clothing culture in saudi arabia cultural differences cultural observations interesting observations Lost in Riyadh-Blog photography saudi arabia women's clothes saudi arabia

The Bright Side of the Dress Code

It’s always the same old story. You go to the mall with a solid plan of what it is you need to get and all you want to do is get in, buy what you need and get out again.  Yes, this type of woman actually exists…

But if you are a group of women on a sunny day in Riyadh and in a fabulous mood, you may end up buying something completely different.

We were actually doing groceries for the most part and had some time left after bringing the bags to the bus. So I thought that I may just as well try and get the jewelery I need for prom until it was time to leave. But the display windows in some of the clothing shops are just too pretty to simply pass by and so my company and I ended up inside a shop that sold what I assume are traditional, colorful Saudi dresses.

The actual traditional dress for women here is the black abaya. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, there are also some female dresses that seem to be for special occasions, hence they are more colorful and more fancy decorated.  Maybe what I stumbled upon is actually not really Saudi but I mean it was all labeled in Arabic, it is sold in Saudi Arabia and the women on the posters cover their hair…well, all in all it is something very Middle Eastern for sure and for me that is reason enough to be fascinated by it. Saudi or not.

Just as I came up the stairs to the second floor, I was captured by a sample I have seen earlier and that I always stopped by and looked at until my mother would call me impatiently. This time all of us seemed to agree on taking a look inside and I said to myself “This one or no other”.

catalogue by

catalogue by

But sometimes, at the sight of the price, you may end up changing your opinion or prosponing the wish for another day and buy something else instead because € 200 for a dress that you will probably never have a chance to wear in public…? Well, see for yourself.

However, I did not have to leave empty handed in the end. The good thing about shops here is that the more people buy the same thing, the more discount there will be. So I received a very nice gift after all.

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So yes, the general dress code here may appear sad and monotone and is quite a torture during the summer months, unless it’s made of silk, but there is also a more bright and more colorful side to it. At least for special occasions.

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