Its all ’bout the satin!

Apparently satin overgarments is one trend that just refuses to die. LOL. Sure, its only really been a trend in the US/Western countries for a year or so now, but here in the Gulf it’s been around for at least 2-3 years (according to some Saudi women Ive asked) and it’s still going strong!

I’m pretty sure that when Satin or shiny silk overgarments hit the western market, only Eastern Vogue had them, it took quite awhile for them to trickle down and be more readily available. Now places like AlHannah and Sajeda have them. Its even possible now to buy a satin Turkish pardesu! Apparently in Iran satin is now popular as well, I wonder if I’ll see any satin chadors when I go in July…?

So here is a random sampling of some of the satin overgarments Ive seen…yes, these are pictures from my store…but just take a peep and tell me what you think about satin or shiny silk being used for overgarments and what about for overhead abayaat? I  have mixed feeling about these sorts of overgarments…but…I’ll discuss that below.

First…for the super satin lovin’ niqabi…there are always niqabs with satin in the headband!

Next in the overgarment department…

A plethora of overheads in satin or shiny silk material;

(heavy satin blend overhead batwing)

(satin side snap sleeved overhead abaya)

(overhead sleeved abaya in satin)

Ive also seen the “hoodie” or Maghrebi overhead abaya in satin as well!!!

As far as shoulder abayaat go…they are also widely available in satin… Really anything goes!

Kimono sleeved abaya in satin with velvet designs

(satin bisht abaya)

(satin abaya with cuff designs)

So as you can see…satin is definetly going strong!

So now some thoughts of my own…I have a strong hunch that the popularity of satin or shiny silk as a material in all kinds of abayaat came from the preference by Bahraini women for their signature overhead abayaat to be made from shiny silk material. Silk is extremely sturdy and although expensive an overgarment made from it will last for years with little wear, unlike a crepe or other synthetic material. I’m not really sure as to how extensive the usage of silk for overheads is or was in the rest of the Gulf, but considering that I still see silk overheads on Bahraini women, I kind of think probably it was and maybe still is.

So now what about satin material and whether it’s hotter to wear than most varieties of crepe. I’ve been asked about this several times and really I don’t think an overgarment made from a higher quality satin is going to be much hotter to wear than a better quality crepe material would be. Now, obviously the uber cheapo overgarments made from material which resembles sheeting or something would be hot, but as far as the two satin overgarments I have goes…air does flow through them.

I do at times wonder…really…how modest overgarments are made in this material. Personally I remain a fan of crepe…not because I’m dull, but sometimes I think satin can be really bright and attract attention, which HERE, can throw off the wrong message. But you do see the extremely conservative Saudi women wearing satin overheads so I figure, if they are wearing them, then I guess they are OK. but, to me…I don’t know. I like the look of them in shoulder abayaat but have yet to get a satin overhead, because I dont know whether it’ll be too “badda bing, badda bling” sorta thing. Also, some of the satin overgarments tend to have a lot of extra designs and stuff on them, which I think can-at times-look a bit tacky. I think a plain bisht or a minimally decorated bisht in satin is really beautiful, but Ive seen some with just too much stuff and the look is really tacky. And, before I forget, if you are rather buxom or curvacious…Ive noticed that satin can accentuate these features, no matter how baggy the overgarment is!

Anyway, I’m wondering what you all think about the satin trend…?


20 thoughts on “Its all ’bout the satin!

  1. I think the satin is pretty, but it shows dirt and dust more, I would be more inclined to stick with crepe. I’m very basic when it comes to clothes though. i do love that niqab though!

  2. i think the satin is a little overboar when the goal is to be modest. i think satin trim is fine but when the entire garment is satin I think it can look tacky as well-thats just my opinion. some satin garments look ok,but some look tacky,either way i think its shinyness defeats the purpose of modesty-especially a satin overhead. maybe a satin shoulder abaya would be ok for some occasions or when out with hubby.

    • I do agree, though ive found that a plain satin bisht does look very lovely as it has a nice shimmer and flow to it. I do have a satin T-shaped shoulder abaya which I only wear for nicer places or when out with hubby. I do think I might, might get a satin batwing but really am not sure. I’m kind of mixed up about the matter. hmmmmmmm…I do want a silk batwing ala’ Bahraini style so I donno, I might just get one made out of silk while I’m here. hehehehe.

    • Well, it could be that the crepe they were made out of what very poor quality. Even here, its possible to buy extremely, extremely cheap abayaat which will fall apart or rip easily. Also, some crepes rip easier than others, the thicker crepe tends to last better and be more comfortable and wearable than the thinner variety. In one crepe shop I was shown this rather dense (but breathable and lightweight) Korean crepe which wont even snag, ofcourse its expensive.

  3. I personally think that satin abayas look terrible. What would otherwise look nice and elegant in crepe is made to look tacky and cheap in satin, even if the satin is good quality. And you’re right about the extra decorations on satin abayas; they tend to be the ones with really garish embroidery or sequins on them. Unfortunately, the local Islamic clothing store near me sells mostly black satin abayas, so if I want to get a non-black jilbab in denim, cotton, or crepe (the materials that I usually wear), I have to really search there or go online for them.

