Thursday, November 26, 2015

What do I wear underneath MY abaya?

If I titled this post, instead, what do Omani women wear under their abayas, I'd have a plethora of pictures to post for y'all, since women have different tastes, lifestyle dictates, and all. However, what I wear is rather dull (most days). Underwear for Omani women (unless they are over eighty---then they sometimes wear pantalettes like civil-war era re-enactors) is the same as it is for Western women. Clothes, are another matter entirely however, varying by individuals, geography, and lifestyle.

I personally go for comfort most days, since no one can see what I am wearing anyways, and sometimes I change when I get home. Abaya makes wearing things that are too tight, or too revealing for Oman, or too lazy-ass for anywhere else in the world, okay, happily.

I work, have kids, paint a lot, run around a lot, so it depends where I am going, who I am seeing, how much freedom of movement I need, and how hot it will be. Heat matters in Oman (at least to me!).
So on most days, for going to work, or going out somewhere with some ammount of ac, I wear t-shirts with black leggings. I actually am a devoted dress girl, and hate the world of pants, but this is kind of the jeans+sweatshirt-or-sweater casual thing I would have done somewhere colder than Oman.

I almost always wear gold sandals because they match everything---that---or black sandals (same reason). I walk a lot, sometimes outside. Open toe and flat with some ankle straps rule. I tend to go for flats because I can't walk in wedges without breaking an arm (Omanis are okay with height in a shoe if it is wedge) but Omanis (not all of them because my friend M has the maddest shoes ever when it comes to heeled creations) seem to dislike me in high heels. High heels are my friends. In my home country they weren't immodest, since I walk quietly and normally in them, however, abayas are longer in style here, and some Omanis think them to be not good for Muslim girls. So I wear flat sandals. Most days;). Sometimes I'm bad. Feels good. Weird thing unique to Oman. All the Emirati, Kuwaiti, and Saudi girls I know wear heels, but whatev'.

 Depending which t-shirt I wear, I wear different necklaces and rings and bracelets. Depending on time and mood, I switch between casual perfumes, and Omani incense. I always wear lipstick if I have time, and am seen carrying my own mug of coffee most places (even to get more coffee!).

The thing why I wear leggings is Omanis (women) insist that I do. Strange, that while no Saudi woman ever told me to put on pants under a modest length dress under an abaya, Omani women (and Emiratis sometimes) seem freaked out that my abaya will blow up and some dude will see my legs. To prevent them from having heat attacks over worry on my behalf, I oblige, as, if I wear my favoured dress with leggings, it will stick to my butt, and the abaya will stick too, and then it is like, what the hell, why bother with abaya right? So leggings with comfy t-shirts it is... See, it is totally not my fault that Oman has made me lazy less stylish. I blame my female Omani co-workers;).
If I am running late, I usually just throw an abaya on top of my pajamas. Yes, I do that, to go out, or to go to work. If the pajamas are too long for me, I sometimes wear high heels. If the pants were the right length to begin with, I sometimes end up wearing high heels anyways, because I can't find my sandals. My kids like to hide them in weird places. Inside the bouncy gym/trampoline? Or in the basket I use for firewood (don't ask!) behind a table.

Oh yes, never thought to look there.

