What Is Traditional Clothing in Iraq?

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Traditional Iraqi clothing is made up of many loose, lightweight fabrics that are designed to keep the wearer cool in the desert heat. Men and women both wear similar types of clothing, but there are some key differences between the styles. Traditional clothing is still common in many rural areas of Iraq, but in urban parts of the country, men and women alike are much more likely to dress in relatively conservative Western styles.

Arab men in Iraq wear an ankle-length, long sleeved robe called a dishdasha that covers the skin to protect it from the sun but is still loose fitting and comfortable. A pair of loose trousers are worn under the dishdasha, and men usually cover their heads with a wrapped scarf called a kaffiyeh. In cold weather, they add an outer cloak called an aba.

Traditional clothing for Arab women includes the abayah, a long black cloak that is worn as outerwear over a dress or pants. Women also wear two separate scarves: the asha which covers the hair, and the foota which covers the mouth and chin. Additionally, it is rare to see a woman without lots of jewelry, including silver bracelets, anklets, pendants and rings.