arab men dress

Arab Men Dress: History, Significance, and Fashion Trends

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Arab men’s traditional dress, often referred to as “thobe” or “dishdasha,” is a symbol of cultural identity and heritage in the Middle East. Characterized by its flowing, ankle-length design, this attire is both practical and elegant, suited for the region’s climate. The thobe is usually worn with a head covering, such as a “keffiyeh” or “ghutra.” This traditional attire varies slightly across different Arab countries, reflecting local customs and traditions.

Where do they live?

Where do they live?

The traditional attire of Arab men varies slightly depending on the region they inhabit. Arab men predominantly live in the Middle East and North Africa, including countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco. Each of these regions has its own distinct styles and variations in traditional dress, influenced by local customs, climate, and cultural practices.

In the Gulf countries, for example, the white “thobe” or “dishdasha” is common. This long robe is ideal for the hot desert climate, reflecting sunlight and providing comfort. In contrast, men in the Levant region might wear the “galabeya,” a similar long robe but often in different colors and fabrics suitable for the region’s diverse weather conditions. Understanding where Arab men live helps explain the practical and cultural reasons behind their traditional dress choices, highlighting the adaptation of clothing to their environments and lifestyles.

Islamic Clothing for Men: Tips to Find the Right Wear

Islamic Clothing for Men: Tips to Find the Right Wear

Choosing the right Islamic clothing for men involves understanding the balance between cultural traditions, religious guidelines, and personal comfort. Here are some key tips to help you find the perfect wear:

Understand the Basics: Traditional Islamic clothing for men includes garments like the Thobe (or Kandura), Ghutra (or Keffiyeh), and Agal. The Thobe is a long robe, typically white, that provides comfort in hot climates. The Ghutra is a headscarf, often worn with a black cord called the Agal to keep it in place.

Consider the Fabric: The fabric of your clothing should be suitable for the climate. Lightweight, breathable materials like cotton and linen are ideal for hot weather, while wool and thicker fabrics are better suited for cooler climates.

Ensure Modesty and Fit: Islamic clothing should be modest and not form-fitting. When selecting a Thobe, ensure it is loose enough to allow free movement and provide comfort while maintaining a neat appearance.

Pay Attention to Quality: Investing in high-quality garments ensures durability and comfort. Look for well-stitched seams, quality fabrics, and reputable brands or tailors known for their craftsmanship.

Cultural and Regional Variations: Be mindful of regional differences in styles and preferences. For example, Thobes in the Gulf region are often plain and white, while in other Arab countries, you might find more colorful and embroidered variations.

Personal Style and Occasion: While traditional attire is essential, personal style and the occasion should also influence your choice. For formal events, a well-ironed Thobe with a neatly arranged Ghutra is appropriate. For casual settings, you might opt for more relaxed and comfortable styles.

Accessories Matter: Completing your attire with the right accessories enhances the overall look. A well-chosen pair of sandals, a traditional watch, or even a stylish Miswak (a traditional teeth-cleaning stick) can add a touch of elegance and authenticity.

Islamic Clothing for Men at Arabicattire

Islamic Clothing for Men at Arabicattire

Islamic clothing for men, available at Arabicattire, embodies the essence of modesty, comfort, and cultural heritage. Arabicattire offers a wide range of traditional garments that cater to different occasions and preferences, ensuring that every man can find something that suits his style and needs.

One of the most iconic pieces is the thobe, also known as a dishdasha or kandura. This long, flowing robe is a staple in many Arab countries and is valued for its simplicity and comfort. Made from lightweight materials like cotton or linen, the thobe is perfect for the hot climate of the region. Arabicattire provides thobes in various styles, colors, and embellishments, from plain white for everyday wear to intricately embroidered designs for special occasions.

The white thobe

The white thobe

The white thobe is a staple in the wardrobe of many Arab men, particularly in the Gulf region. This long, flowing robe, also known as a dishdasha or kandura, is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty and simplicity. The thobe is made from lightweight fabric, often cotton or a cotton blend, which is ideal for the hot desert climate.

The white color of the thobe is not just a style choice but also a practical one. White reflects the sun’s rays, helping to keep the wearer cool in the intense heat. Additionally, the thobe’s loose fit allows for better air circulation, providing comfort throughout the day.

The shemagh head covering

The shemagh head covering

The shemagh, also known as keffiyeh or ghutra, is a traditional head covering worn by Arab men. This iconic piece of clothing serves multiple purposes, from protecting against the harsh desert sun to shielding the face from sand and dust. Typically made from cotton, the shemagh is both practical and symbolic.

The shemagh comes in various colors and patterns, often indicating regional affiliations or tribal identities. The most common colors are red and white or black and white, with each pattern holding specific cultural significance. For instance, the red and white shemagh is commonly associated with Jordan and parts of Saudi Arabia, while the black and white pattern is traditionally linked to Palestine.


Arab men’s dress is a rich tapestry of tradition, culture, and practicality. From the shemagh head covering to the flowing thobe, each element of the attire carries deep cultural significance and serves a functional purpose. These garments not only provide comfort and protection in the harsh climates of the region but also symbolize the wearer’s heritage and identity. Understanding Arab men’s dress offers a glimpse into the values and traditions that have been passed down through generations, highlighting the importance of preserving cultural heritage in a modern world.

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