Dispatches

My Close-Up

I will confess that initially it was purely for vanity but having sported one on most days of opXpeditions Jordan I am now an enthusiastic convert.

The Runways of Wadi Rum are busy right now as the Fall 2012 Desert Collection is introduced to the local fashion press. The piece de resistance of the collection is the keffiyeh, or head scarf, so ubiquitous throughout the Middle East. Never one to commit a fashion faux pas, I simply had to add one to my wardrobe. I will confess that initially it was purely for vanity, but having sported one on most days of opXpeditions Jordan I am now an enthusiastic convert.

The keffiyeh has been worn for centuries and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Although merely a nicely patterned large square of cotton, it somehow manages to protect your head, face and neck from the blistering sun, and trap a cushion of cooler air next to your scalp on the hottest of hot desert days. On cold mornings it is likewise every bit as warming and comfortable. It keeps swarms of flies at bay, and keeps clouds of sand and dust from your nostrils, ears and mouth.

In short, it is the versatile Little Black Dress of desert garb.

And, if I am honest, it really does look rather cool.

Now, where’s my mirror?

Nov. 18, 2012, 10 a.m.