It can be difficult to figure out what to wear in Morocco as a woman but it doesn’t have to be! Just follow these tips on how to dress in Morocco and you’ll be good to go.
I’m a big supporter of the philosophy “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So you wouldn’t see me visiting a Muslim country wearing a tank top. On my recent trip to Morocco, I saw way too many tourists dressed in an inappropriate way…
I’d like to share a few thoughts on why not to expose too much skin and how to do it well.
The recent surge of low-cost flights to Morocco has made the country available for tourists from all over the world, even those who would have previously not even considered going there.
Morocco is a great country to get a taste of Africa, before heading further South.
A large number of visitors haven’t familiarized themselves with the local dress codes and it shows. I, as a frequent traveler, have a problem with ignoring local customs.
If you’re with me on this one and also prefer being respectful to the locals and their traditions, just read on.
Morocco Dress Code Basic Rules
Here are a few basic “rules” to keep in mind regarding a Moroccan dress code.
- You shouldn’t have your shoulders and knees exposed. That applies to men as well.
- No low-cut shirts. Women shouldn’t show their cleavage.
- Dress more conservatively in rural areas. While it’s generally more relaxed in the cities, count with more stringent rules if you go see the villages, especially in Morocco’s South. There it’s good to even wear a scarf on your head.
- Don’t wear your swimsuit around. You can definitely wear your swimsuit (including bikinis) if your hotel has a pool or you’re visiting a riad but wear a coverup when walking from the pool to your room (or the changing room) and only wear the swimsuit there.
Do Female Tourists Need To Cover Their Hair in Morocco?
This is one of the questions I see most often – do women need to cover their hair in Morocco? While some of the locals will (see below), it’s not mandatory like in other countries and tourists don’t need to.
As a woman, you don’t have to cover up your hair, just show a bit less of your skin than what you’re used to if you’re coming from a Western culture.
The one exception is entering mosques, where you may be expected to cover up so I always recommend carrying a scarf just in case.
What Do They Wear in Morocco?
The way the locals dress varies greatly. Some women wear long gowns with hoods and scarves, other show their hair and you might even come across a local lady dressed in a European way.
Men usually wear long pants and a shirt, but you might encounter men wearing long light gowns and a little cap on their heads. Of course, nobody expects you to wear clothes identical to the locals :)
How to Dress in Morocco: 6 Easy Tips
Okay, now let’s talk about exactly what to wear in Morocco as a woman.
- Long dresses and long travel skirts are perfect for the Moroccan heat. So are long-sleeved tunics and shirts. It’s all about the material that you choose!
- Don’t show your silhouette very clearly, the baggier the better. Nice bigger airy clothes will both protect you from the aggressive sunshine and from the suspicious looks of the locals.
- Pack a scarf. The scorching heat and the strong sun actually make it relieving to wear a white or light-colored scarf and you’ll protect your scalp from getting burnt!
- Bring layers. The temperature in Morocco can vary greatly and while it’s likely to be HOT during the day, it can also get down to 40 degrees in the winter. A range of 70 to 100 degrees F is more likely the rest of the year but even that’s a big difference!
- Wear comfortable shoes. Morocco is not the place for heels. Bring a pair of closed toed shoes for days when you’ll be walking a lot and a pair of sandals for more casual days. But definitely pick comfort over style here!
- Accessorize for the sun. Think floppy hats and sunglasses to protect your face. I also recommend regularly applying sunscreen to your face and anywhere that isn’t covered by your clothes.
What NOT To Wear In Morocco
Now that we’ve covered my recommend tips for how to dress in Morocco, let’s quickly cover how NOT to dress in Morocco. Here are the things you should definitely leave at home:
- Short shorts
- Short skirts and dresses (unless you’re wearing leggings underneath!)
- Anything made out of a hot or heavy material (breathable fabrics are key, especially in summer!)
- Tank tops (except for layering)
- High heels
- Anything that shows off cleavage
- Expensive or attention-grabbing jewelry
Is It Okay To Wear Jeans in Morocco?
Yes, tourists can wear jeans in Morocco. While flowy pants and dresses tend to be more comfortable due to the heat, don’t be afraid to throw in your favorite pair of jeans if desired. I would still recommend wearing a long, flowy top with them.
No matter whether you go backpacking in Morocco or travel more in comfort, these tips for what to wear while traveling in Morocco will help make sure you have an enjoyable, safe trip.
Dressing appropriately is not only respectful to the locals, it can also stop you from becoming the object of unwanted attention.
What are your thoughts?
If you’re looking for more information about Morocco, there are a few more posts here on TravelGeekery.
First of all, 5 key terms you’d need to understand before going to Morocco. You cannot miss out on seeing Marrakech and so you’ll find handy a recent guest post suggesting the ideal itinerary for two days in Marrakech.
You’ll surely find handy a guide for haggling, too. Last, in case you’d like to know what Marrakech is like, read the post on What’s so special in Marrakech.
If you GO…
Consider getting a Lonely Planet guidebook. They are a great way to familiarize yourself with the history and cultural background of a place.
Get a great apartment via Airbnb e.g. a riad! You’ll feel more local than in an anonymous hotel.
Would you like to pin this post for later? Here’s an image for you!
Tips for Marrakech, Morocco | The Elusive Family
Sunday 20th of October 2019
[…] to see plenty of tourists who won’t pay any attention at all to following some basic rules for what’s appropriate to wear in Morocco. Don’t be one of […]
Sunday 16th of December 2018
We travel to experience something different, to go places our friends haven't but traveling to unknown country can be stressful without reading a travel guide I will definitely share this with any female travelers who wants to visit morocco.
Saturday 11th of August 2018
Thanks a lot. We've just got back and everything went well.
Friday 27th of July 2018
Thanks all the informaton. What about children (girls) under 10 of age? I know,later the dress code for them would be change as well...
Saturday 11th of August 2018
Children are fine! At the age of 10, some girls might already be a bit more covered, but you can relax. It's not required.
Thursday 5th of July 2018
Thank you. Will be traveling to Botswana after Morocco so any suggestions for that ? Partner Angela likes your advice on clothing for women.
Saturday 11th of August 2018
Hello Glenn, I wish I'd have any suggestions for you, but I've never been to Botswana. Enjoy your trip!