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Travel wardrobe for a muslim country

(36 Posts)
sweetheart Thu 29-Sep-11 14:39:46

dh and I are going to Marrakech for a long weekend at the end of October and I'm wondering what I should take seeing as the weather could still be as high as 27oC but women are not supposed to show their flesh.

JustAnother Thu 29-Sep-11 15:07:04

I understand that Marrakech is very used to tourist by now, so you can wear pretty much anything: knee lengh skirts, t-shirts, long shorts... Providing you are not showing massed of cleavage or wearing mini hot pants, you should be ok.

sweetheart Thu 29-Sep-11 15:16:28

really - I've been advised that you should still cover up.

WhaohThere Thu 29-Sep-11 15:19:30

It's quite simple to cover up in a hot country. JustAnother has just explained.

sweetheart Thu 29-Sep-11 15:26:00

I felt I was asking asimple enough question as I have been advised that long trousers and tops would be best. Obviously not!

stripeybump Thu 29-Sep-11 15:30:21

You will def feel more comfortable if you wear long trousers and cap sleeved cotton tops rather than vest tops - camisole style tops drew lots of leers when I was in Marrakesh.

Linen trousers, floaty short-sleeved tops are key. Skirts as long as they're below the knee didn't cause too much of a stir.

Essentially you can wear whatever you like, but be prepared to be smiled at a lot if you bare your shoulders or knees, as a general rule.

Lots of nice floaty cap-sleeved dresses around which should be fine.

sweetheart Thu 29-Sep-11 15:35:43

thanks for the constructive advice stripey, good to know that short sleeve is acceptable, I was imagining boiling in long sleeve tops

stripeybump Thu 29-Sep-11 15:39:19

No worries - I did wear a cami and linen trousers and it was ok, it's so hot in the medina where all the lovely market shops are. DH noticed the leers though. If you're generous of boob, I'd make a decent attempt at coverage - I'm not blessed with this so didn't feel too harassed.

miche8 Thu 29-Sep-11 16:20:48

wear what ever you feel comfortable in just be prepared if you are showing flesh the men will really stare even if you are with your husband, if you are on your own the men will approach you to talk. I should imagine the tourist areas are used to all sorts. Knee length dresses, skirts, shorts would be fine, i wouldn't wear cami tops, but short sleeves fine, try and not wear tight fitting or low tops also. Have a fabulous time, are you taking children? How about those scarfs that have been linked to recently for a quick cover up?

Stateofplay Thu 29-Sep-11 20:40:28

Another one giving personal experience of dressing there and in other Muslim countries in north Africa: you can almost wear what you want (I'm sort of presuming you're not a hot pants 'n' boob tube type of woman so not even going there), and a knee length cotton skirt coupled with a cami would be alright; I'd wear the cami with a cotton scarf around my shoulders or light cardigan, good for keeping sun off, but you can slip it off when it gets too hot, walking through town for example.

Yes, wearing a camisole top and showing bra straps may get you a few more letcherous looks than a short-sleeved top would, and a wearing a short sleeve top will get more looks than a long sleeve top. A skirt and jeans or trousers may get equal amounts of letcherous looks as one shows your calves and one shows your bottom.

Long hair always turns heads, so if you wear your hair down that will get you more looks as well. If you're young and pretty you will get more looks than if you are old and/or ugly.

But if you don't look like a local woman, if it's obvious you're a tourist, then you'll get letcherous leers whatever you wear. So don't shoot yourself in the foot and cover up totally as whatever you wear you'll still be looked at, as quite simply, your face, your hair, your husband, your clothes will mark you out as different, and unless you wear a burka and cover your face you will probably be stared at.

Also being with your husband will reduce the letcherous looks; you'd find it much more prevalent if you visited with girlfriends.

However, even more so you will also be welcomed, as a visitor to the country and as a valuable source of income. Make sure you buy local products (try and get stuff made in the country and not in China - it's harder than you'd think) and spend money there to help people make a living out of the tourist industry, and you'll find you get plenty of genuine smiles.

Probably easiest for you to just find this out for yourself though...

Seriously, the only must-have item for tourism in Muslim countries is a cotton scarf to cover your shoulders for visiting mosques and other holy sites. And that's the case for Hindu, Buddhist and Catholic holy sites too, just as it is for many weddings in the UK.. (have ever you tried going in a church in Italy wearing a camisole?!)