...If the high heels have also been kidnapped, I sometimes end up using the bathroom shoes Omanis call "ship-ships". Because of an embarassing meeting I once ended up taking with a member of the royal family while wearing ship ships, I now have bought fake Hermes bathroom ship ships for the whole family just in case, and hope no one will notice how tacky my fake designer ship-ships are, when they forgive first the pajamas under the abaya;).
Sometimes I have guests of a more traditional sort... short hemlines and, my arms (and hair) will cause a family scandal... So I end up wearing either Omani lendli-type dress, or house dresses, which are like the dresses pictures above. They work always with a scarf of some kind, usually coloured or matching the dress if possible. I don't really have any of these that I like. I wish I could just wear abaya. I like abaya. However, if people come to my home they'll think I dress like a total sk*nk or something if I wear abaya in my own home;).
I wear less makeup with this outfit (because make-up is frowned upon by my visitors in this situation) and my accessories, unless they are rings or bracelets, are not allowed to show. Style bummer. Thus this is my least favourite type of outfit to wear in Oman. I like wedding dressing... it is allowed to be stylish, but this kind, not at all. So...
This kind of dress is also hot under an abaya, so if I have to wear it out or to someone else's house or I have to stay in it for over four hours, I run away, and pretend to be an anti-social hermit. I am serrious. Hate it that much. But alas, it is part of life here, since I am married to an Omani and this is part of his particular culture.
My favourite thing to wear under an abaya (closed front of course) for outside in this sun of ours is a sheath dress in a good quality fabric (so one doesn't sweat), or a jersey  (good quality) t-shirt---or---cocoon-style dress.
 If I am indoors all the time with good AC, and not caring about the covered legs rule, something plain pretty regardless of material is fine.
However, I like shorter hems and exposed arms and a comfy line at the shoulder/arm seams so there is no pinching for outside (and sometimes cut-outs to get some ventilation going on) because of the heat. I style these the same as I would a t-shirt and leggings, but might take more care to match my shoes exactly with the dress... Actually I care more in general. Dresses are my thing.
Abaya is great because I can wear things like the above places other women might get glares at (or creepy dude love) for doing the same.
That's mostly what I wear... but occasionally, between salaries, my washing machine breaks, or for some unknown reason, the water pressure in my area goes thus the washing machines doesn't work and I am sooooooooooo not strong enought to open the water heater with a wrench and hold a bucket up while I fix that issue by letting water flow to even out the pressure... Yes, I know how to do it, but I am simply vertically and upper-body strength challenged. Thus, looking pretty, to get husband to fix it involves a ballgown, right?
Ballgowns comes from running out of pajamas before telling husband about said washing machine issue, and having like, ten minutes to get on the way to work.
Thus, I have also been known to wear evening gowns (the least hot or bulky ball-gowney ones) to, like, work, same as I do for pajamas... Spending all day poked by some embroidery or beading in an office chair, or sweating through satin or velvet totally reminds one to ask husband to fix the water pressure upon the return home.
That's life in Oman;).


Azlaan Khan said...

good web
and ur posts are good
ur best comment was u are proud of your abaya

Umm Ibrahim said...

asalaamu alaikum...interestingly traditional Persians have an odd thing about dresses too...they ared considered VERY immodest UNLESS you VISIBLY have pants sticking out...doesnt matter, leggings, jeans, shalwar...the traditional central Iran villager outfit for women is a blouse or a tunic over a calf length skirt over baggy shalwar...there are versions of thise throughout Southern Iran depending on area its tight traditional leggings over a kurti-looking thing which is very long...all of which you have a printed chador wrapped over...seriously...dresses and skirts even floor dragging ones are considered skanky unless everyone knows you have pants on under. Dont ask me why...and probably wealthy, educated, urbanites from Tehran wouldnt care but in villages or small towns or esp amongst traditional or religious Persians (I use Persians here are Iran is composed of many ethnic groups so I dont know about say the Southern Iranian Arabs or the Northern Iranian Turkomans) anytime I go, I like to bring long dresses as they are more comfy for sitting and sleeping on the floor with a chador wrapped around me than a manteau and jeans...and Ive had women tell me its skanky-ish...unless I OBVIOUSLY have my jeans or leggings or shalwars poking out. *shakes head*...its annoying as even shorts under a dress wont be OK which means in summer when its hot as heck and your in a village with NO air conditioning you sweat and get all gross. Ugh. Strange huh...I think this has something to do with a similar belief that should you fall or moving from the floor to standing you may inadvertently show something...I dunno.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Azlaan: I'm not "proud" of it, but I do like it and think it is a practical and comfortable piece of modest clothing;).

Um Ibrahim: YEAH even pants under long dresses... annoys me. I can't do it. I run away;). I think it is that if you don't make the attempt at safety precaucaution then your clothes getting ripped or bolown up... then in their belief it your fault? I don't think so... but I do the legging thing without long dresses. I have curves. Leggings or pants plus a dress equals butt stuck to fabric no matter how much anti-static cloths I throw in the washing machine etc... I prefer a loose shape to a "maybe the wind will blow your clothes up" frightened mindset;).