As we were packing to go to Morocco, I was convinced that I would either 1) suffocate in the 90+ degree heat in layers of clothing or 2) deeply offend someone. In my mind there was no in-between. But once I emailed my Moroccan friend Aziza and did a little research I found a perfect middle ground.
What do I wear in Morocco?
Hello dear Kymber,
I am happy to hear from you. Of course it is pleasure to answer any question to help you and your family to make a best trip.
First of all, you haven’t to cover your hair. Lot of women here are not covered… you will be surprised.
Your 9 old daughter has not to follow any ritual. She is still a kid who has to enjoy freely her trip without any restriction.
Please if you have any questions I am ready any time to help you. I know that you must have dozens of questions because it is your first visit, but I am sure you will like it inchallah.
All the best,
Beija and me with Aziza. I don’t think they talked about coordinating colors ahead of time, but who knows?
I love Aziza. She always looks perfectly put together and perfectly Aziza.
Aziza and her beautiful family. You can see that the young people are very hip and casual. Beyond clothing, I just want to add that this family was so incredibly welcoming and wonderful to us. I have never experienced such warmth and generosity from near-strangers before. This is why the world would benefit from more travel. Open hearts, open minds. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, whatever. We are all humans.
I won’t pretend that I was able to meet Aziza’s high fashion bar and I wasn’t as modest as most women, but I was certainly as comfortable as one can be in the heat of North Africa and the Sahara desert while covering most of myself. Beija covered herself with less rigor, but we were thoughtful about her arms and legs too. I can’t say that we weren’t hot and sweaty. I think it would have been hot even if we were naked…which, although I am sure you are tempted, I wouldn’t recommend.
As I describe in this post, think about patterns and fabrics that hide dirt and can withstand being stuffed into a bag.
What do young girl travelers wear in Morocco?
As Aziza noted, young girls seemed more free in their clothing choices. Most girls under 12 (?) didn’t cover their heads or wear djellabas. Beija did bring some tee shirts, but she often wore thin cotton button up or blousey shirts. She brought both long cotton pants and capris. I brought her some very practical shoes, but she wore flip flops most of the time.
Beija blending in to the beautiful weaving and found another cat.
All of Beija’s clothes worked out pretty well. People loved, loved, loved her and frequently came over to her and held her face between their hands telling us what a smart, generous, and capable girl she was (or maybe they were saying she was pretty, I don’t know, it was in Arabic—we just absorbed the positive sentiment).
Beija in capris from Goodwill and a beautiful cotton shirt that my mother made her. We met these guys at a pull-out off the road. They were incredibly nice and introduced Beija to their sheep.
What do women and older girl travelers wear in Morocco?
For this trip I focused on lightweight fabrics with a lot of coverage and patterns to distract from dirt. I don’t think of myself as the hippest mama out there, so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. I am sure you can be more fashion-forward than I was. The main point is that I was comfortable and didn’t feel that people were shocked or offended by my presence. There was that single incident in a teeny tiny town during Ramadan when a man could hardly look at me with his disapproving face. I had the gall to buy something directly from him rather than send my husband. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.
This guy was really into selling me things so I guess it balances out.
I found my favorite pants of all time in a consignment store as I was looking around for Morocco clothes. They are olive green linen pants with drawstrings at the ankles and waist and *pockets* for everything. The brand is Level 99. Here’s a similar pair on their website.
My favorite pants and tunic. Doesn’t Jay look like he carefully considered his ensemble that day?
I couldn’t find another pair of linen pants in a practical color (not heat seeking black or navy or the bright white that only very, very clean people wear) so I bought some white ones and dyed them gray in my washing machine. It made me very nervous, but it worked out fine and none of the Jay’s white shirts were ruined by my experiment.
I also wore my two favorite linen tunics from Boden. They have these every summer in different patterns. I have brought them on several trips—if you look at our travel photos you may recognize them in multiple countries.
Same tunic, different pattern. Self-dyed pants. Beija got these great pants at the Gap and the top at Goodwill.
I wore my workhorse Naot sandals and was very happy with my choice.
What do men and boy travelers wear in Morocco?
Man/boy clothing is less complicated—as usual. Jay wore tee shirts, button up cotton shirts, cotton pants, and longish shorts. Just like he wears everywhere. Why can’t it be that easy for us?
Uncomplicated pants from Banana Republic and a linen button up from Goodwill.
Did that help? Tell me what your favorite travel clothes are!