I took my first trip to Morocco this September knowing that the Maghreb region of north Africa is famously conservative. It can be hard to know what you need to wear without compromising western comforts, so I compiled a list of essentials for fellow women to help understand what to wear to be respectful to the culture and what to expect!
What to to wear in Morocco
Like other conservative countries, this is a tricky topic to navigate, especially for for us ladies. Although there isn’t a defined set rules as to what you can and can’t wear, it’s important to always lean towards the side of caution, especially if you want to avoid causing offence and being the victim of unwanted attention.
It should be a given to make sure you research whatever country you’re visiting first, to ensure that you abide by using appropriate behaviours and showing respect to the local people and customs – this begins with modesty.
Throughout Morocco, it is seen as a sign of respect for women to keep their knees and shoulders covered. Headscarves are not required, but it is handy to have a shawl or head covering handy if you’re wanting visit some religious sites such as a mosque. I also found that I was harassed less by the locals when covering my head. So keep this in mind if you become overwhelmed.
Although it’s easy enough to dress in this manner for the winter, the summer months can be hot and sweltering. Opt for loose fitted and light coloured clothing to prevent yourself from over heating.
Sun hat: Prepare to shade yourself from the North African sun with a wide brim hat. Opt for loose and light material to avoid overheating and sweating.
Light scarf/ shawl: These are useful if you are wearing an outfit that may expose your chest region or shoulders. You can always find these being sold on the streets of Moroccan medinas. In addition to being a conservative component to your outfit, they are also for perfect for blocking out the sun and covering your head to escape harassment.
Sunglasses: Always protect your eyes from the sun. They are particularly handy for protection against sand and dirt.
Bag: As you have probably seen on almost every journey I’ve been on in the past year, I bring my ‘The Horse’ bag everywhere with me which is big enough to hold my camera gear and wallet. Make sure you opt for a sturdy bag or back pack that is not easy for pickpockets to open.
Sandals: Heat escapes from our feet which we definitely want to encourage in a Moroccan summer. You will also be walking a lot on tough terrain and rough surfaces, so making sure you have a good pair or sandals is a wise investment.
Tops and layers
Blouse: Pick thin, soft and airy materials for a blouse. Puffy sleeves are your best friend. These are perfect for covering your shoulders and chest area.
Kaftan: These are perfect for wearing on their own with a pair of tights to cover your body. They’re also perfect to layer outfits that may expose your chest or shoulders.
Shawl: Bringing a light shawl is perfect for protecting yourself against the sun in addition to covering yourself up, especially over a strapless dress or tank top.
Kimono: This is an item that I travel to most places with because they’re so easy to throw on and add to mix match with outfits to add some colour and flare.
Tunic: Another absolute life saving item. You can find these everywhere in the plethora of markets that each town, village and city offers in Morocco. Light in weight, they’re perfect to pair with a pair of tights or coulettes.
Long tunic: These are perfect to wear as dresses or as a cover up when you’re using a pool in a private hotel.
Maxi dress: This is a fashion staple. You cannot go wrong with a maxi dress. I took a few to mix and match with a shawl.
Midi dress: Just slightly longer than your knees, this is the perfect length that you need when out exploring. Just make sure you opt for breathable fabric.
Leggings: Perfectly practical to wear with a blouse or even paired with a tunic. This is ideal for vigorous activities such as camel riding in the Sahara.
Maxi skirt: Having a maxi skirt or two is perfect for throwing a quick and easy outfit together, especially with a cute blouse, top or tunic.
Flowy pants: Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of flowy pants? Perfect for mix and matching colours and patterns, these are the perfect Moroccan bottoms.
Although it isn’t advised to strip down for a swim at a public part of the beach, hotels and resorts offer private pools and beach areas where you can swim until your hearts content. I opted for full-piece swimwear to be on the safe side and prevent unwanted glances from staff and other pool goers, however two piece swimwear such as bikinis are commonplace.
I’m an Australian blogger based in Central West NSW who has spent the last few years exploring the four corners of the globe, living as an expat and falling in love with the world just a little bit more everyday. Here you can find my tips, guides and experiences to help inspire you for your next trip!
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