Women's Traditional Head Covering
Studying traditional Arabian costumes is a great way to understand this rich and interesting culture. If you're planning to attend a special traditional event, authenticity is important.
In many Arab cultures, women cover their hair for modesty. The traditional head scarf is called the "hijab," and Arab women wear it in many beautiful colors.
Jallabia, a Long Dress
In addition to the hijab, many Arab women also wear a jallabia. This is a long-sleeved full-length dress that covers the entire body except for the hands. Popular colors include red, green, pink, blue, black, and many others. Sometimes, the jallabia is decorated with elaborate embroidery.
Traitional Arab Men's Head Coverings
For Arab men, the traditional head covering is the ghurta an iqal. Men fold this cloth, often red and white checked or plain white, into a triangle shape before wrapping it around the head. As an alternative to the traditional covering, some men wear a simple cap instead.
Thawb, a Traditional Men's Robe
In addition to their ghurta an iqal or other head covering, Arab men traditionally wear a thawb. This ankle-length robe has long sleeves and is cut loosely to allow air to circulate beneath it.
Arab Shoes for Traditional Costumes
Arab men and women wear a variety of shoe styles with their outfits, but one traditional option include slip-on shoes with pointy, turned-up toes. Footwear is often elaborately decorated with embroidery.
Traditional Bridal Wear in Arab Countries
Although the customs vary from country to country, Arab brides usually wear modest gowns with high necks and long sleeves. Head coverings, usually more substantial than a simple veil, are also part of the outfit.
Arab Children's Clothing
Depending on the culture, Arab children may or may not be required to cover their heads. Typically, they wear clothing that is similar to their parents, allowing easy movement and modesty.
Traditional Arab Dance Costumes
In most Arab cultures, traditional dance costumes aren't as revealing as many people assume. However, they do bare more skin than everyday wear. Typically, women wear a bra top and matching belt with a long, loose-fitting skirt or pants.
Authenticity Is Important
Whether you're creating your own belly dance costume or performing in a play, authenticity is important when it comes to Arab clothing. Each article of clothing is interwoven with social and religious beliefs, and choosing traditional Arab costumes helps to show your respect for this ancient culture.