It was not always like this though.
Women in Palestine used to wear a Thob; a full length flare dress, that is loosely-fitted to allow a lot of movement. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
|Thob from Hebron||Thob from Ramallah|
In the Bethlehem area(Beit Sahour included), the traditional dress is called Thob al Malak, translates to the dress of an angle.
Thob al Malak is made of striped velvet and embroidered in the coaching stitch. The motifs include the "flower pot" on the chest panel while the clock motif adorns the side and bottom back panels.
The headdress that went with Thob al Malak is called the Shatweh.
Today, the traditional dress is worn mainly by village women, and some brides when they choose to. However, there is my grandmother and some other ninety year old women, who still choose to wear their Thob proudly.