What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman

“What’s appropriate to wear in Morocco?” “What should I wear in Morocco?” “Are there clothing restrictions in Morocco?” “Am I allowed to expose my shoulders in Morocco?” “Do I have to cover my hair in Morocco?” “Can my knees be exposed in Morocco?”

If you’ve found yourself asking any of the above questions – fret not – I’m here to answer all of your “ what to wear in Morocco ” questions – followed by some photos, as well!

Short answer: wear what you want.

I know, I know, you’re all, “seriously, Jackie?”

But, yes. You can wear whatever you want.

Long answer: There are a few realities of Morocco that stir up these wardrobe questions… one fact about Morocco is that nearly 99% of its residents (according to Wikipedia) adhere to the religion of Islam. Since many traditional Islamic countries require the women to cover their hair, shoulders, knees and in some very traditional countries even ankles and face – Morocco comes with assumptions of how a woman should/has to dress.

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieBeing that I thought the rules were strict in Morocco prior to my arriving there, most of my outfits cover my shoulders and knees like this ensemble at Ben Youseff Madrasa in Marrakesh.

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieHere I am again, shoulders and knees covered, at Dar el Makhzen Palace.

However, another fact about Morocco is that it’s an extremely liberal country. On my first day in Morocco I was shocked to see local women wearing short skirts and crop tops (as I had heard/read that you must cover your shoulders and knees when in public). However, local and tourist women alike were bare shoulders, knees blaring, with hardly anyone blinking an eye!

Exposed cleavage or provocative clothing may warrant some unwanted (or, perhaps wanted – no judgement here!) cat-calls – but this is no different in my home city of New York or some of my favorite cities in Europe (Paris, Milan, etc).

Something else to consider –  the weather. It is HOT in Morocco. When packing for your Morocco trip try to remember to pack light, loose clothes. Opt for airy kimonos, linen and light cotton options.

Here’s my friend Christine from Tour De Lust  in Rabat and Marrakech:

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieChristine felt completely comfortable while exploring Ben Youseff Madrasa with bare shoulders and exposed knees.

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieHere’s another of Christine, casually comfortable at the Mausoleum of Mohammad V in Rabat.

Here’s my friend Zory from Zory Mory in the Sahara and in Fes:

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieHere’s Zory sporting a GORGEOUS dress with a fun slit in the Sahara – shoulders and knees bare and not a care!

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieZory again with shoulders and knees exposed, comfortably, in Fes at Bou Inania Madrasa.

Here I am after learning about the “loose rules”… I was happy to let the cover-up go!

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieThis was at the Roman Ruins at Volubilis, and it was H-O-T.

However, although I became quickly aware of how liberal Morocco was I still tried to remain respectful to those citizens of Morocco who may not be as liberal as their government is. It was not unusual to see a woman in a complete abaya – or aba – (which is a robe-like dress that covers most of a woman’s body) and it’s also typical to see a woman in a hijab which covers their face and hair with the exception of their eyes. I, personally, wanted to remain respectful for those women and I covered up for most of my trip in Morocco.

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieHere I am on my first day in Morocco (in Rabat) almost completely covered from ankles to neck.

What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman - Get Lost With JackieHere I am just  outside of Aït Ben Haddou, near Ouarzazate, remaining fashionable while still covering my knees and shoulders.

I still stand my short answer when it comes to “ what to wear in Morocco ”, whatever you want! Be comfortable, be you – the same way the locals are!

Like it? Pin it!

Save

*Disclaimer: I was hosted in Morocco as a guest with Visit Morocco –  Moroccan National Tourist Office. My opinions, as always, remain my own.

Share:

42 responses to “What to Wear in Morocco as a Woman”

  1. Laura says:

    This was so helpful, thank you! I think a common misconception with Morocco is that you have to cover up entirely! When I went I was surprised how liberal it was, although I definitely showed less skin than I do at home in the summer 😉

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      SAME, LAURA I was so surprised about how liberal Morocco was! I lived in Miami for two years and I don’t think I wore half the kimonos in two years that I did in two weeks in Morocco LOL

  2. Gorgeous! We lived in the middle east for 3 years and never made it to Morocco, which I so regret! One day! It’s funny how many misconceptions there are about dress in Muslim countries, eh?

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I can’t believe how many misconceptions there are! And I hope you get to make it to Morocco! It was such a great experience!

  3. Kyla says:

    Great post! I love that it’s really possible to wear anything…I probably would feel more comfortable covered up a bit, but it’s nice to know that on a super-warm visit it’s not necessary!

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I totally felt more comfortable covered up but check out some of the other comments on this post as some other ladies have had much different experiences than I did!

  4. Your photos are amazing! And felt the same way when I was in Morocco!

  5. Sara says:

    Ah I am glad you wrote this. And that you addressed the fact that cat-calling can happen anywhere. I think its important to wear what you want and respect the culture, which can often be hard but I always try to do both as best as I can. Great post!

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I honestly get more cat-calling in my home city of NY than I did anywhere in Morocco, but feel free to check out some of the other comments on this post! Some ladies had much different experiences than I did!

  6. I definitely thought covering up was a requirement! This is awesome to know- though I did notice that even the outfits where shoulders aren’t covered or that are ‘more revealing’ (I use that term loosely haha) are still super classy and pretty so I’m sure that helps 🙂

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks Nina! I totally thought covering up was a requirement, also! I was definitely with a group of respectful people and I think that totally affected our experiences. Check out some of the other comments as some ladies had much different experiences than I did!

