This is to my ladies, all of us are aware how challenging it can be to pack for a trip. But if you have the pleasure of traveling to a religiously conservative country, things can get that much trickier. If you’re planning a trip to a predominantly muslim country, your questions may sound something like…
What am I going to wear in public? If I cover my head, am I pretending to be Muslim? How do I steer clear of appropriating a religion?
It’s of primary importance to understand that each Muslim country has variations depending on their convictions and sensitivities to outside cultures. If you are a Westerner, you will likely stick out no matter how much you try to blend in, but being aware of local cultural norms should be a priority.
Out of deep respect for the culture and to avoid attracting negative often sexual attention, it’s important to dress like what might seem overly conservative to some people. Let me name some ways to show respect traveling in Muslim majority nations: maxi dresses, midi skirts, fluttering sleeves, billowing blouses and shirts in loose and breathable fabric (cotton or linen). Short shorts, mini skirts, and swimwear can of course be worn, just be sure you’re either on the beach or in a private hotel, resort, or villa when doing so.
Knee length skirts are best. Again, avoid anything that is overly tight and made completely of spandex. A sarong type wrap fabric can also work if tied in a way that doesn’t show too much of your legs (maybe even with leggings underneath).
Pants / Shorts:
Your pants should be loose and breathable. You might want to avoid wearing jeans (especially tight spandex adjacent jeans) because you could very possibly MELT in the heat and humidity. However, in the desert at night it can get very cold! Bring a shawl and or trusty scarf.
Exposed shoulders are wildly eye catching in conservative communities. Having said that, wearing sleeveless, or strappy tops will typically be fine, though doing so could depend on the region you’re visiting. If you’re visiting an area that is used to having western tourists you can probably get away with more skimpy tops, I would just bring along a scarf to cover your shoulders.
What To Avoid: Short shorts, mini skirts, and 2 piece swimwear, all of which can of course be displayed, just be mindful you’re either on the beach or in a private hotel, resort, or villa when doing so.