Types and Styles of Abayas

The Abaya is a loose, simple, robe like garment worn by Muslim women, world over, particularly those in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The Abaya is used to cover the entire body, but for the hands, feet and head.

It may also be worn with a veil called as the Niqab, which covers the whole face except the eyes.  Long black gloves may be worn by women along with the Abaya so that their hands are also covered.

The origin of the Abaya is often attributed to a quote in the Holy Quran which asks daughters and wives of Muslim men, to be covered in  a loose garment. By this they can be easily recognized and they will come to no harm (Qur’an 33: 59).


In modern times, Abayas come in different styles. Contemporary designs include Kaftans which are cut from flowing, light fabrics like chiffon, georgette and crepe. Some Abayas feature embroidery on black fabric while others are of bright colors decorated with different artwork.

Trend of wearing Abayas is on the rise in the Muslim world. One can buy casual Abayas online and formal Abayas from designer stores.


 Current fashion trends have transformed the old, traditional Abayas into a modern outfit, in the truest way. The style of Abaya as a black, A-line piece featuring glued-on crystals have been replaced by garments which are more feminine, womanly, flowing and sophisticated. Today, Abayas feature different cuts, designs and shapes, created by trend setting designers like those in the UAE.

 Designers have been experimenting in particular with styles of the sleeves of Abayas. Here are some Abaya sleeve designs which have set fire to the market:

  • Abaya with bell sleeve: It is a long sleeve fitted from elbow to shoulder. It flares gently from the elbow onwards. Bell shaped sleeves appear more elegant when featuring on free and loose style Abayas.
  • Butterfly sleeve: these are sleeves which flare widely from the armhole, extending to wrist or elbow, providing the effect of a cape, thus resulting in a lovely butterfly look.
  • Abaya with Flared sleeves: This is a modern and stylish design of sleeves which features sparkly bead work on the edges of sleeves.
  • Baggy style sleeves: A most fashionable look, Abayas featuring baggy sleeves give a fancy look and reflect cultural values.
  • Cuffed sleeves: these are sleeves which are long and fit tightly like a cuff at the wrist. There are different cuff designs. Designs include satin fabric design, buttons on end of cuffs and embroidery or ribbon work at the edges.
  • Bat wing sleeves: These sleeves resemble the wings of a bat. They are loose long sleeves featuring tight wrists and deep armholes which provide a stylish look.
  • Abayas with panel sleeve: Many Abayas feature panel like sleeves. Sleeves are created in panels, permitting shirt sleeves or lining.
  • Puffed, long sleeves: Balloon shaped sleeves which are tight at the wrist.

Thus Abayas come in many varied designs. Apart from the cuts, Abaya sleeves may feature different types of exquisite embroidery. One can get ideas from browsing to Shop Casual Abayas Online. There are so many thousands of designs to wow you.


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