You might remember from an earlier post that I am just a bit clueless about hijab style and maintaining a decent hairstyle underneath the veil. As with women everywhere, I try to get styling clues by observing the women around me.
Unfortunately, I find that there tends to be little variety in the way the women in Riyadh wear their hijabs, at least from my observations so far. Mostly it is all black, perhaps with some subtle decoration along the edge of the material. Some women have abayas and matching hijabs that have more colorful patterns along the edge or down the back – in Riyadh, at least, it seems that these styles tend to be favored by the non-Saudi women (e.g. from other Arab countries, or Westerners).
So I’m always fascinated when I watch talk show or news programs from the other Gulf countries (especially the UAE) where there are female hosts wearing a hijab. To me, they look so glamorous! There are lots of examples on the internet of the variation in hijab style and fashion across the Middle East – e.g. here’s a screenshot of Google Image results for ‘hijab fashion 2012’:
The color and variety of materials illustrated here is so refreshing compared to the plain black I see all the time on the streets of Riyadh. It looks like they have reams of material wrapped around their head and it is draped just so. It’s not just the color and patterns, but also the shape and volume that makes the style. I always assumed it was just the hairstyle underneath the hijab that made the stylish shape, so I was astonished when I stumbled across these instructional videos revealing the ‘style secrets’ of wearing a hijab! (The first one is narrated in Arabic, but it speaks for itself; the second one is in English.)