A Style Guide for Morocco: Do’s and Don’ts
I would’ve never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d have a chance to visit Africa! It still feels surreal and I’ve been back home from study abroad for over a month and a half now lmao.
In Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl. Yes, everything is blue!
Morocco is an interesting country, very different from America and even Europe. Something heavily stressed by my tour guide was attire, behavior and respecting customs.
As a visitor to a foreign land, you must respect that respective culture’s beliefs, values and customs. Disobeying these laws of the land can result in an uncomfortable time. You can be approached, possibly harassed. You can be scolded. Also, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not appreciating and respecting the culture.
Morocco is pretty hot, so it can seem challenging to dress conservatively without suffocating or sweating too much. My biggest recommendation is wearing light fabrics and loosely fitting clothes. Morocco does get breezy, so light clothing will definitely make the heat bearable. As for shoes, wear something comfortable. If sandals are comfortable for you, go for that. If not, opt for sneakers. You WILL walk plenty. Wear a hat too and lather on some sunscreen. Comfort over style!
Conservatively Moroccan? Conservatively Moroccan.
My group was instructed to dress conservatively. Conservative meant no bottoms shorter than knee length, nothing too revealing and nothing too tight.
We so cute 💙
Do wear native prints.
One way to dress is with prints and colors popular in the said country you’re visiting. Get the gist of how locals dress. What many people dubbed on the trip as “African pants” were a hit amongst the women. It looked appropriate paired with a solid tee. Pinterest is your friend. Be wary of cultural appropriation, though 👀
As for men, one way to go is with wearing those prints in a shirt. A button up shirt with a solid tee under gives a a culturally and climate appropriate look.
Don’t wear sacred clothing items and accessories.
If you’re concerned about cultural appropriation, be mindful of what articles of clothing carry sacred meanings. Stray away from that. You can show appreciation for a culture without violating meaningful items.
The prints and styles pictured above are culturally sensitive and allow you as the tourist to be a bit more emerged into the culture. It’s a fun way to show appreciation. Many locals showed approval of these looks and smiled encouragingly. Many of us bought these items at thrift stores or from small vendors in Seville, Spain. Some people on our trip bought pants like these while in Morocco!
It’s very easy to tell when a tourist is American and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. That carries the implication of being culturally insensitive or depicted as a fool. If you don’t feel comfortable going with the Conservatively Moroccan look, consider wearing what you wear back home in a way that’s culturally appropriate.
Do wear knee length shorts and normal fitting tees.
Knee length shorts and a tee that is not ill-fitting keeps you within your comfort zone and doesn’t disrespect Moroccan tradition. This tee isn’t too tight and doesn’t emphasize the body.
Women can dress the same way. Shirts shouldn’t be short and if they are above the waistline by any chance, pair them with high-waisted jeans.
Do layer clothing and tie long sleeved shirts or jackets around your waist.
Bringing a jacket or long sleeve shirt to layer is also helpful and a comfortable way to travel. If you feel like you might get cold or that your outfit needs extra coverage, you have easy access to it. Also, it can complete the look and make it more within your comfort zone. It’s better to have an extra layer of security just in case.
Do wear long dresses.
Ladies, consider wearing maxi dresses too because they surprisingly provide a lot of comfort and fresh air! Maxi style dresses can have a slit, and I think that’s appropriate because when you’re walking, it won’t be too revealing. Showing your legs isn’t disrespectful, and it’s another way to stay cool! Just be mindful that it isn’t a slit that shows your waist.
Knee length dresses are also acceptable and appropriate. As long as you don’t go high above the knees, you’re in the clear.
Do not wear short shorts, skirts, strapless shirts, revealing shirts and inappropriate dresses.
Aside from drawing unwanted attention to yourself, wearing revealing outfits is not accepted within Moroccan culture. Some girls on the trip made this mistake and it was uncomfortable to watch how locals would interact with them because of it. Men would try to huddle them or women would give disapproving looks. If you can wear it clubbing or can’t wear it around your grandma, don’t wear it in Morocco!
HATS AND HEADDRESSES
This was something I was hesitant about, but locals encouraged it. They eagerly tried selling head scarfs and hats to any tourist that walked by.
Do wear hats and headdresses sold locally.
If you’re considering wearing a headdress, I suggest that you buy it from the locals and ask them how to wear it. You would be giving back to the culture you’re partaking in and learning how to appropriately rock the look.
My friend Cathy is a model and singer. She looked amazing every day and posted about it, so go check her out on Instagram 👀
Do not mock the hats and headdresses and wear it to ridicule the culture.
As long as you wear the item while being mindful of its tradition and don’t violate any sacred meanings, you’re in the clear ✅ Wearing these headdresses to fit a stereotypical look is wrong; learn and respect the culture rather than looking like them to make a joke out of it.
What do you think of my friends’ and I’s style in Morocco? What do you think of my tips, and would you visit any part of Africa soon?!
Let me know how you feel about these style guides and if you’d like more!
Thanks for reading! 💋