Dressing for Allah

Presumably Trump does not speak Arabic, and we hope will not be tweeting over the single Saudi government censored internet line in and out of the country, so we should be seeing more like this for the next few days.

Melania gets on the plane at Andrews base, gets off the plane at King Khaled airport in Riyadh.

Described in the press as a black pantsuit with a gold belt, I would say if it looks like an abaya and quacks like an abaya, the Saudis will see it as an abaya.

Ivanka gets on the plane at Andrews and gets off the plane at Riyadh:

While a Saudi woman could get away with sleeves like this, having the white pattern on the whole outfit is definitely pushing the envelope. It looks black from a distance, especially next to her husband’s lighter navy suit, but it’s actually navy. Again, this pushes the envelope of what is allowed, without defying the rules completely.  These outfits are not power statements, or social status statements; any woman without status could get away with something like this. Allahu al akbar and long live the king.

Now, Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel and Teresa May:

But these are women who are used to pulling their own weight, not window dressing. Ironic that the women who break the “modesty” rules are the most modest looking, but the ones who follow the rules look the most provocative. Welcome to the Middle East.

Merkel vs King Salman

Looks like Merkel wears pretty much the same outfit everywhere. If that’s how she gets people to talk about her policies instead of what she was wearing, it didn’t work this time. The news services noted that she did not wear “hijab”. Well no one really wears hijab in Saudi Arabia, they wear niqab by tradition and abaya by law, but sure she wasn’t wearing those either. Outdoors, too, but hey, it’s Jeddah, by the sea, and not the stuffy Wahhabi interior.

In spite of rumors about the king’s health, it looks like this time, the handshake photo op went off without a hitch.

…but wait, what’s this handshake with bin Nayaf? Is he crushing her thumb?