I am going to use this post to honour a new love of mine...the Dhofari thobe. The Dhofari Thobe is, to those that don't know, a very loose-fitting dress with the back trailing and the front being approximately shin-height. It is teamed with a lossi (a big rectangle of fabric worn over the head) and sometimes a pair of leggings, called Sarwal. I'm sure other styles of Omani thobe are just as nice but as my family is Dhofari, Dhofari thobes are what I wear.
There are many reasons why this ensemble is so amazing. It's very feminine and elegant being so flowy and trailing. It is available in any material you like, for every single occasion. For example, wedding thobes are usually in velvet with intricate embroidery and crystals on. Beautiful silk thobes are often worn for occasions and my favourite for everyday is cotton or this stretchy heavy fabric (I'm not sure what it's called so maybe someone else can tell me).
With thobes you don't have to worry whether you are a size 10 or a size 18 because they are very loose fitting and don't display all your lumps and bumps. They are also nice and cool to wear. But their most economical feature is that they are cheap (I'm mostly talking about the everyday ones now). It's refreshing to see that those who are wealthy go to the same shops and buy the same 3 Rial thobe and lossi set that those who are poorer do. Ideally, you can just have a small selection of thobes in different colours and then just keep buying different lossi's...for 1 Rial each! My first shopping trip to the street in Salalah where all the thobe shops are (I know it as Al Gharbiya) was heaven!
I must just mention one drawback...the Dhofari thobe doesn't appear to be intended for those who are particularly active. I have struggled to achieve household chores while wearing one, constantly sucking up a corner in the vacuum cleaner or tripping over the tail. And I have nightmares about setting myself on fire while cooking. But they are so very pretty....