Can Foreigners Wear Thobe? - newarabia

Can Foreigners Wear Thobe?

Posted by Umair Nazaqat on

When visitors immerse themselves in a new culture, they often face issues regarding how they should dress, giving rise to peculiar yet innocent questions, such as 'Can foreigners wear thobe?' 

This world has always been an assortment of civilizations, each with its values, traditions, and typical attires representing the norms. A traditional robe worn by males in several Middle Eastern and North African nations is a cultural. But relevant concerns, including 'Can foreigners wear thobes and related robe-like outfits without offending or appropriating culture?' are common. It is not simply a wardrobe matter. It dives into traditional respect and understanding complexities.

To comprehend the propriety of foreigners wearing thobes, one must first learn about the garment's exceptional importance and history. For generations, the thobes have been a mainstay of men's dress in nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, etc. It is more than just clothing; it represents these areas' traditional and religious values.

Thawbs’ Versatility and Comfort

Creative designers typically tailor thawbs for utility and comfort in the desert environment. Their free-flowing styles allow ample airflow, keeping the user cool in hot weather. According to Islamic teachings, the white hue represents purity and simplicity, and the ankle-length cut provides modesty and is a remarkable addition to self-effacement. The collarless style is ideal for hot weather, and the long sleeves shield the arms from the sun. Combining these functional and customic components makes it a one-of-a-kind and beloved garment.

Do Foreigners Wear Thobes Across the World?

Foreigners dressed in thobes may be seen via a variety of lenses. Some think it represents traditional respect and an effort to accept and comprehend a new way of life. Others contend that it may quickly develop into cultural appropriation without proper care and knowledge.

In today's globalised society, cultural appropriation is a sensitive problem. It happens when aspects from one culture are absorbed and utilised by people from another, frequently without recognizing the ethnic meaning of the elements. Societal components are removed from their context in such circumstances, which might propagate prejudices or disrespect the culture from which they were acquired.

Societal Diversity via Apparels 

It is essential to remember that cultures are not disposable garments. Respect, compassion, and sensitivity should be at the heart of any cross-cultural encounter, including the decision to wear traditional clothes.

Foreigners wearing thobes is not a black-and-white issue, and perspectives on the subject may differ among cultures. While some may consider it a show of folk interest and respect, others may be sceptical or even offended. It is essential to be aware of this range of viewpoints and to be ready to adjust your actions appropriately.

Key Considerations: Can Foreigners Wear Thobe?

Embracing robes, kaftans, tunics, and relevant dresses with respect and care requires attention to detail to not hurt the sentiments of their root cultures. Here are some critical considerations about 'Can foreigners wear thobe?'.

  • Understanding and Respect
  • Before wearing full-length tobes, it is essential to understand its societal and religious importance. Understanding why it's worn and the ideals it symbolises is the first step toward respectful contact with this garment.

    Tobes are most often worn in formal or semi-formal situations in the Middle East. Wearing one carelessly, particularly without a suitable environment, may be considered improper or insulting. It is essential to choose the appropriate occasion for wearing a thobe. If you want to have one, ensure it fits correctly, paying particular attention to the sleeves and length. It expresses regard for the garment's distinctive significance.

  • Avoid Stereotypes
  • Do not use the thobe as a costume or stereotype. For those who wear it regularly, it is an essential apparel item. Avoid making fun of it or caricaturing it.

    When in doubt, seek advice from locals or those acquainted with the culture. They may provide vital advice on when to wear a thobe and how to do so responsibly.

  • Open to New Opinions
  • Engaging in available and courteous discussions with culture members will help you better understand their viewpoints and preferences towards outsiders dressed in traditional attire.

    In certain circumstances, foreigners wearing thobes may be seen as a gesture of racial interchange and admiration. It has the potential to promote understanding and overcome national divides. Check out our collection of Moroccan thobes as well if you want to show your personality in front of others.   


    The answer to the issue of whether can foreigners wear thobe is more challenging than yes or no. It relies on various circumstances, including the individual's goals, societal knowledge, and the situation in which they choose to wear the clothing. The trick is to approach it with humility, respect, and a genuine desire to learn about and understand the culture it symbolises. Wearing a thobe may be a meaningful and pleasant cross-cultural experience with these ideals in mind, encouraging unity and understanding in our increasingly linked world.   

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