What Is Iraqi Traditional Clothing?

The loose, light textiles used in traditional Iraqi clothes are intended to keep the user cool in the desert heat. Although men and women dress similarly, there are some significant distinctions in the fashions. Many rural areas of Iraq still use traditional attire, but both men and women are considerably more likely to dress in rather conventional Western patterns in the cities.

Arab males in Iraq dress in an ankle-length, long-sleeved robe known as a dishdasha, which is loose-fitting and comfortable but covers the skin to protect it from the sun. Men typically cover their heads with a wrapped scarf called a kaffiyeh, and they typically wear a pair of loose-fitting pants underneath the dishdasha. They add an outer cloak called an aba during chilly weather.

The abayah, a long, black cloak used as outerwear over a dress or pair of slacks, is a staple piece of Arab women’s traditional attire. The asha, which covers the hair, and the foota, which covers the mouth and chin, are two additional different scarves worn by women. A woman is also typically seen wearing a tonne of jewellery, such as silver rings, anklets, pendants, and bracelets.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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