Bismillah ar Rahman ar Raheem
We are in the midst of the Fall/Winter season and the French company AlMoultazimoun has rolled out their seasonal line which includes a few reworkings of traditional favourites and a few new designs as well!
Recently they contacted me and wanted me to review a few items from their new season, I had previously reviewed different garments for them and in general I am a fan of their garment line and craftsmanship. (If you are interested in reading over my previous reviews for AlMoultazimoun check out the Reviews page at the top of the blog and you will find links to them there along with more information on the company, including an interview with the owner!
The items that were sent to me was a turquoise jilbeb manteau (jilbeb coat) and a green emerald jilbeb al Hanifa (3rd version). I lovvvvveee color, I especially adore color in our dark and very dreary east coast winters…and I love how what they send me just pops amidst the grey background. mashAllah.
1) Jilbeb Al Hanifa version 3.
Basically the Jilbeb Al Hanifa is a reworking of the version which they sold on their website last winter. The version previously sold by them was a no-name, mass manufactured jilbeb style which was made in China and hence although modest and very comfortable the fabric and quality were not quite up to par with AlMoultazimouns standards! Hence this new version which is entirely made by AlMoultazimoun in their garment shop in Morocco. It is made using their signature light as air and utterly gorgeous polyester microfiber with their high quality touches such as tight serging along the half jilbebs hem, sturdy elastic in the cuffs, sturdy internal seaming and serging and exquisite fit and cut. The main difference with this version of jilbeb is that instead of the jilbeb have seaming down the sides (going down the upper arms like is usually seen, this version has seaming down the front. Personally I like his version and do not mind the seaming down the front, it still has the attached headband and covers the chin and cheeks as good as other jilbeb versions. It has elastic cuffs which I find wildly useful both for wuduh and for wearing under a jacket or coat now that its winter!
On me the length is quite ideal, I am 5ft4 and the skirt is a bit long on me, so I simply roll the waist once and the half jilbeb hits me a little above my knees in the front, and a bit below the knees in the back. I know they state the set is suitable up to height 5ft7 but personally I think the set would look best on a sister who is 5ft5 or shorter due to the length of the jilbeb. Also the cuffs just hit my wrists so anyone much taller then me may find the cuffs to be too short on them!
Overall I give the set a perfect 10. I could find absolutely nothing about it that I would want to change! The color is very lush, rich and just gives an aura of happiness and the fit and everything is perfect. I have a fairly large cranium between head and hair and the head opening and tie-backs fit me perfectly fine and it is comfortable to wear! Ive worn the set now about 5-6 times so really can find nothing to complain about or recommend for changing. mashAllah.
Making tea old school Irani style…
2) Turquoise Jilbeb Manteau.
The name in French translates to “overgarment coat”….It comes in black and turquoise although there are other styles available as well. AlMoultazimoun designed these jackets to be suitable for sisters that cover in abaya, jilbab or jilbeb (overhead overgarments) as an alternative to wearing a heavy winter coat over the jilbeb and perhaps inadvertently showing the form.
This design is cut similar to a cocoon and is meant to be worn up over the head. Its actually shaped like a Gulf overhead abaya in the head area and has a piece of black elastic sewn in to allow it to sit comfortably on the head without the fear that it will slide around. The fabric itself is similar to a very thick polarfleece, its like a heavy fleecy flannel. The cut is considered “one size fits all”.
OK, so here is the thing. While its an excellent idea in theory and on paper…in reality the garment needs a bit of reworking, tweaking to make it more wearable and more comfortable. So let me give what I consider its pluses and minuses.
1) Its indeed very warm.
2)It has a modest, loose, baggy cut.
3) can be worn on head or shoulders
4) Works with an overhead! -overhead wearers rejoice!-
5) Your purse is hidden in the coat…so no lucky pickpockets! lol
6) It has style and is definitely a one of the kind item!
Now, the cons;
1) Its warm but if you live in an area where winters can be in the single digits or teens-like it is here right now then its not warm enough on its own. You need to really layer up under it! If you live in say North Carolina or Northern Texas or Central California where winters are like the 30’s-40’s or 50’s then this is ideal!
2) Id reckon the sizing is more one size fits “most”…sisters who are very buxom or hippy will find the cut drapes on them…oddly! If one is slender or of a fairly average size and shape then it should fit OK. Also, plus sized sisters will find the coat wont cover enough in the front to keep them warm!
3) I think the black is a good idea, the turquoise is a bit toooo colorful for an overcoat. Call me odd but while I don’t mind wearing macaroon colored jilbebs in winter…the thought of wearing a turquoise overhead jacket just isn’t my thing….I think these designs work best in black, brown, navy…traditional wintery colors!
4) The fabric used is a bit too heavy to wear on the head. I found when worn over the head with an overhead abaya or a jilbeb the weight was a bit much…and I’m used to overhead overgarments…also because it is meant for winter and hence thick, the drape is a bit off, it looks very bulky.
5) It has no closures in the front so I have to pin it shut. In a gust of wind it will whip right open…brrr.
Hence, overall…I give the jilbeb manteau a 5/6 out of 10. I prefer to wear it as a wrap or a topper and well, it does look rather stylish and yes, dramatic when worn as such…but from the head, no…definitely I can not wear it like that. I just don’t find it comfortable or very suitable for me personally. But of course to each their own. I hope AlMoultazimoun will take my pros and cons to heart and revamp the jilbeb manteau to make it better and more comfortable! Its a fantastic idea and one which WE SISTERS REALLY, TRULY NEED…but the design needs to be worked on a bit.
Now for my own pictures;
Now I did ask my husband what he thought of both items. Generally, like men tend to do he gave me one word answers like “yea, they are good” or “yea, nice color”…but when I poked and prodded further I got real feedback..my husband thought the color of the jilbeb was one of the prettiest he had ever seen (he also loves color as well, he isn’t a huge black fan although doesn’t mind when I don black, he is just more of a color fan) he also liked the cut of the jilbeb as well. The jilbeb manteau his thoughts were basically on par with mine…good idea but needs a bit more work in the actual pulling off of the garment itself.
So I shall end my review here. As usual I am enjoying everything that was sent…especially that green emerald jilbeb and like in previous experiences with garments made by AlMoultazimoun the quality of the fabrics and constructions exceed expectations. All of their garments are made in their own garment factory in Morocco, so of course supporting them means your supporting a Muslim owned and operated company which designs for the Muslim Ummah and which in turn gives Muslims in Morocco a livelihood to support their own families. MashAllah. Personally as a blogger I always try to give my support to Muslim owned and operated companies because if we don’t support our own community…who else will?