The farasha abayah’s Iranian cousin…

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The Khaleeji farasha abayah has a Iranian cousin…it doesnt have a special name but I have nick-named it the “parvaneh manteau” because farasha and parvaneh both mean “butterfly”.


The Farasha style has it’s name because it has really big sleeves that float when you walk and give you a “butterfly” appearance, it’s based off of the older, more traditional overhead square abayah or the from the shoulders down square abayah that is traditional for the Gulf countries. There is a similar style in Iran, I actually saw these in 2005 which was either right before or right after the farasha style became popular in the Gulf so whether Iran led the fashion scene or Dubai did, I dont know.
Anyway, the Iranian style is much less long and swishy and has the utilitarian style of a typical Iranian manteau (which, btw, manteau is the word used IN Iran for a overcoat, like a jilbab).

This style is very popular, particularly in the summer because the swishy style enables more air to circulate around your body. The most popular length is around the knees…in fact knee length manteaus are the most popular because when you wear a chador or a over-head abayah it can be kind of cumbersome having a long manteau or abayah and then a chador on top! They also look very cute with jeans, which is the norm. There are some that are full length, like to the calves or the ankles but these tend to be more popular with older women or religious women who for whatever reason do not wear a chador. Some of the manteau of this style are basically just a huge poncho, while others are a regular manteau in fit with added flitting crepe sleeves like the picture above and below.


(Typical butterfly style manteau, this one is from the popular Esfahan shop called Ali Jenab)

(poncho style butterfly manteau)

Nice huh, what do you think?

2 thoughts on “The farasha abayah’s Iranian cousin…

  1. Salaam alaikum : )

    I remember the ‘parvaneh’ abaya as you call it was in fashion around 15 years ago (if I remember correctly!) but it wasn’t a good trend for the pastors! It was called mantoye khofashee back then, the ‘bat’ manto!
    It quickly went out of style as they weren’t tolerated by the state which is somehow silly as it does a better job at concealing than let’s say a regular manto would!
    Oh well, times change : )

  2. wa salaam,
    wow really! I don’t recall ever hearing about those…I do have this one manteau from 2000 that is very baggy and sort of like a “smock” if you can imagine it, and I know they are sort of similar only a bit more defined. Very baggy on top and then narrower around the knees…
    hehehe, wow, I’ll have to ask around to see if anyone remembers the bat manteau!

    Nowadays, this sort of style is being called a really good, modest, concealing style and so the shops are trying to keep a lot of diff versions in as they are more coering than the short, tight manteau popular with *some* people.

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