If you frequent most malls in Riyadh, you will probably notice that majority of the retail shops only carry clothes for women. For me, that’s kind of ironic since we’re the ones who need to wear an abaya and remain covered, while the men who aren’t covered up are the ones who find a scarcity of options when it comes to fashion and style. Initially, I would attribute the low ratio of women-to-men retail stores due to the fact that locals (Saudis) are encouraged to keep wearing their traditional garb of thobe and gutra. There was a particular disdain for locals wearing Western clothing while donning the Saudi national attire brought more honor and respect to the individual. That’s why perhaps the need for retail clothing stores in Saudi Arabia never really shot off. Nowadays though, there has been a steady increase in stores offering more than just womens’ and kids’ apparel.
I’ve been doing my research a bit and collated the various places where you can surely score some clothes for your man. Or if you’re a man reading this, then let it be your shopping guide to updating your closet one of these days. I hope you will find it useful and worth the knowledge.
For the Professional and Classic Gentleman
If you’re the along the likes of George Clooney or Tom Cruise who likes their suits and crisp polo tops then the stores of Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Massimo Dutti, Tommy Hilfiger would be your names of choice. They have a lot to offer to those who are in office/desk jobs and/or corporate settings. If you attend a lot of formal events, you can’t go wrong with finding a proper suit and tie in these stores.
Riyadh Gallery, Kindom Mall, Othaim Mall, Panorama Mall, Al Nakheel Mall, Hayat Mall et al.
For the Preppy and Trendy Dude
If you’re among the young and stylish and likes to spend a little above average, there’s the street styles of Zara Men, MANGO for Men, GAP, Pull and Bear, Alcott and Giordano. Their collections change per season and tend to set the style tone as dictated by the latest runway trends. These are more of casual, hip and relaxed looks and would require a more thoughtful arrangement to make the right statement.
Localizer Mall in Tahlia St. (where all the brands mentioned can be found) PS. It’s also a good place to find Men’s accessories like bracelets and watches!
For the Budget-Conscious Chap
If you’re the type who likes to stick to your budget but still have nice, presentable clothes, look no further than the racks of Splash, City Max, Red Tag, R&B and other mid-level brands like Bossini, Penshoppe and Bench. Truth be told, there’s quite a value for your money there. I’d say quality is good for at most, a year — depending on how you wash and wear them. There is also a number of menswear stores in the 2nd floor of Lulu Hypermarket in Murabba that houses a lot of jeans and shirts for men.
Splash and CityMax are found in most districts. For the rest, branches can be found in Riyadh Gallery, Sahara Mall, Riyadh Avenue Mall (Lulu) and Batha.
For the Plus Size Fellow
Are you hunky and chunky? Size 3XL and foot size 45 and above? If you’re one of the big men on campus, fret not, there are stores out here in Riyadh for you. The Big and Tall store along King Fahad Road has everything from formal to casual wear but it’s a bit pricey (Note: Wait for the sale) Nautica and Debenhams also carries huge sizes for men (up to 6XL for Nautica) and there is also a local store along Thalateen St in Olaya, (before the CityMax) that carries affordable, plus size clothing for men.
For the Athletic and Fit Guy
If you’re one of the guys who like spending their entire weekends in the gym or out in some physical/sports activity, then the obvious choice would be the retail stores of Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Sun and Sands, Sports One, Quiksilver, El Faleh and SODAS just to name a few. Al Gharawi Galleria in Oruba Road is also a gold mine for sporty and outdoor-loving guys with brands like Merrel and Caterpillar. Note that not all sports stores have apparel, but those mentioned above always do. Complete your look with a new set of dependable gym shoes while you’re at it.
SODAS can be found in Olaya St and Batha. Sports One is in Riyadh Gallery. Sun and Sands have branches near Al Faisaliah Mall and in Khurais Road. El Faleh have branches in Olaya, Malaz and King Fahad Road. Quiksilver is available in Al Faisaliah Mall and Localizer Mall. Al Gharawi stores are available in Oruba Road and Batha.
Men, I know your shopping powers are different from us women so feel free to go on your one-time big-time shopping sprees! Wait for the sale seasons too as the prices can go really low (some of the photos above were taken during the recent sale season). Other than that, there’s no reason for you to not look good and gorgeous in some stylish garb. If you’re not doing it to impress the ladies, then go on and do it for yourself. 😉