The thobe, a traditional garment originating from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, has been gaining popularity in the United States over the past few years. Increasingly adopted by American stars and influencers, the thobe is establishing itself as a fashionable and comfortable alternative to jeans.
From Beyoncé to Rihanna, many celebrities have been spotted wearing the thobe at events or simply in their daily lives. Their millions of fans around the world have discovered this garment with ancient origins. Beyoncé notably created buzz by wearing an embroidered thobe at a basketball game, causing the designer’s stock to sell out.
More than just a fleeting trend, the thobe available for sale here corresponds to a desire from American stars to make this ancestral garment their own by reinventing it in a modern, Westernized style. Playing with shapes, fabrics and patterns, the thobe seduces with its easy elegance and exotic flair.
Some see it as a nod to their sometimes distant origins and a desire to reclaim their cultural heritage. The thobe thus becomes a symbol of belonging to a rich history, that of a traditional garment revisited in a contemporary way.
More than ever, Gen Z is embracing the thobe as both a fashion and political statement. Asserting their right to dress as they see fit, young American women see the thobe as a way to affirm their independence. On college campuses, the thobe is imposing itself as a new casual and feminine uniform.
American designers are also getting in on the action, proposing their own modern interpretations of the thobe. Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger and DKNY have made it a new basic in their collections. Playing with prints, fluid fabrics like silk or viscose, they have managed to make this ancient garment trendy and easy to wear.
The thobe has also gained popularity thanks to social media, where influencers compete in creativity to share their best looks featuring the garment. From elegant minimalism to bold extravagance, the thobe adapts itself to all styles.
While the thobe is often seen as a woman’s garment in the US, men have also embraced this traditional Middle Eastern tunic. American male celebrities like Kanye West and Kid Cudi have brought the men’s thobe into mainstream fashion.
Many Arab and Muslim American men see the thobe as a way to express cultural pride and reclaim their identity in the face of discrimination. The white thobe allows them to stay faithful to their values while participating in American life.
For others, the thobe represents elegance and timeless style. Loose and breathable, the men’s thobe provides optimal comfort in hot weather compared to suits and jeans. Its anti-fit cut flatters most body types.
Some designers have creatively merged traditional patterns with modern aesthetics for today’s tastes. Shorter sleeve and hem lengths, fitted silhouettes and bold prints give the men’s thobe a youthful update.
On a practical level, the thobe requires little ironing and combines easily with Western wardrobe staples like sneakers, jackets and sunglasses. This versatility accelerates its crossover into mainstream American fashion.
Thus, American celebrities have greatly contributed to democratizing and popularizing the wearing of the thobe, making it a new fashion essential across the Atlantic! Whether an everyday garment for some or a cultural statement for others, the thobe still has bright days ahead in the United States.