What to Wear in Saudi Arabia

Before I share more about my trip to Saudi Arabia, I think it’s worth highlighting the clothing requirements.  What most people know about visiting places like Saudi Arabia is that women need to cover their head.  However, I am happy to share that it was more interesting than just that.

In advance of my trip, I scoured the internet for rules and regulations on women’s attire.  What should I wear?  Do I have to cover my head, and if so when and where?  Can my hair show at all?  Do I have to cover my face?  These were the questions running through my mind.  Unfortunately and to my great surprise, there was very little detail available.  Additionally, much of what I could find was contradictory.

My past travels have taught me that it is always better to be safe than sorry, so I opted to go for more coverage.  While my internet search wasn’t so great in terms of clothing rules, it was very helpful with online shopping options.  I found a great online store called Modanisa.  It is based out of Turkey and boasts extremely affordable options in proper clothing.  I ordered a variety of items for less than 100 Euros.  My order consisted of 3 long dresses, 2 abayas, 2 hijabs and 1 turban.

Throughout the ordering process, I came to learn the different terms and types of clothing items that were available.  I knew I needed to cover my head, shoulders and legs, but I had no idea how many options there actually were.  What I am listing below is based on how the Modanisa website characterized the items.

Abaya – this is the all-covering outer garment that I would wear over my other clothes when stepping outside.  It had a zipper running the entire length of garment, and I ordered 2 of these in black just to ensure I blended in as much as possible.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Abaya

Hijab – this is the head covering that does not include covering the face or eyes (that is called a Niquab).  However, it does often include some sort of scarf-like appendage.  I purchased the “ready hijabs” from Modanisa, mostly because they were idiot proof.  These easily wrapped around my head and neck or tied directly under my chin like a bonnet.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Hijab

Turban – this is a less restrictive head covering.  It does not include the scarf-like elements, so while my neck was exposed, my hair was still mostly covered.  I actually appreciated how comfortable, easy to use, and fashionable the turban looked.

what to wear in saudi arabia

Turban

Long Dresses – the dresses fully covered all necessary areas and easily fit underneath the abaya.  They were very comfortable as well!

Long Dress

Continuing on, my time in Saudi Arabia was relatively short.  I spent most of my visit inside the hotels and in fairness, what is acceptable within a hotel is different from what might be acceptable in public.  I was told to remove my hijab and abaya while inside, but I kept them on most of the time out of respect.

As much as I was fearful of the setting and the dress code, I ended up feeling exceptionally at ease in my surroundings.  What helped most was always being in the presence of other Saudi women.  They not only helped me blend in and answered my clothing questions, but they also became my very fast friends.

For any female traveling to Saudi Arabia, I recommend taking the safe approach.  Always wear more, knowing that these items can easily be removed or adjusted as needed.  Note that on those especially hot days, the abaya is your friend.  You can probably get away with shorts and a t-shirt underneath, with the public being none the wiser.

More on Saudi Arabia to follow soon!

 

A Blue Skirt on the Amalfi Coast

Traveling through the Amalfi Coast was absolutely incredible.  It provided the perfect back drop for some early summer time fashion.  A friend gave me an adorable and comfortable blue skirt and I found plenty of use for it on this most recent trip.

The skirt itself satisfies a variety of needs for me:

  1. Comfort
  2. Pop of color
  3. Flexible fit for my post pregnancy figure

When in Positano, I paired the skirt with a graphic tee I purchased at H&M.  When on our boat ride to Capri, I wore a simple white v-neck to match with the beautiful sea we were sailing on.  I really enjoyed how both outfits came out, but for future reference, I would not recommend heels in Positano!   😆

A Day in Positano

blue skirt

blue skirt

blue skirt

blue skirt

Sailing to Capri

blue skirt

The rocks hurt my feet!

blue skirt

blue skirt

What the Missus Wore:  Blue Skirt from Zalando//Marmont Matelasse mini bag by Gucci//Amber Sunglasses from Louis Vuitton//Graphic Tee from H&M//White V-Neck from H&M

These summer outfits make me ever more excited for the season to come!

A Springtime Outfit

My brother and his girlfriend recently arrived to visit Matilda, and we spent Sunday in downtown Zurich.  In honor of the gorgeous, sunny, spring day, I opted for a springtime outfit.  I paired my floral embroidered boots with my new Tara Jarmon coat.

We started our journey at Zeughauskeller for a traditional Swiss lunch and then introduced my brother to Sprungli.  Sprungli has the most amazing hot chocolate/coffee/caramel drink called a Sprungli Caramelito.  Yum!  The entire city seemed to be outside given the weather, and we enjoyed people watching while sipping our delicious beverages.

We then wandered over to the carnival that popped up at Burkliplatz.  It was a super fun and colorful background, perfect for some outfit photos!

springtime outfit

springtime outfit

springtime outfit

springtime outfit

springtime outfit

Sam Edelman Floral Booties

What the Missus Wore:  Coat from Tara Jarmon//Booties from Sam Edelman//3 Jours Bag from Fendi

Looking forward to more opportunities to wear a springtime outfit!