  7. I love the outfit here…so cute! I had a completely opposite experience going with just my sister to Morocco last week. We were completely covered up the entire time and got stared at, cat called, and had SO much unwanted attention we found it hard to walk outside of our hostel or Riad. I’m not sure if it was just the two of us alone or what the situation was, but it was borderline unbearable! I just got back two days ago and have had to have time to recover! I still loved the country though and I love your post and all the cute outfits you girls wore! Glad you guys had an easier time! 🙂

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks so much for chiming in with your experiences Katie! I think our experiences were very different and I’m sure it had to do with the fact that I was with men for most of the time. I’m glad that you didn’t let the cat-calling and unwanted attention get to you or ruin your trip and that you still loved Morocco!

  8. Kareemah says:

    Interesting post. How long did you stay there for?

  9. Great article Jackie! And your outfits are the CUTEST! I love how you touched on the fact that while you can feel comfortable wearing whatever you want, you still need to respect the local culture! The one thing I will note though, as someone who traveled to Morocco both solo AND with a group of friends, it was like a night and day different experience. When I was solo, I covered up as much as I could and STILL got harassed like crazy. It was very unpleasant and I wouldn’t think to dress the way I dress at home. However, when I was with my friends, it was completely different ballgame and I felt comfortable showing my shoulders a little bit when we were in the super touristy areas (Although I covered my shoulders with a shall when we were in the more local areas out of respect). It was hot AF, but still didnt want to disrespect and get unwanted attention. So i think different rules apply when you’re solo versus in a group. But overall, you still don’t have to dress like a nun :).

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      THANK YOU FOR CHIMING IN ON THIS! I can only speak for my experiences and as I was traveling with a group – I have no idea what it would be like for a woman traveling alone. I definitely agree that the rules should be different in a group vs solo (perhaps really anywhere in the world!) but was also so shocked to see LOCALS in crop tops LOL

  10. Mimi & Mitch says:

    All the outfits were perfect for the set up they were in! Bare should little dress was really cute! Morocco is such a gem and beautiful place and you showed it incredibly well in this compilation of pictures!

  11. Taylor says:

    I felt so uncomfortable in Morocco to begin with, so I definitely didn’t try to draw attention to myself because of my clothing. I always kept my knees and shoulders covered and yet I still garnered some disgusting sexist cat calls.

    Your experience was clearly way different than mine, but I’m glad you loved it!

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Yeah, I did the same just out of respect.

    • Tammy says:

      I agree with you Taylor- I dressed respectfully but I have long blonde hair and I guess it cause attetion because as soon as my husband stepped away from me I got many lewd looks, comments and I wasn’t the only one in our group to get that. One young attorney was cornered and harassed in the market to the point of tears. Not saying Moroocco is bad just saying don’t be naive.

  12. Addie says:

    What a great post! I’ve always read that you have to cover up while in Morocco. I think I’ll probably still dress pretty modestly if I ever go, but it’s good to know that it’s not a requirement!

  13. C-Ludik says:

    Brilliant idea for a post 🙂 I love the outfit here… it is so cute! I thought covering up was a requirement !! It is important to wear what you want and respect the culture, which can often be hard. However I always try to do both as best as I can when visiting a country.

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks so much, doll! I thought it was a requirement as well, but even though it wasn’t I still covered up the majority of the time.

  14. Marcie says:

    First of all, you and your friends look GORGEOUS! It’s so nice to hear that the clothing rules are less restrictive than I thought. I’d probably still dress a bit conservatively, but I usually do when visiting religious/cultural areas. This looks like an amazing trip!

  15. Susanna says:

    Great fashion from you ladies! You’re all looking good! It’s always great to hear that you have options and have a little bit of freedom. Morocco is high on my list and I expect to make it there this year, and I know I will be prepared. I am like you and would want to stay cool and be myself, but also respect the culture.

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks Susanna!! It was nice to learn I had options but preferred to just stay covered up out of respect to the culture- you get me lol

  16. Karen Farber says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! Although I’m not going to Morocco anytime soon, it is a country I’m dying to visit! I’ve always wondered what I would bring along for my trip, now I have a better idea 🙂

    http://www.littleblackshell.com

  17. Leslie Price says:

    Gorgeous photos! And add me to the chorus of people who had no idea Morocco was so liberal. And I’ve even researched a trip there (that didn’t happen) so I thought I was pretty well informed. I’m usually not one to spend a lot of time researching clothing ideas before visiting a country, but now I’m thinking I really need to start! I’ve got a friend heading to Morocco soon, so I’m going to share this with her, too.

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      I thought I had been well informed prior to visiting, also! I only recently got into prepping outfits by destination and am loving it LOL

  18. Brit Hemming says:

    I was not expecting that answer! Thank you for sharing. I am loving all of your outfits by the way 🙂

  19. Love this perspective of Morocco. I have been to the Middle-East and some countries like Jordan continue to surprise me with their relatively liberal spirit. Morocco seems to be the same. Also all the pictures and outfits are gorgeous.

    • Jacklyn Shields says:

      Thanks so much!! I’m dying to visit Jordan – had no idea they were a liberal country! Amazing what we can learn from each others experiences 🙂

  20. Beautiful photos and great tips! I can’t wait for my trip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

LATEST VIDEOS