes to colors and size variety 
  • if you are hesitating between another dark abaya and a black one, go for the black abaya. It’s always classy and elegant, and it looks flawless on all skin tones!


Choose the right size and adjust if needed

If you are purchasing your abaya online, you should have the options to select your size. Even if you know it, you shall still go through the particular item size chart.

If you are shopping outside you might be having the opportunity to modify the chosen abaya right at the same place. At UAE, in the abaya shopping centers and malls this service is usually included with your purchase. Sometimes the dress could be too wide, too long, or it’s sleeves too loose. Don’t worry, the tailor will be fixing this for you in a matter of 30 minutes, of course after taking your measurements.

The right length of the abaya depends on it’s purpose and the occasion that it’s going to be used for. For example, if you are going to wear a chic and glamorous abaya for a special occasion, it can be longer, going below your ankle. For the practical every day dress, it is not advisable to leave it below the ankle, unless you wear heels.

Abayas for each purpose

Since we knew that the abaya is offering us different designs, and different reasons to wear it,  dressing up the right one at the right place is also of an importance. Abaya is no longer “just an abaya”. It can be the ideal outfit as a formal wear, as much as the ideal special occasion dress. Therefore we collected some helpful style ideas,  according to your occasion, that might support your choice:

Abaya for daily-wear
Daily Wear Abaya
Button Cape Crepe Abaya
Linen Abaya
Linen Abaya
Everyday Abaya
Wear Everyday Abaya

Jamila’s Tip: For your everyday abaya go for an abaya without stones or beads. There are many abayas out there which doesn’t need ironing and are perfectly fine with the daily washing machine experience.

Evening abaya 
evening abaya style
Metallic Beaded Chiffon Abaya
evening silk abaya
Pink Silk Abaya
glitter beige abaya
Dinner Abaya

Abayas are living longer thanks to delicate washing with special detergents for dresses and dark clothing🙂 Decorated abayas should be only hand washed.

Formal Abaya
off-white formal abaya
Ivory Polka Dot Satin Kaftan
Barza Black abaya
Pearl-Embellished Abaya
white linen abaya
Convertible Linen Abaya

Special occasion abaya 
laced black abaya
Lace Black Abaya
glitter occassional abaya
Glitter Abaya
blue wedding abaya
Blue Wedding Abaya

Where to buy an abaya?

Depending on your location you can shop abayas widely from online or physical shops. For instance, if you live in a country where Muslims obtain, shopping an abaya out of home could be an amusing and fun experience with your friends.

Abaya Online Shops

The online abaya varieties are as many as you would like to see! That’s why we are here – to help you out with anything you are looking for. And not only, you can request us to find the best price of the hijab and abaya style that you are looking for! Feel free to send us your inquiry, we will respond you with pleasure.

Modanisa Abaya Shop

Simply the best when it comes to clothing for Muslim women. Search by category or a designer and find all the different types of shawls and scarves as well the bonnet and accessories for your hijab. Outerwear, sportswear & swimwear for Muslims. Best of evening wear, bags and abayas are here too. Modanisa literally has everything you would need for a complete modest outfit! Don't ever hesitate to check out what's new in Modanisa, because there always is!

Abaya Online Shop

One of the biggest worldwide platforms where you can buy your abayas from. Many sellers offer a full set abaya together with a scarf (shayla, hijab)

Buy Abaya Online

Especially dedicated to sell only modest women and men clothing, shipping worldwide. Here you will find one of the biggest varieties of abayas and all the necessary accessories for a full abaya set. Get it all from all place at super reasonable prices!

Amazon Global

A good place to find a low-cost abaya or maxi dresses with long sleeves. Amazon ships internationally, but some items are having delivery charges depending on where you order from.

shein coupon

Only few, but super cute abaya sets are waiting for you here!

Luxury abayas
Buy Abaya Online

If you are living in the Gulf countries, then you are lucky to experience shopping abayas from Ounass. Simply, the best of choice and variety, when it comes to luxury abayas.
Ships to: Bahrain, Quwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi, UAE

Luxury Online Shop

Limitless choice of best luxury brands from world class fashion designers. Yes, they also make abayas,not just abayas,
stunning ones! Shipping is worldwide 😉

Abaya from Dubai

dubai abaya souq

You maybe  already heard of the best destination to shop abayas outdoors – United Arab Emirates. There are many Muslim women wear shops in Dubai and each Emirate in UAE has an abaya mall – a shopping centre dedicated especially for hijab and abayas.

If you don’t rely on a budget and would like to go for designer abaya with precious stones or special refined fabrics, visit abaya shops in Dubai mall or any of the famous malls of this glamour city.

The mid and low price choice would be going to the abaya malls and the indoor/outdoor shopping centres. They mostly orientate to sell affordable price abayas. Such places are: Abu Hail Shopping Centre, Abaya Mall Mirdif, Naif Souq & Gold Souq Dubai, Abaya land Ajman…

Abaya from Dubai


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