It is not easy to wear and carry a Thobe: Perhaps one of the most common things associated with every Arab origin man is the thobe that they can be often seen wearing. For those of you who may not know, a thobe is the one piece, article of clothing which Saudi or Arab men can often be seen in.
Though the white colored thobe is the most common and can be seen nearly everywhere in the Gulf region, there are other colors available too. People might think that wearing a one-piece clothing article will be extremely easy and carefree; it is actually quite the contrary. Here are a few problems faced by all those who wear thobes;
1-If you plan on running in a thobe, best of luck to you and you will need it because you will be endlessly tripping. Only if you tie the thobe around the waist can you run, and that too will have to be tightened again after a little while.
2-AC is a must: Men usually wear clothing under their thobes. Adding on the layers in the summer heat of the desert is not a pleasant idea and going to any place without air conditioning is a big NO.
3-Stiff Movement: The shimagh is the head gear worn with the thobe. This consists of the cloth on the head, usually red and white or just white in color, and the black rope crown of sorts. When you have these on your head, you will have to move very stiffly.
4-Keeping it clean is a huge task: Your thobe acts as an evidence collector of all the delicious foods that you might have eaten throughout the day. One has to be extremely vigilante while eating or drinking anything. Keeping it clean is a huge task on its own.
5-Little or No Customization: People might think that every thobe looks the same and they might think their thobe needs to be customized. There is, however, a problem here, there is not much to customize in a thobe, and what can be customized has a very fine line between looking customized or looking like a piece of abstract art, which nobody understands. New colors have been added to thobes however they are also limited.
6-Side Pockets: The side pockets on the thobe are a handy thing because they allow a safe storage space for your wallet, cell phone etc. however they also act as a health hazard because they can easily get stuck in the doorknobs causing the thobe to either rip or you to trip.
7-Egal creates so many troubles: The black rope headpiece, which is also known as the egal, has to be corrected every time the man goes for ruku or sujood. If not then the egal will simply fall off.
8-Putting on and taking off the headgear is truly an art which takes practice and patience at first, all those newly introduced to wearing thobes will be constantly stuck in the mess they create.
9-Bending down on knees: If you drop something and are wearing a thobe, be ready to bend down not from your waist but on your knees, looking like the most elegant person on earth.
Source: Destination Jeddah