I’ve been looking around online for places which sell overheads which are made of colored fabrics…instead of black as I mentioned previously, I want to try to wear them in the US but I figure a color would be less “strange” to people (I dont really care what others think of me, per se, but I care about how they will maybe view the deen through how I look, um, does that make sense?) and I know the all black overheads can be rather startling to people who are not used to them.
Anywho, I have been trying to get a sleeved overhead made in a colored crepe for a few weeks now, I went to one Mall boutique shop which has colored abayaat (same as the ones on my shop) and inquired about how much for them to make a sleeved overhead. They couldnt do it, because of some stupid excuse, like the colored crepe they use isnt double-width so that means there would have to be seams somewhere on the arms and maybe even, gasp at the hem. LOL…I said to them, um, I really don’t care. So add seams in, as long as it fits good and looks good and is a lovely shade of walnut brown, i’m game. They “called headquarters” 3 times because I would not go away.
But, in the end…I gave up…really, those guys in the abaya shops have ZILCH sense of imagination!
Anyway so I figrued I’d try down in the ladies suq, there are so many fabric shops so, some I’m sure have colored crepe. Although, maybe I mentioned that colored crepe here tends to not be that great! The black crepes are always so fine and wonderful, while the colored crepes overall tend to be quite thick, some are still delicate feeling and airy, but others are…whooh…no way! Go figure.
I went to several shops in search of the perfect walnut brown, soft, lightweight crepe. The first shop I went to have exactly what I wanted, and the crepe was exactly like the fine black crepes…I wanted it…but argh, they only have 3 meters remaining and I needed 6! So I went to a few more shops and finally was able to find a decent brown crepe, its a bit darker than what I wanted, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers…now can they? I saw plenty of lovely sage, lilac, tan, cream, etc crepes but I thought, brown is better as its a calm color, would look good for the overhead yet people can discern its not black…plus, I love brown and it’ll look wonderful with a brown printed scarf! I did consider a royal purple too…but I fretted that maybe it would look too costume-y.
…and meanwhile, while I’m in the shop, the nill-English speaking Saudi shop keeper proceeds to ask me whether I’m Muslim and where I’m from (ah, nebby huh!)…and then as is typical…one of the many, many women who beg in the suq came in and accosted me, which caused the shopkeeper to start screaming at her telling her I’m a foreigner and can’t speak Arabic…meanwhile, I could understand 75% of what they were saying to each other. (teehee).
So after all that fun, I went to a shop which I knows will do special orders and I am having them make the sleeved hoodie style abaya…they called them “qatafh ul-farasha” which is the shoulder butterfly…but, anyway, I thought the hoodie style overhead abaya would look the best for life back in the US as it fits like a regular shoulder abaya but has the huge hood which wraps around the upper body and goes up overt the head. I’ll add elastic inside and wear it like a regular overhead abaya….I am also having them add a bit of decorative accents to the cuffs, we’ll see how it ends up when I go back to get it on Saturday.
So question for you all…what do you all think of colored overheads? Do you wear them? would you wear them? Do you think “people” take colored overheads different than black overheads…? Personally, I wouldnt hesitate to wear a black abaya/jilbab with a black shaylah/scarf…to me, I like it (well, used too, I think when I return I’ll try to wear as much color as possible for the first 6 months! LOL). But, I donno, for an overhead…all black might be a bit too much.
I found several places with colored overheads. If I find the brown is easy to wear, I might try these as well.
Umm Niqab has a rather huge selection of colored overheads of all sorts, if I decide to buy another once in the US, I will indeed…I think turn to her first! She has some wonderfully creative ideas. mashallah.
Here are a few from Umm Niqab I adore.
Hello…pinstripe is too cooooooooool! I never would have thought of pinstripe for a ra’as…but it indeed looks really swanky!
Ive also found eJilbab has colored Egyptian-style Isdaals…