what to wear in morocco

Jul 15th, 2002, 02:24 PM
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what to wear in morocco

just back from morocco and spent a long time agonising over the correct way to dress. all the guidebooks say women should be well covered up but are not expected to cover their heads. I think how to dress depends on the kind of reception you want from the locals. we were very conservative - longsleeved shirts and trousers or skirts and got so little hassle we wondered if we we'd been forewarned about the right country! the day we flashed a bit of shoulder we got more hassle from men (obviously) but more surprisingly more hostility from women who went out of their way to be unhelpful or obstructive. Different towns have different tolerances and things are a little more laid back at the coast (i.e less veils!). Generally older tourists seemed to get away with more, especially if they were couples. Young women need to cover up unless they want to be molested or spat on!
Anyway, it's really quite cool and we felt very stylish in our floaty linen things and not a trace of sunburn either. (guest houses with roof terraces for sunbathing should be essential)Enjoy your travels!
Jul 16th, 2002, 09:22 AM
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I have to offer a dissenting opinion to your post. Like Sarah we just got back from Morocco and we (or I should say my wife) agonized over what to wear. Finally, after reading everything we could and e-mailing random strangers we agreed that shorts are out, and all shirts should have some sort of sleeve on them.

Imagine our surprise when we actually arrived and saw the dress of everyone else! The European tourists or course looked like they were prepared for carnival season. But the most surprising to me were the locals.

It seems the younger generation (25 and under) have really grabbed onto Western standards and their dress reflects that. We saw a lot of local women in sleeveless short sundresses, short shorts, and little string tank tops things. Never once did I hear or see any body approach anyone and offer any clothing suggestions or say that the dress was inappropriate. The older generation still tends to dress traditionally, as you would see a mother with her head covered walking her child in shorts down the street. This seemed to be the norm throughout the country side. Yes, the coastal communities you will get away with a lot more, but even in Erfoud an extremely religious town in Southern Morocco, we saw many people dressed in tank tops and shorts with no problems. Even most of the people in our tour group wore shorts. Toward the end of the trip I started asking if they had any problems with their dress and the answer was a resounding no. I finnally concluded that if you are a tourist, with tourist dollars to spend, you could wear a slinky potato sack and no one is going to bother you. So if planning a trip to Morocco, dress comfortably and without worry.
Jul 22nd, 2002, 05:27 AM
Elsie Ow
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My next vacation with my family is very likely going to be in Morocco. I was also wondering if I could use shorts and tees and I now have the answer. Your advice on dress code came in handy and is a great help for us, me especially. Thanks again.
Sep 23rd, 2002, 01:57 PM
peter carr
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the second reply to this question was from some one who was in a tour group these tour groups are usually escorted and fleeced for as much as poss by the tour operators who protect there income and don't let you get into the real Morocco if you want to be respected dress modestly and you will get alot more from your trip.
I am english and run photo tours there in the winter.
Jan 2nd, 2003, 05:12 PM
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I haven't been to Morocco yet (I'm planning a trip, that's why I'm on this thread), but in travels to Egypt, Jordan, Syria, India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, and several places in S. America including Easter Island I've always found that conservative dress is best unless at the beach. Unless one wants to draw attention to oneself and invite either sexual advances or mere curiosity (perhaps of pale skin, hair and eye color), it's best in general to cover up. I think that as a tourist (or traveller, if that's preferred), whether independent or in a group, one gains more respect from locals if one appreciates and reflects local mores and culture. I don't mean that women must wear a head covering (except where necessary in Muslim holy places), but keep the flash to a minimum, wear long pants, and at least capped sleeves, and go easy on the make-up. You'll get a better reception from locals and possibly help diminish the stereotype that all Westerners are "easy".
Jan 18th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Having lived in Morocco with a Moroccan Husband I can say with certainty that woman dress as freely as they want. Most younger women wear the caftan over their clothes to keep them clean. As anyone who has been to Morocco can vouch for it is a very dirty country that runs on diesel fuel.
Morocco especially souther Morocco Agagadir is known for it's topless beaches. Where European and Moroccan women lounge topless taking the sun. Yes older women still are more conservative but on a whole the dress code in the big cties , which is where most tourist are,is same as western wear.
Yes if you dress provocatively short shorts and halters split to your navel you will be treated like a whore. But you would be treated like that anywhere dressed like that. Moroccan men will try to hit on American, canadian and European women for one reason. Marriage to one is thier ticket out of the country, if they can rope a tourist into marriage they get out of morocco, and it happens more thne people realize.

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