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Wearing an Abaya in Hot Weather

The abaya has always integrated a certain degree of natural coolness in its design. What would you expect from a garment originating from the scorching Arabian Peninsula? However, as modern Muslim women incorporate Western clothing and spend substantial time indoors during summer, the abaya can sometimes become overwhelmingly warm. This article provides practical tips for hijabis on maintaining modesty while keeping cool during steamy summer days.

Choose breathable fabrics

Opting for breathable fabrics is a game-changer when it comes to staying cool in an abaya. Natural materials like cotton and linen are excellent choices as they allow air to circulate, providing better ventilation.

Surprisingly, some modern synthetic fabrics designed for sport and activewear also offer breathability and moisture-wicking properties, making them another viable option. Check the product descriptions carefully when buying online, however. Some man-made fabrics do just the opposite, acting like an impermeable barrier and giving your sweat no means of escape.

Opt for lightweight fabrics

Lightweight fabrics are essential for staying cool, but it’s crucial to strike a balance. Fabrics should be light enough to facilitate air movement yet sufficiently opaque to maintain modesty. Try medium-weight cotton or blends designed to offer both lightness and coverage, ensuring the abaya remains modest without compromising comfort.

Wear light colours 

Cream Habiba Abaya

Light-coloured abayas are perfect for reflecting heat, unlike dark colours that absorb it. Shades of white, beige, pastel and other light hues can significantly reduce the amount of heat your abaya absorbs, keeping your body temperature lower and making those sweltering summer days more manageable.

Look for long, flowing tailoring

The cut of your abaya can significantly impact how cool you feel. Long, flowing designs promote better airflow around your body, creating a natural cooling effect. Avoid fitted or snug designs, as they restrict movement and trap heat. Instead, opt for loose silhouettes that gracefully skim your frame.

Wear an open-fronted abaya with a light undergarment

Cream Leena Open Abaya

One innovative way to stay cool is by wearing an open-fronted abaya over a light undergarment such as a slip dress or a thin long-sleeved top and pants. This combination allows for additional ventilation and movement, preventing heat from getting trapped between layers. It also adds a stylish, layered look that’s always fashionable.

Avoid excessive embellishment

While intricate embroidery and beading can add elegance to an abaya, these embellishments can also add weight and inhibit airflow. For hot weather, it’s best to choose simpler designs. Minimalist styles not only look chic but also keep you cooler because they reduce the extra layers and weight associated with decorative elements. 

Of course, once the weather cools, or if you’re spending the day in air-conditioned luxury, those gorgeous embellished abayas are going straight back on!

Consider a side-pinned hijab

A side-pinned hijab can be an effective way to promote air circulation around your head and neck. By pinning your hijab to one side, you create an open area that allows air to move freely, reducing the feeling of being overheated. Additionally, lighter fabrics like chiffon or georgette can enhance this cooling effect.

Batwing and butterfly abayas

Cream Ruba Abaya

Batwing and butterfly abayas are designed with wide sleeves that extend outwards, allowing air to circulate freely under the arms. This design can be particularly cooling because it reduces the tightness and friction around the arms and shoulders, where sweat tends to accumulate. These styles also offer a unique, modern twist on traditional abayas.

Look as cool as you feel in your summer abaya

Wearing an abaya in hot weather doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable experience. By making smart choices with fabrics, colours and designs, you can stay fresh while maintaining your modesty. You really don’t have to compromise on style. When you feel confident and cool, everyone around you notices.