What to Wear in Morocco: Packing Tips & More
Some of the most frequent questions we get at moroccanzest are related to Morocco’s dress code or what to wear in Morocco. If it’s your first time in the country, deciding what to wear in Morocco can be puzzling, given the country’s cultural and religious background.
In fact, in Morocco, your outfit can impact your experience, greatly or badly, because it will affect how Moroccans treat you. Fortunately, it’s not very complicated.
As a Moroccan native who spends months in Morocco each year, my first piece of advice is to read the room and adapt. Every Moroccan city is different. Actually, every neighborhood is different. In Marrakech, for example, there are progressive neighborhoods where you can dress as you would in most western cities. On the other hand, some neighborhoods in Marrakech are very conservative, and it will be better to cover your shoulders and wear long dresses.
If you have a short dress or a sexy top you would like to wear, I recommend packing it and assessing the situation once you arrive in Morocco. You will probably be able to wear it at the right place with the right people.
This said, there are a few clothing items you can wear all across Morocco that I would encourage you to pack for your trip. While very practical and versatile, they blend beautifully with the Moroccan theme and decor.
How to Dress in Morocco: General Rules
Islam as a religion has an impact on how most Moroccan women and men dress. Luckily, we are far from ultra-conservative religious dress codes and are swinging toward moderate.
For men, one general clothing rule is to always dress in neutral tones. If you are from the LGBTQ community, your outfit should never reveal your sexual orientation.
I often get the question about the possibility of wearing shorts in Morocco. The answer is: of course! Shorts are very common. Locals wear them all the time. As long as they are not tight, revealing, or very short in length, you can bring as many as you want in any color or material.
For women, the most asked question is if women should wear a headscarf and cover their hair and face. The answer is: of course not! If you see a Moroccan woman covering her face and/or hair, it’s her personal choice.
My recommendation for female tourists is to dress conservatively and avoid exposing a lot of skin, curves, décolletage, shoulders, and/or thighs.
In most touristic places, women are able to wear shorts as long as they balance them out with a conservative top or some flat shoes. If you have a decolletage, have a scarf just in case you need to cover it up in some neighborhoods.
What to Wear in Morocco: Packing List For Women
1- Maxi and Midi Dresses
Long or midi dresses are a must when traveling to Morocco. They are very comfortable and can have a nice cooling effect. If you are visiting Marrakech, Ouarzazate, or the desert, you will love being in a dress.
This is probably the most comfortable dress in my selection. It is great for those extra hot days and when you feel like you’ve eaten too many tagines and Moroccan pastries at lunch (which will happen often). The beautiful patterns will also blend perfectly with Moroccan architecture.
This dress is very feminine and sexy. You can wear it anywhere in Morocco for a romantic night out on a breezy restaurant rooftop. You will look stunning.
2- Medium and Maxi Skirts
Like maxi and midi dresses, long skirts are a must as you can wear them everywhere in Morocco.
3- One or Two Large Silk Scarves
I never travel to Morocco without at least two silk scarves. I always end up using them more than any other item I pack.
Silk-made scarves are great as they protect your body from heat. You can also wear them around your shoulders to avoid sunburns or to cover your skin when navigating conservative areas.
They also come very handy when used as a turban when it gets too hot – especially in Marrakech or in the desert – or as a shawl when it gets a little chilly outside.
This silk scarf is a great affordable alternative to the previous scarf. It is in navy color – which is also the color of the scarves that Moroccan desert nomads wear around their heads. If you are visiting the desert and if blue is your color, then I highly recommend this scarf for an authentic picture shot.
4- Comfortable Shoes
I am an unconditional advocate for packing comfortable shoes when traveling to Morocco. Believe me, there will be a lot of walking and while your heeled shoes will of course look extra cute with your maxi dress, I will still keep them for night dates and wear very comfortable shoes during the day. You will thank me later! My favorites – and the ones that always had my back – are from Birkenstock and Skechers.
I never travel without at least one pair of Birkenstocks. Birkenstocks are my favorite open-toed comfortable shoes. They are also really well made and you will keep them for years. I’ve had a pair for 4 years old and it’s still in great condition!
5- One Straw Hat
It will protect you from the hot sun of Morocco. It will also beautifully complement your maxi dresses and skirts.
GIGI PIP NATURAL STRAW HAT- $96
A straw sun hat is essential to pack for Morocco. The sun can be quite hard between 11 am and 04 pm and you will feel much more protected with a sun hat.
While you will also be able to buy Moroccan traditional straw hats in Morocco, keep in mind that these sun hats do not go with all faces and outfits. It might look completely weird on you – it does on me! – so I would still recommend packing a straw hat that goes with your style.
6- A Comfy Backpack or Shoulder Bag
A medium-sized backpack or shoulder bag will allow you to carry all your important items: wallet, water, sunscreen, silk scarf, camera, lipstick, etc. You will be walking all day and you want to make sure you will have all your essentials with you. A big bonus if the backpack or shoulder bag looks cute!
Elegant Leather Backpack convertible to Shoulder Bag – $218
This leather backpack is a personal favorite. It’s elegant, and practical, and it has plenty of room to carry all your essentials and more!
7- Cotton Essentials
Tank tops, underwear, t-shirts, socks, bras, etc. bring as many as you can especially if you won’t be able to do your laundry at the place you will stay in.
8- A Comfy Warm Jacket for the Chilly Nights
Especially if you are traveling between September and April, but I would bring it anyway in case some days are colder than usual.
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