Women in Somalia mainly wear long flowing dresses
worn over petticoats called direh and usually wear
large scarves. Many women wear a hijab (headscarf). On special occasions such as weddings the women often wear jewellery and decorate their hands and hair with henna.
Somali women living in the UK wear a great variety of clothes. Many older women wear direh and larger scarves or sometimes the head-to-foot burqa known as the jalabeeb in Somali. Younger girls mostly wear western clothes and teenagers often wear long denim skirts which are modern and modest at the same time. British Somali teens also often wear smaller scarves .
Of course, when Somali women are indoors, they do not wear scarves - they love to dress in bright direh in pinks, oranges and reds in contrast to the darker colours they usually cover these with when they are in public.
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My Friend Jamal - Somali clothes
Somalia is a very hot country, so clothing is often loose which is appropriate for the heat.
In the UK, Somalis often wear a mix of Somali, Western and Islamic clothes.
Traditionally, men wear a flowing ma'awis (a kind of wrap around saroong} western shirts, and shawls. Other common clothing items include a Khameez (a long, loose shirt), scarves and Koofiyad, or embroidered cap. However many wear western clothes, especially when they go out to work.