It’s finally gotten quite nippy out which leads me to the question I’ve sometimes been asked…what will you be wearing this winter and just what do Saudi women wear during winter anyway? Well, U have yet to experience December, January of February here but I have been told that it rarely gets down to the level of needing say a parka (at least in this are) and that you can usually make do with a thick sweater or thick hoodie or a lighter-weight winter jacket, I expect a corduroy or velor lined jacket would probably work. Items which would normally be worn towards the end of Fall where we moved from in the States.
Interestingly enough though, unlike what I remember most over garment wearing Muslimaat would do in the states, usually Saudi women wear these items under their abayaahs. Obviously you wouldn’t want to wear a heavy jacket under an abayaah but many women wear thick hoodies or those polar-fleece zip-ups under their abayaat. It seems to work because unlike abayaah styles in most other countries, Saudi abayaat usually have snaps down the front and generally come with sleeves wide enough to push up for wuduh and the current trends are for the extremely big and wide “kimono” style sleeves, big bell sleeves and bisht-style abayaahs, all of which are rather ideal for wearing over a slender-fitting jacket or hoodie. Because, hey, it would be rather hard to stuff those kinds of sleeves under a traditional-style jacket!!
Another popular type of cold-weather item here is the poncho and shawls. A lot of the shops here are well stocked with wool-blend and acrylic ponchos, many have buttons down the front or a tie-feature, Ive also seen a few faux-fur wraps as well. These are good for wearing over the abayaah.
Personally, I like the hoodie/jacket under the abayaah trick. I think it looks quite nice and definitely stylish. Only downer of course is, it would be hard to take the hoodie off once inside, I assume you’d have to run to a restroom and peel off the layers, but thats not *that* bad right…I’m sure we’ve all gone out in blizzards and freezing temps in several layers which we need to peel off once we reach our destination anyway.