Those New Cool Thobes

As people in Saudi Arabia are usually dressed either in black — for women — or white — for men —, I usually try to appreciate the moments when I’m abroad and enjoy the colorful clothes people wear, spending much of my free time walking down the streets and observing others.

That’s why I was glad to see my friend Faiza Ambah elegantly profiles Saudi fashion designer Yahia al-Bishri, the man who put color back in menswear here. His boldness also inspired others like Siraj Omar and Lomar Thobe to redefine the traditional Saudi garb. However, and from what I have seen, it seems that young Hjiazi men are embracing the new trend more than their counterparts in Najd, which is to be expected as people in the central area are more conservative.

Although I only wear a thobe occasionally as I prefer my casual outfit of jeans and t-shirts, I personally like the idea of updating the thobe with new styles and colors, and I plan to get myself one of those cool Lomar thobes in the near future. The problem is that they are relatively expensive, as their creators admitted, but I think it is worth getting them for special occasions.

How about you Saudi boys and girls? What do you think of those new cool thobes? Yay or Nay?

40 thoughts on “Those New Cool Thobes

  1. Twelve years in Riyadh does not qualify me as a Saudi girl, but I’ve looked at enough thobes to feel confident about venturing an opinion here.:)

    I love the new colors and styles, but what about the ghutra? Does that match, too?

    However, I hasten to add that I’d prefer to see the traditional white for men and black for women, in Makkah and Madina, in order to remain mindful of our underlying unity in the eyes of Allah.

  2. Personally, I never wore thobes after high school except on occasions. But now with the new styles and personalizations of thobes I tend to wear them more often.

    And I totally agree with you, a Najdi friend of mine admitted that he thinks that those new thobes are “low class” and for “tarsh al ba7ar” .. Mind that I’m quoting and I’m not to blame ..

  3. I was just thinking the same thing about colored & fancy thobes yesterday when I passed by a thobe shop.
    I do agree that some of them are very nice and unique.. but others are so bold that u’re put in some momentary shock when u see them (although i think that’s what the person who wore it intended to do :P) and other are truly UGLY!!
    but still the variety that guys have now when making thier thobes is nice:)
    & BTW.. there are some shops my brothers go to here in jeddah & make some great thobes at a much cheaper price then lomar & the others :)

  4. looks like u wanna get one for eid, u should. Look, when it started a few years ago, only Yahya and a few other shops made them. The workmanship was excellent, but the styles varied from absolutely beautiful, to bad… now the styles have gone from bad to horrendous, especially that the cheaper places make them and the workmanship is bad. in the end it all depends on personal style and the taylor.

  5. um, NO! sorry, maybe its because its something new and i have to take time to grasp it… but so far in the two minutes that i am exposed to this new thob i really am not a fan of it.

    Whats wrong with the white one they wear? i think its way better than this. I don’t think blue really suits them ;)

  6. Definitely yay. I think they look great as long as the colors and designs are modest and minimalist. and you have to have a certain attitude to carry them off. I think it’s one of those outfits that may look absolutely great on some people yet incredibly ugly on others.

  7. I LOVE thobes. absolutely love’em. and i’m not even a saudi!
    by the way why are saudi thobes so body hugging? hello-! that’s not allowed in Islam for guys!

  8. Nah, I don’t like it. I prefer the old traditional white , I personally think wearing the white thobe and shemagh are perfect combination.

    What about bisht? Does anyone know where I can get them? I mean not designer bisht, just the average one worn by Sheikhs.

  9. Ahmed,

    Lomar is indeed pricey, plus their quality has taken a hit of late. It seems they are not able to cope with the huge demand. I tried them twice (9 thobes in total). Wasn’t satisfied.

    There are other places around here that are better and cheaper. Lomar were the innovators, but their novelty is no more…

    • Hi there..I’m looking for nice thobes as a gift to my fiance. where can i get better and reasonably priced ones. like with a little embroidery maybe. thanks for your help

  10. As a muslimah of non-arab country, men wearing thobe and ghutra always amaze me.
    Plain white is fabulous. Colorful and patched as Lomar’s is irresistible…LOL

  11. eh?

    just to make it short.

    i’d still go for the old ones.

    Too much designs & colors; sooner or later there won’t be any difference between men & women!

    Bad Omen if you’d ask me…

  12. My husband would go for the thobes in the tones beyond sparkling white for sure…but he would stay away from the crafted embroidered designed ones..too girly he says!

    I took a look and yes, some of them look like abayas with all the bling!

  13. I love the idea of making the thobe more interesting. women are creative with their 3abayas so i don’t see why men shouldn’t be either. my only concern is that some men will want to take their creativity a step too far and end up with tacky designs. so guys, if you’re going to wear them, make sure the thobes are tasteful and still have that elegant look that the classic white thobe has.

  14. I like it – didn’t see a whole lot of color on the website – Lomar’s – but the black and white in the article from the WP was nice. It’d be nice to see a little variation from the traditional white or brown, here. Some individuality…

    And sure, you can get an abeya with trim or stitching on it, but it is still black. Why not some color in abeyas, too? Guessing that won’t happen for sometime – not until women are driving – which I doubt will happen in the remaining years that I spend, here.

  15. I have never seen a Thobe in real life and now I cant figure out why. After researching what a Thobe was I now would like to get my hands on a well made white thobe. I can find some awesome occasions to wear one.

  16. can anybody help me with some links for saudi online shops specialised in thobes and by that i mean thobes made just for Saudi Arabia? Please! Thank you!

  17. honestly some of the saudi wanna a new refreshment of design in thobe, don’t you know that many muslims out of saudi has a huge demand on classic saudi thobe, I’m one of the saudi thobe fans, it looks cool, saudians please keep your culture pure as it is, in order to remain mindful of our underlying unity in the eyes of Allah.. You had a blessed country mashaAllah

  18. For people in the West seeking modest traditional clothing I would suggest the web site “”. They link with many other web sites around the world, including Saudi sites, that offer clothing and many other products. I personally have done business with many of them and although I am a careful shopper, I have never been disappointed in either the service or the products that i’ve purchased. Enjoy!

  19. Assalaamu alaikum warehmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu.

    I am from UK Birmingham and I want to buy Jubba Thobes and perfumes off you from your shops, Direct, and delivered to me in large ammount.
    Please contact me and give me some sort of price list insha’Allaah.
    Walaikum salaam warehmatullaahi wabarakaatuhu.

  20. Hi there..I’m looking for nice thobes as a gift to my fiance. where can i get better and reasonably priced ones. like with a little embroidery maybe. thanks for your help

  21. Hi there..I’m looking for nice thobes as a gift to my fiance. where can i get better and reasonably priced ones. like with a little embroidery maybe. thanks for your help

  22. Those look like something to wear around the house. If the end result is a thobe you cant really wear to work or to do business in or to visit an official government office or court, then what’s the point of the thobe? Keep those for camping trips to the desert or the beach and rest assured they will never catch on with the public because they don’t do their job.

  23. A definite nay nay for me. I’d wear vivid shirts & the occasional jeans all right, but the fanciest thing I’d do with my everyday thobe is a somewhat slim fit version. Come to think of it, my comment came in a few years post publishing this article, so maybe I’m lagging behind?

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