Destination KSA - Your Guide to Saudi

Destination KSA - Your Guide to Saudi

The Riyadhi Man’s Style Essentials

The Riyadhi Man’s Style Essentials
By Jou Pabalate

Want to look a tad bit more put together? Here are the classic items every Riyadhi needs in his closet.

Traditional is the New Modern

The thobe and the shemagh are essential pieces for any Saudi or Khaleeji. It’s the quickest way to look dapper without making too much of an effort (which is why we don’t understand how Hollywood keeps on getting it so wrong.)


five 100 percent cotton white ones for Summer, two colored ones for winter. The style of thobes tend to vary from region to region or country to country. However, as the Najdis in the office were keen to emphasize – a clean, well-ironed and unadorned thobe is
the preferred one in Riyadh.

This is the splash of color you can give to your thobe. It’s a staple accessory especially if you’re wearing your thobe ensemble for official business or to a formal gathering.

Mind your mirzam. Due to popular demand, here are the basic ones:
1 Bint Al Bakkar
2 Butterfly
3 Cobra

One to two. This black woven ring is used to keep the shemagh or ghutra in place.

Fact bit:
The iqal is said to have a Bedouin pragmatic origin. According to stories, it was initially used to pin the camel’s front right leg in order to keep it from moving. The tribesmen would then put it over their heads to keep their hands free while riding or shepherding the camels.

White cap underneath to hold the shemagh in place.

It’s an investment and you will need one eventually for weddings and other formal occasions.


Our traditional style don’ts

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

The 20 somethings for the twenty-something

There comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to start looking like a man, a big part of that is having the right items in your closet.


Qty. 1
Colors: Navy Blue and/or black
Whether it’s that once a year company iftar or your first big pitch at the meeting, this is an investment.

Have your suit tailored, even if you do buy it off the rack, make it fit you right by going to a tailor.

Mismatch your pants and the suit. Buy them in pairs.


Qty. 1
Colors: Navy Blue and/or black
You’ll know it’s a blazer based on the texture and fabric. It’s usually softer, made from cotton, hopsack or the like. A more casual look compared to a dress suit.

Mix the blazer with any top, button up or even a t-shirt for an instant put together look.
– Leave it in your car for emergency need to look stylish moments.


Qty. 3 – 10
Colors: black, grey and white

– Blank Tees are a necessity, either as an undergarment or a standalone dress down wear
– It’s okay to experiment with graphic or printed tees but do so with caution
– Have v-neck and crew neck options

– Huge in your face branding logos are a no-no.
– Leave the statement and superhero shirts unless you’re going to comicon.


Qty. 3
Colors: Dark blues, olive and khaki

Khaki or Chinos – Straight or skinny legs depending on your body type.

Solid color dark jeans – It’s worth splurging on a good pair of jeans. Dark ones are more versatile and can be great for dress down Thursdays in the office and just about any other casual event you’re going to.


Qty. 1 from each category minimum

Dress Trousers/Suit Colors:
– Brown/Black
– 1 Long wings
– 2 Cap toes
– 3 Toe Bals

– 1 Classic sneakers
– 2 Chunky sneakers
– 3 High tops

– 1 Classic sneakers
– 2 Penny loafers
– 3 Camp Mocs
– 4 Boat shoes
– 5 Chukkas



Leather or steel straps are a good base. It’s the only timeless accessory you’re ever going to need consistently.

Leather belt
Always match your belt with your shoes. Hence, we say, play it safe in the beginning with a brown or black one.

You’re a Riyadhi, this doesn’t even have to be mentioned. Classics, you cannot go wrong with: wayfarers, aviators, clubmasters.

– Unless you’re a triathlete or an actual athlete going for a cycling ride in our 50-degree weather, avoid solar flare sport glasses like a plague.
– Is the sun to bright indoors? No. Take your glasses off please.

Qty. 2-3
Colors: Red, black, textured

If you have a suit then you should have this. Aim to have at least one formal tie and one informal. The difference? Suit ties are silk, casual ties that you can use for your blazer or button up shirts are textured.


Qty. 5-10 pairs

– Five black or colored pairs are essential.
– Try to match your socks with your pants

– Wear white or sport socks with your casual or business wear. Leave them for the gym.

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