colored overheads ?!?

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.

Picture from Umm Niqab

Hello…pinstripe is too cooooooooool! I never would have thought of pinstripe for a ra’as…but it indeed looks really swanky!

(Picture from Umm Niqab)

Ive also found eJilbab has colored Egyptian-style Isdaals…

(Isdaal from eJilbab)


6 thoughts on “colored overheads ?!?

  1. Assalamu Alaikum,

    When I’ve gone to Egypt, I’ve tried to get tailors to do things outside the box and been shot down as a crazy american. When I went in the early 2000s, long split jean skirts were all the rage, so I brought a couple, thinking I could get funky panels of different color fabrics sewn into them. The tailors flat out refused, and said that they’d only sew jean fabric in. What happened to the customer is always right?

    I’m all about color, so I’d be all for colored overheads – light gray, light pink, baby blue, bring em on!

    • Yeah, they be uncool like that. I sooo need to get my sewing skills back up to par so I can start creating my own stuff when I get back to the US! That and en’shallah once I am working agian I MUST buy a good serger! My regular sewing machine doesnt serge.

  2. Another thought, if you think that all black would be a bit too scary, could you get long, knee length khimars in different colors? Same basic coverage as an overhead with lots more color options available. I’m not sure where you’ll be in the US, but up here in Minnesota, we have a very large somali population and lots and lots of khimar choices. They come in every color under the sun.

    • actually yah, the long khimaars look lovely, I esp love the trend to wear them on your shoulders and use a shaylah on top…my only qualm with them is the style doesnt look too swift on me and I like having my hands free. But, hey who knows, I might try to make my own and get the style that I like. I did recently see a long waist long Irani maghneh with actual sleeves in it (and cuffs) and a chin cover. I donno the likelihood of me ever finding one the same thou when we are there in July.

  3. I do wear coloured overheads but finding decent fabrics in other colours is difficult; I’ve noticed even in the isdals which I’m not a fan of anyway; the coloured crepes are thicker than the black one even though all the isdals are made by the same company. If you can find crepe de chine (and not just peachskin which is sometimes mistakenly labelled as such) there is a very lightweight yet non-clingy variety that works extremely well for overheads, in plain colours it is extremely rare so if you come across any do snap it up. I found some in an extremely dark, sophisticated shade of brown on ebay two years ago but haven’t sewn it yet because I don’t want my tempremental sewing machine to mess it up. Some of the better quality koshiba/o crepe is great as well, there is an extremely thin, lightweight silky variety we get here although for some reason in 60″ wide it tends to come in shades of blue and purple only. A friend of mine did use quite a bright royal blue to get one tailored and while i wouldn’t probably wear it myself it looked pretty amazing and not at all OTT or too eye catching at all…

  4. I was going to suggest the hip-length khimar but Umm Squeakster beat me to it 🙂 They are very easy to make. I made one once with a headband sewn onto the top that you can tuck in at your cheek and tie under the ponytail inside. Gave a small peak at the front if you like that effect.

    Perhaps you can give this diagram (with sleeves drawn in) to your tailors with no imagination:

    It’s not adding on at the hem, per se…but it might work for you. The problem with lighter colours is that they mark so easily 😦 I can’t wear black around where I live, I’d get boo-ed out of town, lol.

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