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Source: Global Times

From busy cities to valleys to deserts, in Oman, men wearing white robes and white embroidered round hats can be seen entering and leaving shops, arenas, beaches, date palms and other places throughout the year. Even riding a motorcycle, riding a horse, dancing or broadcasting TV news, they can’t do without this outfit. Against the backdrop of the local white-toned architecture, the combination of white robes and white round hats especially makes Omani men look dignified and extraordinary. It is not an exaggeration to say that the outfits are Oman’s “national men’s clothing”, and surprisingly, they are made by foreign tailors.

National men’s “three-piece”

Arab men’s robes also vary from country to country, such as the familiar Saudi version of the robe, red and white headscarves and black headbands. And the Omani version of menswear is noticeably different from it, reflected in many details.

Oman’s Arabic robe, known in Arabic as “disdasha,” has no collar and a hem-length upper, resembling a men’s version of a “floorshirt.” Its most striking difference from other Arab robes is the opening of the placket: the circular opening reaches to the middle of the chest and is closed by a clasp, and on the right side of the buckle falls from the inside to the outside with a tassel called “tarbusha”. Looking closer, the openings, cuffs, straight back or inverted triangles are all intricate embroidered, which can be described as simple and subtly gorgeous. The tassels that “hang” on the neckline do not serve any purpose as clothing, and men spray cologne or place expensive frankincense, which is a “secret equipment” that uses smell to exert charm. The embroidered round hat on the head of the Omani man is called “Kuma”, which is based on white cloth and embroidered with colored threads with various geometric or flower patterns. Some Kumar hats are covered with dense embroidery, and the various patterns almost cover the white background. Wearing a clever Kumar hat adds a bit of liveliness to the hatter.

Under the disdasha robe, the Omani man wears a white sweatshirt on the upper body and a loincloth on the lower body. There is nothing special about the white undershirt, but the loincloth has to be selected according to the fabric, length and shortness. From octogenarians to children of a few years, Omani men have worn “national men’s clothing” for their entire lives in a “three-piece” combination of a disdasa robe, a Kumar hat and a loincloth. In schools, boys are forbidden to enter school without wearing “national men’s clothing”. Even the head of state, the Sultan, is a disdasha, and in Omani currency and official portraits, in addition to a three-piece suit, the sultan has a round hat wrapped around a turban, a machete pinned to his waist, and a scepter in his hand. This is the “luxury version of clothing” for Omani men to attend important occasions or attend special occasions.

You can also wear your personality

The disdasa robe does not affect the driving, riding and worship of Omani men, but is it inconvenient to wear such a robe that reaches to the upper? The reporter’s curiosity obviously puzzled the tour guide Nasser, who was proud of his “national men’s clothing”. He insisted that I try it on once to prove its practicality. With Nasser’s guidance and help, he wrapped me around a loincloth, put on an undershirt and a disdasa robe, and finally Nasser buttoned a Kumar hat on my head: “Take two steps to feel it, is it cooler to wear a light reflective and breathy upper and lower than denim and a shirt?” Jaydar, a local, smiled when he saw my outfit, saying that every Omani man cherishes this “outfit.”

For young people who love beauty and handsomeness, don’t you feel that your personality is erased by wearing clothes similar to “uniforms” all year round? Moussa, 21, said that uniform dress allows everyone to avoid external comparisons, and in Omani society, neat and decent clothing is a prerequisite for a man to be recognized and respected. Although there are strict regulations on the cutting of “national menswear”, everyone can customize the embroidery pattern and color of the disda sand robe and Kumar hat according to personal taste, and the style and fragrance of the tassel on the chest can also be changed. Musa said: “You know, every Omani man buys three disda sand robes every year (each price is about 25 rials, about 415 yuan), and I have more than 30 disda sand robes of different materials and colors in my wardrobe. For the Omani man, this sum cannot be saved. ”

Indeed, with the change of seasons, the disda sand robe has pure cotton, blended and wool materials, and new versions of green, brown, red and khaki have appeared in color. In the business district of the capital Muscat, the reporter found that the back hem of all men’s robes was not only neat and did not have a single fold, but even the color scheme of round hat embroidery, robe embroidery and leather sandals on the feet was also perfectly matched. “National menswear” interprets a rich personality label under the elegance.

The capital is full of tailor shops

In order for Omanis to dress “national men’s clothing” decently, Muscat City is full of large and small laundry and ironing shops. More than the number of laundries are tailor shops. Foreign workers have come to Oman for half a century, and today they number nearly one-third of the population. In countless tailor shops, almost all Indian and Bangladeshi tailors cut disdasa robes for Omani men.

“When I first came to Oman, I didn’t know anything about the disda sand robe, but now I’ve learned all the techniques to make it,” says Arakka, a Bangladeshi tailor. Many foreign tailors, like Arakka, first received their true traditions from an Omani tailor and then passed on their skills to their second or even third generations. Each tailor distinguishes himself by the color of the fabric and embroidery thread provided, and some also design a unique “tarbusha” tassel, becoming a famous “star tailor”. Alaka said the disdasa robe distinguishes Omani menswear from menswear from those of other Gulf countries. In order to ensure the legitimacy of Omani menswear, Oman has stipulated that tailors are prohibited from adding elements of neighboring countries to their disdasa robes.

As night falls, Muscat’s tailor shops are still lit up. Walking on the street, the reporter vaguely heard the clicking of the sewing machine echoing continuously, that is, the tailor must be busy working to deliver one piece after another “national men’s clothing”.