What Is the Traditional Style of Arabic Clothing?

What Is the Traditional Style of Arabic Clothing?

Although traditional Arabic clothing can vary, depending on the region, both men and women tend to wear long, loose robes called thawbs or thobes. They also usually cover their heads, both for religious reasons and to protect themselves from the sun and wind.

The hijab is a common type of women's clothing. This term can be used generally to refer to modest clothing, but it specifically refers to a square scarf folded to cover the woman's head and neck. Some women wear an abaya when out in public, which is a cloak-like garment that is designed to be worn over other clothing. Abayas are usually black, although they may have embellishments, such as embroidery.

More conservative women may wear a niqab, which is a full-face veil that can be worn with a variety of clothing styles. The most conservative style of dress is a burqa, which covers the entire body in loose fabric and uses a mesh screen to cover the eyes while still allowing the woman to see.

Men often pair the thawb with a kaffiyeh, which is a long, square scarf. It is often held in place by a rope, called an igaal. In some areas, men wear a tight cap underneath it. In colder regions, men may wear a heavier cloak called a bisht.

Since Arabic people live throughout the Arabian Peninsula and Northern Africa, there are regional variations. Both the names of the garments and the specific styles can differ.