What Are the Different Types of Hijab Outfits?

Lainie Petersen

The types of hijab outfits that a Muslim woman or a woman living in or visiting a Muslim country might wear are quite varied. The differences between various types of hijab outfits depend on culture, law, and a woman's own preference. Many styles of clothing worn in conformance with Muslim modesty codes have their basis in traditional ethnic clothing, though modern hijab styles are often based on modern fashion with an emphasis on modesty.

Women's hijab outfits often consist of a jilbab, which is meant to cover most of the body.
Women's hijab outfits often consist of a jilbab, which is meant to cover most of the body.

While there is some debate in Islam as to the exact nature of what appropriate dress for women actually is, in general Muslim women are expected to wear loose garments that do not show the shape of their bodies. In addition, many Muslim women reveal only their hands and faces and sometimes their feet while in public and wear a headscarf to cover their hair, neck, and ears. Some women go a step further and cover their faces or wear additional robes or cloaks over their clothing.

In many countries, hijab outfits for women typically consist of a jilbab, a long button-down dress or coat that is worn over street clothes, and a headscarf. There are some ethnic variations on this type of outfit. In Iran, many women wear the manteau, essentially a raincoat, over trousers or a long skirt along with a headscarf. More conservative women in Iran or Iraq may also wear a cloak known as a chador over their clothing. In Saudi Arabia, women typically wear an abaya, a long, flowing robe, over their clothing as well as a hijab and often a face veil. Another option is the salawar kameez, often worn in India and Pakistan, which consists of a long tunic and baggy trousers, worn with a dupatta, a long shawl that is often worn over the head.

Other options for hijab outfits simply make use of otherwise modest fashions combined with a headscarf. These outfits may consist of loose jeans or slacks worn with a long tunic type shirt or loose blouse. Women may also wear a turtleneck under a shirt or blouse so that their necks and arms are covered. In addition, some Muslim clothing stores sell arm gauntlets that can provide coverage of the arms if worn under sheer fabrics. Prayer outfits are loose garments that often incorporate an elastic hood into a headscarf along with a loose skirt that has an elastic waistband. These outfits can be slipped over any clothing that a woman is wearing and are appropriate for wearing during prayer time.

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