Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Saudi women have begun decorating their fullbody coverings, or abayas, with colorful patterns. Abayas are traditionally black, which means that in the oppressive Saudi heat they are stifling. Nothing in Islam imposes black on us, said Manal alSharif, an editor at alMadina newspaper. I decided to make a brown abaya for myself. Other women are even more daring. In cosmopolitan cities such as Jeddah, colorful abayas are being decorated with crystal beads and jewelry. Even those women who wear black head coverings that show only their eyes are dressing up: They have taken to wearing colored contact lenses and heavy mascara.