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Travelling to middle east - wardrobe help!

(20 Posts)
birdybirdbird Sat 25-Mar-17 09:22:35

Im going to Oman in a couple of week and am really struggling to find clothes. It is more traditional culturally, so I do need to be fairly modestly dressed. It will also be HOT and I do feel the heat - thinking light coloured (I usually wear a lot of black!), light weight and floaty is the way to go. I have some culottes (just above ankle) that I think will be suitable, but am struggling to find tops. I don't want to spend loads of money on things I won't really wear again but equally I love clothes and don't want to walk round looking dreadful the whole time!

I also need a full ankle - wrists outfit as I am planning to visit the mosque in Muscat. I was thinking of some wide leg trousers with a button up shirt, but am struggling to find anything I like/won't bake in!

Can anyone help? I'm early 30s, size 10 and very short. Not a fan of frills, ruffles, lace, or general fussiness.... but am partial to a good crazy print at times! Really excited about the holiday but starting to panic now!

ememem84 Sat 25-Mar-17 09:25:37

I was in Jerusalem last year (I know different country) but for some parts of my trip had to be dressed modestly.

I went for long maxi skirts. With 3/4 sleeves chiffon/floaty tops. monsoon usually do loads of kaftan type tops which worked well tucked into skirts.

Work trip or tourist trip or a bit of both

ememem84 Sat 25-Mar-17 09:28:11

I should add I was there for work and one client I visited was super duper orthodox Jewish hence the need for modest dressing from me.

I also grabbed some lovely linen trousers from next. And sandals.

I was lucky though in that I went in May. And there was waaaaaaay more summer stuff in the shops!

Good luck finding something x

carabos Sat 25-Mar-17 09:29:26

My parents went to ME at the end of last year and included a trip to the Grand Mosque. Dress code for the mosque was very very strict - even linen was not acceptable because it is deemed transparent. Luckily DM knew this before she went and took advice from a Muslim friend of hers. She went to a local shop run by Muslims that sells abayas, burkas, veils etc and bought what they suggested. It wasn't expensive and no, she probably won't wear the outfit again, but she was appropriately dressed and was able to enjoy the mosque visit with no concerns.

If you can't get to a similar shop, then have a look online.

originalbiglymavis Sat 25-Mar-17 09:36:53

Amazon and eBay shops sell suitable stuff. I bought some thigh length, long sleeved tunic tops from a religious outfitters online (post pregnancy and wobbly). Pretty colours, some with embroidery or shiny beads sewn on, they also had plain ones too. Wear with wide legged cotton trousers. They also sell head coverings too but I suppose a scarf will do?

Cheap as chips and something I'd definite wear without looking like a dag.

ZaraW Sat 25-Mar-17 09:38:48

Long tunic tops and fitted ankle length trousers. Headscarf for the mosque. For Muscat etc wide legged trousers and elbow length t shirts in cotton or linen are fine.

birdybirdbird Sat 25-Mar-17 09:48:03

Good tip about no linen in the mosque - that is something I would never have thought of. I had wondered about whether to buy something traditional from a Muslim clothing shop for the mosque visit but I don't think there are any around where I live. Will look out for a longer kaftan style top to wear instead.

It is a holiday - also going to the mountains and out to desert where it will be cold at night and then to a beach resort. Think I'm going to end up with a big case to cover lots of different options!

ZaraW Sat 25-Mar-17 09:58:29

Depends on the type of linen the cheaper stuff tends to be transparent I have thick linen and it's definitely not see through.

jeaux90 Sat 25-Mar-17 10:11:21

I lived in Qatar and travelled around the region. My advice is take the usual linen trousers and long sleeve light shirts but wait until you get there to buy a few things locally. They are cheaper and you'll get a nice variety and you can make it part of the experience smileThe long kaftan type dresses are a good way to go for the mosque visit. Take a pashmina for head covering.

Have a lovely time. I'm sure you will have an amazing experience

SesameSparkle Sat 25-Mar-17 10:12:57

If you look in the holiday section of m&s, next, accessorize etc. you can often get light weight, long sleeve swimming costume tunic style cover ups. You can wear layered over a vest top for coverage. Also if you have any Asian areas near you, have a browse around clothing stores as you could get a cheap salwar kameez or even abaya to wear out there before you go.

ZaraW Sat 25-Mar-17 10:14:15

Forgot to say Omanis are really friendly and are extremely kind and helpful. Learn a few words of Arabic and that will make your trip even better.

KatyBerry Sat 25-Mar-17 10:21:29

I'll see you there in a couple of weeks! Oman is pretty liberal and outside the mosque nobody is going to bat an eye at shoulders / ankles. The only thing whihc has caused real curiosity is my daughter's very curly hair - kids came up to her to touch it and ping the curls! You can buy really lovely pashminas in the souq in Muscat so don't worry about missing anything.
Are you goign to the new Anantara in the mountains?

SesameSparkle Sat 25-Mar-17 10:23:40

Accessorize shirt and pretty tunic - you can layer over a tank top.

habibihabibi Sat 25-Mar-17 11:25:27

I have lived in Muscat . At the moment it's not very hot so you can easily wear jeans with a tunics/t-shirt scarf or a vest with a light cardy and be comfortable aside perhaps in the midday sun. You can buy an abaya in the souq to wear at the mosque if you wanted but they do have them to lend you .

carabos Sat 25-Mar-17 13:45:18

Zara there was no distinction between thin, cheap linen and thick - they didn't hold it up to the light. They wouldn't allow any linen. I've seen the pic of mum's friend taken outside the mosque when she was refused entry - it was a linen jacket and she was wearing it over a shirt. She was told no linen and that the sleeves had to cover her wrists. Better to get it right and buy or borrow an abaya than risk having the excursion spoiled. DM's friend had to sit on the bus while everyone else went inside, including her DH .

ZaraW Sat 25-Mar-17 14:52:03

Carabos I've worked in the Middle East and the linen I wore and still do when I visit the Gulf region and Lebanon is fine certainly not see through. Anyway, I did say a long tunic not linen for the mosque.

piddleypower Sun 26-Mar-17 22:37:14

Light cotton hareem pants were great, and I lived in those with a vest top and a light shirt over the top. Always kept a pashmina in my bag also.

travailtotravel Sun 26-Mar-17 22:41:48

You can normally borrow an abayah when you get there if what you are wearing is inappropriate. I really enjoyed Oman - the desert was spectacular.

WhisperedLoudest Sun 26-Mar-17 22:46:00

Most Middle East mosques will require you to cover with an abaya regardless of whether your wrists/ankles are covered and will provide you with one before you enter.

Tartle Sun 26-Mar-17 23:05:57

I wouldn't stress too much about buying special stuff outside of mosque visits. I tend to just wear tshirts. As long as they cover shoulders and are not too low it's fine and Oman is more relaxed than other places anyway. I wouldn't stress about covering to wrists.

I do have a few Kameez tops I've picked up in India that are also quite handy so if you do have any suitable shops near you it might be worth a look. Or have a look for fabindia on eBay.

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