{Shopping in Dubai}

In America, some people (including Muslimahs) look at abayas as outdated eastern costumes. But in Dubai, the abaya is the ultimate fashion statement and sisters pride themselves on having one-of-a-kind, luxe abayas made just for them. Marie Claire magazine went shopping with two Muslimahs in Dubai to discuss this phenom.

A few excerpts and pics:

{Dubai doesn't have fashion police -- or religious ones. Bin Kalli and Al Hamly aren't required to wear these robes; they choose to. "We're proud to wear the abaya," says Al Hamly. "It represents our culture. We can look glamorous and good and still be covered up."}

{"Dubai is an expanding city -- there are more expats than locals now," bin Kalli adds. "The abaya helps us differentiate ourselves from the nonlocals." To American women used to staring down a dizzying merry-go-round of new colors and trends each season -- Nautical! Menswear! Bohemian! -- an abaya could seem like a relief: insta-wardrobe.}

{...even in a country where black is the new black, a woman can have a little fun. "You can play around a bit with the style to be different," says bin Kalli, whose favorite casual abaya has denim embroidery on the sleeves. Then there are special-occasion abayas: often a base of delicate black chiffon, transformed -- by way of colorful embroidery, Swarovski crystals, and hand-beading -- into a couture-quality work of art.}


I must ask: What is up with the bangs?