Hope I've not gone on too much and this is helpful. Have a great time, and don't take too much from home as it's a wonderful place to shops for pashminas, scarves and fabrics in the souks..

sweetheart Thu 29-Sep-11 20:57:12

Thanks for all that information it's really helpful. I thought I was going to have to go out shopping for suitable things to wear but I think I can manage with things I already have.

I'm not too bothered about being leered at and dh will be with me (no kids, it's our 10th anniversart treat) I just wanted to be respectful of the culture.

Blu Thu 29-Sep-11 21:03:53

I think that long loose things that protect your from the sun are far moe comfortable when out shopping / sightseeing, anyway.

I wear loose long sleeved cotton tops in light fabric. And loose light fabric trousers.

More elegant than the red sweaty flesh look, IMO!

yummybunny Fri 30-Sep-11 07:44:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catslikehats Fri 30-Sep-11 07:52:15

I live in a muslim country (and have also visited marakech) No shoulders and no knees on display and keep clothes loose is the general rule of thumb.

Plenty of people will not follow these rules and likely nothing untoward will occur but the locals don't appreciate it at at all.

wellwisher Fri 30-Sep-11 10:31:37

Useful info here - for all countries, not just Morocco!

Haven't been to Morocco but have travelled in other countries where local women cover up and IME if you are not dressed local-style you will be hassled, even if you are dressed modestly by western standards. Notice what the local women wear and copy it exactly and you'll be fine. I wear a hijab (headscarf) in Muslim countries, and salwar kameez in India. I wouldn't go overboard for a long weekend with a DH in tow, but don't expect that a long-sleeved shirt and linen trousers will blend you in.

Hullygully Fri 30-Sep-11 10:33:13

Just wear the wardrobe if in doubt

chinateacup Fri 30-Sep-11 10:43:33

The leering can be nasty ...
I would also not go without a pair of sunglasses with dark lenses to avoid eye contact - especially if you have blue eyes.

sweetheart Fri 30-Sep-11 11:05:47

yummy - what do you mean by take cover? Do you mean like a parasol or hat or something?

sweetheart Fri 30-Sep-11 11:06:09

I think I can feel a purchase of the Ebay scarf coming on!

yummybunny Fri 30-Sep-11 11:40:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anewmotivatedme Fri 30-Sep-11 12:05:42

We went to Marrakech about seven years ago on a girls weekend, before any of us were married. We were all in our early 20s. We were all leered at, two girls were groped in a market (one squealed as man tried to finger her), and all called slutty names. As there were no men with us, they thought they could be disrespective, and we were there for the taking.

It may have been a beautiful city, but after our first day experience (we were not tartily dressed by our standards), we covered up as much as we could, and barely left hotel. It was horrid.

I recall us telling a friend, who was Indian about our experience, and my friend Kate put it down to us all being busty blondes, and Moroccan men assuming us to be easy. Our indian friend said it was not the case, she'd been to Marrakech and had the same experience. Presumably it is their culture, with foreign women.

I have been told if you travel to Marrakech with a man, it is a completely different experience, and the men don't hassle you.

Such a shame, as the men spoilt what would have been a lovely holiday.

anewmotivatedme Fri 30-Sep-11 12:09:22

I should add not all men were disrespectful, but they got lost in all the noise made from the men asking us to suck on their cock.

Hullygully Fri 30-Sep-11 12:12:01

When I first went, 500 years ago, with a girlfriend, we had a permanent crowd of 20 men following us around, and we wore trousers, longsleeve tops and head scarves, so we hired a guide who kept everyone else at bay.

Recently I went with dh and the dc and it was so completely different it was astonishing. I had become all respectable.

You have to remember they have no access to women, and some women visitors are up for it. To them it's always worth a try.

vixsatis Fri 30-Sep-11 12:12:28

If you make the effort to cover up reasonably modestly (longish skirts/trousers/ floaty tops with sleeves/salwar kameez etc) you will be treated with more respect by the men and the women will be much more friendly. You will also need to cover up if you want to visit mosques etc. and it's a good idea to carry a headscarf in your bag for these purposes: there's often an attendant lending scarves; but they're much smilier if you show respect by bringing your own.

Hullygully Fri 30-Sep-11 12:13:50

yes, you really can't wear shorts/short skirts/short sleeves. It is offensive.

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