Men’s Traditional Clothing

Traditional Libyan men’s clothes consist of a long white shirt  (qamis or jilab) and long, usually straight legged  trousers  (sirwal). Over the shirt they wear a vest or short coat (sidriyah) often in black and heavily embroidered in black silk or cotton thread. The front of the vest has embroidered buttons and loops.  

Libyan men also wear a closefitting headwear called the chechia or shashiya,usually in black or red. It is similar to the ones in Tunisia, although Libyan men usually do not wear the long tassel common in Tunisia. Libyan men also wear a tight fitting knitted or crocheted cap called a taqiyah underneath, which they keep on when inside. For outdoors, the shashiyah is worn over it.  

Another main piece of men’s traditional clothing is a large outer cloak called a ksa made of cotton, wool, or blend of both that is wrapped around like the Roman toga. In Libya, it has ties that can be joined together at the right shoulder and the remainder of the cloth is brought around, behind the wearer, up over the head and folded over the left shoulder leaving both arms and hands free. The cloak is belted in place once the folding is set.  

Traditional footwear includes soft leather boots with stiff soles and a heel. If not wearing boots, men wear leather sandals or slippers.  

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