History of Islamic Abaya's
The Abaya is a traditional dress piece in many countries in the Middle East and Islamic world, as it leaves only the bare hands, feet and neck. Many add with a niqab or burka to their Abayas.
That is by no means necessary, however, particularly for those who do not follow the Islamic faith.
The tale behind the Abaya is somewhat blurry like with many garments. The fabric is thought to have existed for more than four centuries, as there is evidence of its use by ancient cultures. The Mesopotamians, in particular, tended to wear garments similar in style and length to the Abaya, although at the time the clothes would not have carried the same name..
The emergence of Islam in the 7th century brought the Abaya a greater prominence. The faith followed the veiling rituals we know today, with some speculating that at the time this could have been motivated by the presence of garments such as the Abaya.
Ironically, many claim the Abayas before Islam was much more informative than those we see today. It wasn't until the advent of Islam that wearers had to draw their veils to ensure that the Abaya concealed as much of their skin as they could. This was done to protect women against acts of disrespect.
Many historians still claim that the act of "veiling" was about status as much as it was about religion. For example, veiling was seen by many as a sign of luxury in pre-Islam days, with women who didn't need to work often wearing veils alongside their Abayas. Such women used the veil to differentiate themselves from working women, who couldn't afford anything as impractical as a veil to cover their faces