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!

Downton Abbey 4.7 (SPOILERS)

February 14th, outsourced