The modest clothing worn by the men and women in the Middle East reflects the multi-faceted and colorful culture of the country. When it comes to making a fashion statement, each thread proudly showcases the country’s love for tradition. It features a complex reality where local customs and Western influence are stitched together, resulting in a dress code that fulfills the requirements of modesty in Islamic fashion, no matter which middle eastern country you find yourself in.
Women have always had the spotlight when it comes to their distinct Islamic fashion, while not many people notice that men equally submit to the modest dress code. In that sense, we’re here to pick apart the seams and take a look at what Islamic men wear on a daily basis.
Also known as “kandoora” or “dishdasha” in other regions, the thobe is a loose, long-sleeved and ankle-length garment that is usually designed to promote modesty through its imitation of a robe. Made from sheep’s wool or cotton, it is also one of the most common clothing traditionally worn by Islamic men and is generally prevalent in the Islands of Iran, Arabian Peninsula, and Iraq. It is generally sold in white, though there are also some variations in color.
Ghutra and Egal
A thobe is typically matched with a ghutra and egal, two inseparable aspects of Arabs’ clothing style. A ghutra is a traditional headdress and is believed to keep away the heat from the scorching desert sun, while egal is a black cord that is worn doubled to keep a ghutra in place.
A bisht is a long cloak that men of higher status, typically high-level government or religious leaders, wear over their thobe. It is commonly made of wool and ranges in color from white, beige, and cream, to darker shades of brown, grey, and black. It originated as a winter coat by Bedouins, but now it is typically only used for special occasions.
Also known as mikasser, these white cotton pants are typically worn as an undergarment beneath the thobe along with a white cotton undershirt. It features either an elastic waist, a drawstring, or both. Although nobody bats an eye when it is worn as outerwear, it can also be comfortably worn as pajamas.
These are traditionally worn by women, though it is also prevalent in men in some regions. It is a trouser that is designed with a wide waist which narrows down to a cuffed bottom. It’s held together by a drawstring or elastic belt, which creates a pleated look around the waist when tightened.
An izaar is folded around the lower body and wrapped tightly around the waist similar to the fashion of a sarong. It is also likened to a kilt, though it is thinner and lighter. It comes in striped in a striped fashion with bold colors.
A man’s headdress based on cloth winding, a turban is a customary piece known for its 10-feet long cotton or silk. The style or arrangement of the folds varies from region to region, which usually comes in striking colors.
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