Men’s attire in Palestine were similar to those worn in Greater Syria (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Jordan) with minor regional differences in style within each region and sometime within each community.
Men’s clothing were simpler compared to the richly decorated women dresses and included, a shirt (thob), an overcoat, a jacket, waistcoat, pants, belt and finally a head wear.
In the nineteenth century, the thob was man’s basic attire, that was made from white or blue cotton or fine natural wool. Over the thob, men wore a coat called qumbaz, with long narrow sleeves, made of colored plain and striped cottons and Syrian silks. The finest coats were worn by grooms for their wedding and were made of white roza or ghabani silk.
Over the thob and qumbaz men wore an overcoat called abayeh made of coarse hand woven wool that protected the wearer against rain and cold. In the nineteenth century, abayehs were made from blue and white and later from brown and white striped wool. More luxurious abayeh were made of fine wool in black, brown or cream with embroidery around the neck in gold or silver thread.
Jackets and waistcoats
Over the thob, men wore a jacket (damer) and a waistcoat (sidriyeh), that were made of cotton or satin, . The long sleeve jacket was worn over the sidriyeh.
Pants Along with the qumbaz, village men started wearing baggy pants (sirwal) made of white, black or blue cotton fabric. The pants were tight on the lower leg and wide at the waist.
Village men wore a leather (Iqshat) or a wool-woven striped multicolor belt with leather trimmings and buckle fastenings. Some belts in the Hebron area would be decorated with taffeta and embroidery and worn for special occasions.
Head wear used in Palestine varied from region to region, and village to village. Several head wear were popular in Palestine, including the hatta and agal used mainly in villages and small towns, turban (laffeh) made from Syrian fabrics of either cotton and silk in different colors, and the tarbush.
The Bedouins in the southern region differed from villagers and townspeople by their hattas (kafiyyeh) and aqal under which a white cotton scull cap taqiyeh was worn. Hattas were made of cotton, silk or fine wool in various colors (red on white, black on white).
from left: Nicola Munayyer (Abu Touma), Yousef Issa Munayyer, Issa “Rizek” Munayyer, Elias Farah Munayyer, Gabi Toufik Munayyer and little Sumyia Yousef Issa Munayyer (Lydda, early 1950s)
In the early twentieth century, men used to go barefoot or wore simple shoes of brown, yellow or red leather. Bedouins either walked barefoot or wore sandals.
left: Haj Mustafa Al Naqib wearing laffeh, with Costa Argiropolus, Lydda, early 1950s