I have been asked by several expatriates this question, what do women wear under Abaya in Saudi Arabia? well, there are as many answers to this question as the number of women wearing Abayas in Saudi Arabia.
What do they really wear depends upon several factors like weather, mood, fashion, personal preference and bla bla. You cannot generalize that women wear that particular dress under Abayas.
Normally whatever a woman is wearing under Abaya, no one gets to know about it. This is a positive point for women as they don’t need to think a lot before leaving the house. Well, this is something positive for men as well as they don’t have to wait a lot.
Every woman in Saudi Arabia was obligated to wear abaya irrespective of the religion and country she belongs to. However, recently Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has issued a statement that the abaya is not necessary for women.
The statement has been taken as his personal comment but we know that anything coming from the Crown Prince is itself a law. The condition was not like this a couple of years ago when a woman was arrested by religious police for removing her Abaya.
What women really wear under abaya also depends upon the mindset to which she belongs. A more religious girl or woman will be covering her hands with the gloves, will be wearing veil upon her face and wearing a full dress under abayas.
If they are wearing jeans shirt, it will be a fully covered dress so that if some part of abaya gets opened due to the wind or while walking, no part of their body is exposed to outsiders. You can easily identify such women in the malls.
Women who are a bit open-minded or some women who belong to western countries wear a less covered dress under the abaya.
If you ask the same question from a taxi driver, what women wear under abaya in Saudi Arabia? They would say, “women in Saudi Arabia don’t wear anything under abaya”. But there is no reality in that.
These taxi drivers or like-minded people if see bare legs of some women under the abayas as they are wearing shorts, they assume that they don’t wear anything. Some modern women wear skirts, maxis, shorts, and capris under their abaya.
Well, I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing whatever they want to wear under the abaya. Let’s say if a girl is going to gym she is not required to wear a full fledge dress under her abaya.
She can wear her exercise dress and go there. Wearing abaya is still a cultural obligation in Saudi Arabia but there is no rule regarding what to wear under the abaya.
In an earlier post, we have also shared some Tips for Choosing Your Abaya. If you decide to go for stitching, Measurement of Abaya should be taken considering the factors we have narrated so that your Abaya Trend is not outdated.