Sunday, February 16, 2014

The freedom of the manto hijab

I have no idea if I'm spelling this correctly, but in Syria if I ever saw it in English, it was "manto hijab." I think the word might be "manteaux," meaning a knee-length trench-coat thing. In any case, it was my dream style of hijab when we lived in Syria. As in, if I ever went muhajjiba, that is the style I would totally wear: clean, white/navy/black fitted hijab with manto and pants. It is a common look for veiled women in Syria, though the manto is sometimes ankle-length instead of knee-length. Here is an example (though I think this one is Turkish, it gives you the idea):


A few weeks ago I was at H&M and they had a killer sale on what were, essentially, manto coats: knee-length, belted trench coats in navy, black, and tan. Even though we live in a place where I need to wear a coat - nay, could probably kind of want to wear a coat, I guess - maybe three times a year, I totally bought one. It was a thing of great beauty. And then it was cold a lot this winter so I actually did get to wear it.

My point is that when I wore the manto coat, even without hijab (obviously), I felt so...free. Sometimes as a woman I feel so on display here, but with the manto, I knew for a fact that no one can see my butt or my thighs or my undershirt if I bend over to put something in the grocery cart, etc. It is an amazing feeling.

I'm sure it wouldn't be so amazing in summer when all the manto would be concealing is my horrifically sweaty shirt clinging to my suffering body, but in the crisp, cool winter days here, it was awesome. I had forgotten the powers of a butt-covering shirt. They are seriously legion.

Plus: so cute!

12 comments:

  1. I can totally see why you'd want to wear that in the Middle East. It often felt like there was almost nothing you could do to stop the staring and leering.

    One of the reasons I loved living in Bishkek is that there was almost none of that, no matter what I wore, or what any other woman wore. Women in Bishkek could wear what they wanted without leering. So refreshing.

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    1. Yes, that was one awesome thing about Russia, too. Wear whatever you like. Even high heels in slush. Whatever.

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  2. I could have used a manteaux, pardon my French, in Turkey. Though I'm no longer 20s and foxy, the men there aren't fussy. Many times when I turned to look at something I saw eyes boring through me. Ick.

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  3. I think it's adorable!

    (Also, did you know there are audio adverts when you come to your blog? Am I the only one who's heard those? Today it was for applesauce.) =)

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    1. Ummm, NO, I did not know that! I think it happened to Liz once a few months ago but she thought maybe it was from another tab since I didn't know anything about it. This disturbs me.

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    2. My version of chrome puts a little volume icon on the tab from which the sound is coming. It's happened to me about 10 times in the last couple of months. (And I keep scrolling down to see if you have video ads, but I can't see any! Maybe it's some sort of cookie thing with chrome? As in, it's Google's fault?)

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    3. Yeah, it keeps happening to me, too. Ugh.

      Also... what does "seriously legion" mean??

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    4. Legion like "so many," like in the Bible. Do people not use it that way? Oops.

      I am so sad about these audio ads. I have no idea where they are coming from or what to do about it. I just googled it for a minute and nothing obvious came up.

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    5. Bridget, you could have mandatory, full, 60-second ads prior to viewing your blog, and I'd still read.

      So THERE.

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  4. My favorite "works with any thing at any time of the year" coat I have is a trench from H&M I bought five or so years ago. Its the only coat that manages to fit over my very large belly and has been useful this past winter since I refuse to buy a maternity coat. It also still happens to be in great condition, even with all the abuse! I also kind of love that it has a little chain on the inside to hang it on a hook, and no buttons have popped off because they are super reinforced!

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like the same coat! I adore coats with little hanging loops on the inside. Also towels.

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I had to disallow anonymous comments because of all the spam I was getting. Sorry!

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