    • whats kind of weird is, all the uber cheapo shops here-like the 5 riyal shops and Ramiz stock a LOT of satin abayaat…almost everything they have is satin. I think its because lesser quality satin is very very cheap, cheaper than the cheaper grade of crepe. Ah, flippin’ a buck. LOL
      …Although for everything else I do love the Ramiz shop thou…teehee

  4. I don’t like satin but i have nothing against women who wear it lol. Anyways, i have never see here a woman with a satin jelbab, just some satin abayas for specials occasion. I like silk but for jelbab maybe it’s too brittle for the everyday life?

  5. I wouldn’t wear the satin. I would wear silk if It isn’t the shiny type of material and I could afford it.

  6. I like the satin shoulder abayaat (I own one exactly the same as the one pictured in the second to last photo). I also like the overhead ones but would never feel comfortable wearing it out. I’m not quite sure why-hmmm…i think it could be that from my experience in the west, overhead abayas can b quite an ‘eye-sore’. I used to wear crepe overheads in the UK without niqab and i was constantly gawked at, so that coupled with shiny satin fabric would REALLY make me feel like a freak show! Although i now live in Saudi where many women wear it, i still can’t bring myself to purchase an overhead one- i just wouldn’t b comfortable. Even the one that i have from the shoulder i’ve only worn once, and that was only because i was going to Jeddah, i don’t think i would ever where it in the area i live.

    • Can I ask sister, which part of KSA are you in? I’m in the EP and satin overheads are extremely, extremely popular and common…Ive heard they are also the same in the Nejd. I believe in Jeddah and those areas the styles are less traditional and less conservative so I’m curious where your at?

  7. I’m in Makkah. Here the satin overheads are also very popular (particularly among girls and young women), but for my own personal reasons as stated above i have avoided buying one (although i’m still deliberating as i would really like one for special occasions). In addition, hubby doesn’t really like them. He seems to believe that the ‘religious’ arab women here don’t wear it, and he finds them too ‘flashy’. I suppose he may have a point, as i have observed that men with full beards (like my hubby), their wives tend not to wear satin/silk abayaat. My husbby ALWAYS gets mistaken for a Saudi, so i guess he thinks that by me wearing it i will be attracting negative/unecessary attention (thats why i wore it in jeddah coz it is not as conservative). It seems that if a man has a beard they are assumed to be ‘religious’. My hubbys friend often goes out and about in makkah wearing ‘western’ style clothes, and gets random saudi’s scolding him coz he is a ‘sheikh’ and it is ‘haraam’ for him to do so! lol! I’m not talking about the ‘mutawwa’ type, but your regular joe bloggs. Some even wear western style clothes themselves! lol!
    I digress…. Hubby would’nt mind if i was wearing an overhead/shoulder satin abaya to a special event of some kind. Even when i wore my shoulder one to jeddah he was like ‘jeez, no need to dress up, we ain’t going anywhere special!’ lol!. Like me though, hubby prefers the shoulder satin abayaat as the overhead ones can be a bit OTT.

    You said your in the EP- where is this?

  8. I have a silk satin abaya and it is hardly shiny at all it is about as shiny as any other silk fabric, only having a slight sheen. Also it has a slight crepe texture to it; which helps ‘break up’ any light bouncing off it. I also have some items made in a high quality Koshibo which from a distance looks almost identical to the silk satins. I have seen the abayas in synthetic satins here (some places do sell the ones in heavier, high quality synthetic satins although they never have my size) and they are just not as subtle; at all, they all look pretty tacky to me. Also I find peachskin and other matt but smooth fabrics are extremely ‘exposing’ especially under certain lights; I can imagine very shiny satins would be much, much worse. This satin fashion is not new btw; even in Saudi, back in the 90s I was given very traditional overheads or shoulder ‘bisht’ type abayas from Saudi (not Bahrain) as gifts and they were in silk satin and from what I have heard and seen, before approx the year 2000 most abayat in Saudi were either a)peachskin b)silk or satin of some type. The modern types of overhead in crepe which are closed at the front were simply unheard of.

  9. Heres an example of what looks to be the high quality koshibo (in blue; I think black would be harder to photograph accurately)

  10. AsSalaamu alaikum, I stumbled upon your blog and really enjoy it. I am also a SAHM expat, but in Egypt!…satin dresses and hijab are very popular here as well, but not as much as there. I like the look but havent seen many in shops,…I have no idea where people are buying them!…FYI , I love the widows peak niqab, I’ve been looking for a different design (I’ve also started wearing niqab since coming overseas). Please let me know how I can order a bunch (maybe 15) from you, or elsewhere to share with my sisters here.

    Umm Fatiha

  11. ROFL at ukht’s remark about people being judgemental of the brothers in Saudi; my husband got similar in Jeddah actually; but because he was wearing a slightly shorter thawb (and over here in the UK) he doesn’t even wear his thawb as short as other brothers and has a big beard; people assumed he was some big mutawwa and would shout ‘ya mutawwa’ at him

  12. Asalaam alaykom sister, how are you?

    I was wondering if you still had any satin headband niqabs left (especially with the string).

    I want to buy;)

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