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The Evolution Of The Abaya Over Decades Shows How Far It Has Come As A Style Statement In The Kingdom

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Living in Saudi Arabia gives you a chance to participate in the most competitive Arab fashion industry: Abayas.

They’re the official #OOTD everyday.

Ever since abayas became mandatory in the late 70s, the garment faced a long list of yays and nays when it came to its designs.

What once started off as a long, black, voluminous robe is now recognized globally and redesigned by fashion designers

But it has been a long ride before we got to the shapes and shades we see today…

The Shapeless One (1980 – 1990)

These abayas were pretty much all basic and black. Kinda monotonous but they are still pretty iconic – you can never go wrong with a bold black abaya, right?

Black on Black (1990 – 2000s)

Experimenting began in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

You’d start seeing more lace and rhinestones (usually all black) and even some sparkle every now and then.

Rhinestones (2004 – 2007)

This was the era of heavy embroidery and rhinestones.

A little tough to handle unless you were a weightlifter, probably…

They got a lil more breathable with time though

The Butterfly / Bats / Anything With Wings Look (2007 – 2010)

Were you even a somebody unless you owned at least one of these?

The Dementors (2010-2013)

The butterfly evolved into something a little less…sleevey.

(But not enough to make sure that the bread reached the hummus before the sleeve.)

Colored Abayas (2013 – present)

The latest trend is all about expressing individuality (and practical sleeves) and we are living for them.

So many beautiful styles!

Also major shout out to these hooded ones that not only are super in today but also make life just so much easier

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