Among the doubts that often arise for tourists before traveling for the first time to Morocco is how to dress when traveling to Morocco. As it is a destination with a very different culture from that of other nearby countries in Europe, we ask ourselves, especially in the case of women, if we should dress in any particular way.
In my opinion, the best way for women to dress in Morocco is with long and loose clothes, for example long skirts and dresses, wide trousers etc., mainly to avoid drawing attention to or giving reason for any kind of conflict.
How men should dress in Morocco
The case of men is the most flexible. Travelers going to Morocco can wear the same clothes they use in their daily life. There is no problem in wearing shorts or any other type of clothing, although you will surely end up wanting to buy one of their traditional clothes to move around the country comfortably.
How women should dress in Morocco
This is when doubts arise. As we know, Morocco is an Islamic country. Women who profess this religion usually wear a large part of their body covered and, on quite a few occasions, also a hijab or scarf covering their head to a greater or lesser extent.
Let’s go by parts. First of all, tourists are not obliged to dress in any way. Legally speaking, it is not obligatory to cover your head or use any particular garment. But if you do not want to attract attention and prefer to avoid problems, it is better to follow some guidelines.
Depending on the area you visit, you will be more or less out of place depending on how you view it. For example, Marrakech is such a touristy city that you can see some visitors wearing very short trousers, T-shirts with a neckline… but if you want to be respectful with the culture, it’s better not to.
That doesn’t mean you can’t wear a short-sleeved shirt or straps, or a skirt that doesn’t reach your feet. In my case, I was combining the clothes so that they were always comfortable and without obviously getting hot but without standing out too much. In Marrakech and the coast I dressed a little more “daring”, like for example with a dress with straps that reached below the knee, but in the southern towns I preferred to dress without wearing any kind of neckline.
On the other hand, you don’t need to cover your head at any time. What’s more, in many places you see Moroccan women who don’t, that’s a personal decision and depends a lot on each person. That’s why you don’t have to either. I only did it in the desert and for a practical reason (and because I wanted to feel like a Berber for a day, I’m not going to lie to you).
As for shoes, there is no problem with wearing sandals, slippers, etc., but you’d better leave your heels at home because in Morocco you’ll need comfortable and safe shoes.
How to dress in summer
In many countries, when summer arrives and the heat is on, to go as cool as possible, we go with clothes as light as we can: shorts, T-shirts with straps… we think that if we cover our body with fabric it will give us more warmth. In the case of Morocco it is different.
As our guide explained to us, when it is hot in Morocco, they wear long clothes, which cover most of their body. And it is not a religious question, but a practical one. When they wear their bodies covered, the sun does not hit them directly on the skin, so they are protecting themselves from the sun’s rays in the first place. Secondly, he explained to us that when they wear long clothes, when they sweat the sweat stays on the skin and that makes them go cooler.
Therefore, whether you are a man or a woman, I advise you to wear cool but long clothes (not as much as they do, since we are not used to them, but for example short sleeves instead of suspenders with a neckline, long and thin pants instead of very short jeans, etc.).
I hope that my experience has helped you to know how is better to dress when travelling in Morocco. I give these tips from my own experience visiting the country, but it doesn’t mean it’s the absolute truth. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to put them in the comments.