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Open vs Closed Abayas

The abaya, a timeless symbol of grace and modesty, has evolved in the world of fashion, transcending its traditional roots to offer a variety of styles for the contemporary Muslim woman. Among the variations, open and closed abayas stand out as popular choices, each offering benefits when it comes to style and silhouette. While the difference may seem subtle, it’s worth exploring how these distinctions can affect your overall look and your comfort. Let’s dive into what sets them apart and how to make each style work for you.

Open abayas: versatility with endless layering options

Open abayas feature an unfastened front, providing a free-flowing silhouette that can be layered in countless ways. This style lends itself beautifully to diverse looks, making it a favourite for those who love to mix and match. The open abaya is less about complete coverage and more about adding a stylish overlay to your outfit, which can range from casual chic to sophisticated elegance.

Style tips for open abayas

The sky’s the limit here. You can wear your abaya rather just like an overcoat, loosely draped or more tailored depending on the design. Here are some classic looks.

Over a dress

Sapphire Blue Leena Open Abaya

For an effortless look, layer an open abaya over a flowing maxi dress. This combination not only maintains modesty but also introduces dimension and a hint of romance. Opt for neutral tones for an understated elegance or vibrant hues and patterns to make a statement.

Over trousers

Whether you’re dressing for a laid-back day or a formal event, pairing your open abaya with trousers is always a chic option. Wide-legged trousers enhance the fluidity, while tailored ones provide a sleek contrast. Add a pair of heeled mules to elevate the look.

Over jeans

Take modern modesty to the next level with an open abaya over denim. Skinny jeans under your abaya is a great way to blend casual comfort with refined style, but a looser fit works just as well if you’re more comfortable in them. Finish off with ankle boots or trainers for urban flair.

Over a skirt and top

Create a fashion-forward ensemble by layering your abaya over a skirt and top combo. The top can be anything from a blouse to knitwear, depending on the season and the setting. This works wonderfully for both formal settings and casual outings, allowing you to play with textures and colours. Midi skirts tend to complement the long lines of an abaya best.

With a belt

Cream Habiba Abaya

An open abaya with a belt cinches the waist, adding definition to your silhouette. It’s a brilliant trick to bring out your shape without compromising on modesty. You can go for a slim belt for subtlety or a wide one for boldness.

Closed abayas: clean lines for classic elegance

The closed abaya offers a more traditional approach, providing full coverage with no need for additional layers underneath if you prefer. Ideal for those who prioritise modesty without sacrificing style, closed abayas come in numerous designs, from plain to beautifully embellished options.

Style tips for closed abayas

Here, it’s mainly about the abaya itself, as that’s where most of your style tones are coming from. But there’s always room for a little playfulness to finish the look.

With accessories

Gold Arabic Initial Necklace

While the closed abaya is often simple in its silhouette, it invites all sorts of accessories to complete the look. Classic jewellery such as statement necklaces or elegant bracelets can utterly transform your ensemble. Don’t shy away from bold earrings either – they can add that perfect touch of glam.

Over anything – or just the essentials

One of the strengths of the closed abaya is its versatility with layers – wear it over separates or by itself as a standalone piece, making it perfect for both cool and warm conditions. Its self-sufficient design means you’re comfortably covered, regardless of what’s underneath. Choose an abaya that’s weighted to match the season for maximum comfort.

Embellished abayas

Womens Zahra Abaya Black

Embellishments such as embroidery, sequins or beading lift closed abayas from simple to stunning. Choose designs that reflect your personality – subtle patterns for everyday grace or intricate work for special occasions. These embellishments make accessorising less essential since the garment itself is the statement piece.

Don’t forget the shoes!

Since the closed abaya falls towards the floor, your footwear becomes an essential part of your look. A pair of striking heels or dainty flats can set the tone of your outfit. But if you’re in the mood for trainers, sandals or pumps – you’re still going to look and feel your best. Just make sure they not only match but complement the entire ensemble.

Solemn times

Kids Small Navy Layali Prayer Abaya

Your prayer abaya will be a closed type, so make sure you’ve got at least one in your wardrobe, even if you prefer the open style. This is of course a perfect opportunity to reflect your culture and your faith, so why not choose a closed prayer abaya with inscriptions or regional designs?

The final touch

Both open and closed abayas offer advantages that lend themselves to different looks and tastes. The open abaya brings layering possibilities and fluid mobility, perfect for mixing modern trends with traditional attire. On the other hand, the closed abaya delivers full coverage paired with classic elegance, making it a reliable choice for any setting – be it casual, formal or faithful.

Ultimately, whether you prefer the versatility of an open abaya or the timeless modesty of a closed one, each allows you to express your individuality while maintaining the beloved principles of modesty and grace. So why choose? Experiment and mix these styles into your wardrobe. The world of abayas is as boundless as your style ambitions.