On Hijab Masri (Egyptian Style)


At any rate after this brief introduction to Fashion in Alexandria I want to dive into illustrations of the different types of hijabs in particular that I have seen in these past nine months.  The truth is, I have seen it all.  Egypt really is a great place for hijab inspiration, women here have developed a diverse set of styles, some of which I think I would certainly copy if the mood was just right. Ha, ha… which reminds me of when I came to class with a scarf for a week or two, and some of the university staff thought that I’d become a hijabi…. Nope.

At any rate, this picture above illustrates what I mean in previous posts about layering hijabs being the standard here.  Women usually layer one or more scarves or they buy undercaps to give their hijab a little umph.  the underlying scarf is usually a solid color.

There are of course the more traditionally Conservative women who wear hijabs that look like this, scarves over gellabiyas or long dresses that completely hid their feminine form.

In general though there is a wide range of hijab, most girls are middle of the road, technically covered, but they wear tight clothes.  some even go as far as to wear what I would call clubbing clothes (ie. shirts with holes in the chest area or halter tops or tank tops or some combination of all three) and just wear a long sleeved under shirt called a “body” underneath.  Please note that “bodies” come in every color you can imagine.  So just think of all the fashion possibilities…. I was almost tempted to by a lime green body once…. then I thought better of it…ha,ha…. I hope I don’t regret the decision when I go home.


This is another example of layering, but this woman seems to have used at least three different types of fabric… and somehow manages to avoid what I referred to in my previous post as the goit look.  i.e. too much fabric around the neck area.


alot of women wear caps or bonnet-like (I say bonnet like because they are actually just scarves wrapped in a certain way) hijabs such as the ones pictures above.  Depending on the woman, her neck/ears may or may not be covered.  This is incidentally the way I wrap my scarves when I wear them…. causing confusion in some instances… sigh.

at any rate, this style can involve a bun as in the lady in dark purple and the woman in black and white picture above. Or some women opt to have the fabric drape like the day in pink, but their hair is still fully covered.



Other women still, opt for what I call the pirate look.  That is, they wear either a turtle neck and pin their scarf to it in the way pictured in green above, or they wear a black cap that completely covers the hair and then wear a different colored scarf for decoration.




The last two are representations of hijab styles I have made reference to previously.  The precious baby above, is the best representation I could find of the goit look… too bad she so’s cute she makes it look good.  But trust me, it’s not cute on a 25 year old woman.

the second photo is a representation of matching done well…. notice that she too has many layers on her scarf.


Of course the are other types of hijab I didn’t picture here… but I think this post is enough to give people a good idea of the variety of hijab fashions found.  the truth is, I couldn’t find pictures online that represent every style that I have seen, and I didn’t think it would be right or prudent to go around trying to take pictures of random Egyptian women.

But Gazelle tries to keep promises even ones that she made to no one in particular.  With this post I have satisfied my goal of writing about hijab in the Egyptian context.





3 thoughts on “On Hijab Masri (Egyptian Style)

  1. Interesting…

    I’ve seen some of these over time in the US, and have worn a few of these as a hijabi…including the head rag way, haha. I think my favorite was the pirate way. I also liked wearing sheer shaylas (my favorite scarf…not a fan of the square scarf as much) with an underscarf…

    Anyway, I hope hijabis don’t think I’m staring at them because they’re Muslim…I just like to see how other women tie their scarves, hehe.

  2. gazelledusahara

    Yeah it’s not the fact that these styles have never been seen before that got me about Egypt, it’s just the sheer number of Hijabis plus the variety of ways that they express (coupled with the interesting nature of some of the outfits that people put together) that makes Egyptian women worthy of respect when it comes to hijab….

    I am all about the bonnet, and will probably see what I can do about getting some accessories while I’m still here… ha, ha…

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