Dishdasha. Kandora. Thawb. Thobe. These are only a few of the several names for the typical male robe used in the Arabian Gulf. And, like with the variety of names, they all come in many different colours and designs. So, if you live on the Arabian Peninsula and have yet to complete your resolve to truly immerse yourself in the tradition (or are too ashamed to ask for specifics), worry not: this is your fast guide to understanding the distinctions between all of the many kanduras in the Gulf.
Among the most often asked questions is if the many colours of the kandora symbolize anything. Usually, but besides personal preference and reasoning, there is no actual distinction or meaning to any of the colours worn. Although white is by far the most popular, this is usually due to the fact that it is the coolest colour to wear in the scorching desert weather. Summer kandoras are often constructed of very lighter fabrics.
Certain people would wear a variety of colours to show off their personal flair. Winter brings an increase in colourful kandoras, particularly darker-coloured kandoras like brown and black, which are often constructed of a considerably stronger material.
Another widespread myth is that white is only worn in more formal settings, such as marriages or travelling to the mosque. This, once again, is not really the case. Despite the fact that white kandoras are considerably more common, wearing a different colour is usually an excellent approach to stand out from the crowd.
Distinct GCC nations, as one could imagine, have completely different clothing styles. Paying enough attention to the collar as well as sleeves of someone's kandora is a crucial clue for determining where they are from.
Emirati Kandora often lacks a collar and is adorned with a large loose tassel and similar embroidery down the collar and sleeves. This is rather similar to the Omani kandora, with the exception that the tassel is considerably shorter and generally more colourful. In Bahrain, but on the other side, the kandora is more loose-fitting and also has a soft shirt collar.
Kandoras in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, are often snugger than their Gulf neighbours. Modern versions often have a two-button band collar plus shirt sleeves designed to accommodate cufflinks. The Kuwaiti version is similar to this, with the exception of a one-button band neckline as well as a slim fit. The kandora in Qatar is shinier and features a lengthy band collar or maybe even a shirt pocket.
Other Elements That Compliment The Kandura
Arab males wore the customary headgear. It, too, is known by different names, but it is simply a square fabric, generally made of cotton. Outsiders may be perplexed as to whether the colours (whether plain as well as red-and-white patterned) symbolize something specific. Likewise, the reply is not really, as with the kandora. It is entirely up to a man's stylistic taste whether he wears a white ghutrah or not, however, it is quite uncommon to see someone from the Arabian Gulf wearing a black-and-white Ghutrah.
If we're really technical, you've probably noticed many local Arabs wearing a black cloak over their kandora. This is referred to as the Bisht and is often black, brown, beige, cream, or grey in colour. Because it is an extra layer, it is sometimes misinterpreted as ‘winter clothing,' although this is not the case. The Bisht is really worn for prestige by royalty or significant individuals, as well as on special events such as groom's weddings or celebrations.
Wearing a high-quality and well-made Kandura is a matter of pride for any Arab. So, if you’re looking for a premium quality Kandura, consider shopping from Meemo today!