If you’re planning to visit Morocco for the first time in the near future, you’re probably already aware that this is a Muslim country. And this begs the question, “How to dress in Morocco as a tourist?”
Unlike many other Muslim countries, Morocco is very welcoming towards tourists and works hard to accommodate all needs of their western visitors. However, there are some things you should be aware of before starting to pack for Morocco. I’ve been to Morocco twice and have visited all the major cities and tourist places. So here is my guide on how to dress in Morocco, both for females and males.
About Morocco country
Before we get to the part about how to dress in Morocco, I want to explain a bit about Morocco as a country. It’s essential to have a big picture before planning any of your outfits.
Most tourists have unrealistic misconceptions about Morocco, so this point is highly needed to educate tourists and help them escape any potentially embarrassing moments.
Morocco is a touristic country, and locals are very much aware of the diversity and needs of their tourists. That’s why they have become quite understanding and less judgemental. Moroccans are friendly and proud of their country, so for them, it’s an honor to have tourists exploring their homeland. Why is this important? Because this is a huge reason for their behavior.
Dressing in Morocco used to be a big issue for Westerners, especially American tourists, which tend to be less conservatory.
Today you will find many all-inclusive resorts in Morocco and fancy hotels that cater to this exact market, and they don’t have any issues with swimming suits or bikinis.
Tips for how to dress in Morocco (female and male)
While Morocco isn’t a huge country (compared to other African countries), it tends to have a different culture in each city. Since tourists are now traveling all around the country, I will mention each place and state if there are any differences in how people dress.
Regardless of the city, I do recommend wearing slightly loose clothing, nothing very short or revealing. I don’t believe anything bad will happen, but you don’t want any unwanted attention. This applies to tourist spots in Morocco, where you will find people dressed in all sorts of clothes, but simple and traditional is always better.
So leave your leather pants at home (it’s too hot to wear anything tight anyway).
- Marrakech – The most authentic and touristic place in all of Morocco. Visiting the main sites will feel somehow uncomfortable if you’re wearing shorts or have bare shoulders, but you will see others doing it.
- Casablanca – Feels more like Europe, with lots of crowds and people. They call it their business city, less touristy, and people dress normally but mostly lose clothing and nothing too short.
- Rabat – The capital city of Morocco. The place is lovely and very welcoming towards tourists, but don’t wear anything too revealing.
- Tangier – This is the northmost big city in Morocco and resembles Spain and Europe the most. People wear anything you would see in Spain or other hot countries.
- Fes – Feels more conservative. I would avoid anything that screams “tourist.”
To better understand what to wear in Morocco, let’s take a look at the Moroccan clothing style and what locals wear.
Moroccan fashion is quite comfortable and allows you to create lots of different outfits with a few simple elements – scarf, loose dress, sandals, hat, loose pants.
Of course, the more modern parts of any city and the places that cater to international businesses will attract people from all over the world. That’s why, if you roam around the country, you will feel like you are traveling between two different worlds. One moment you are in the middle of the medina, with all the vendors and traditional setting, and the next, you’re near a glass office building, where people wear jeans and simple t-shirts.
That’s why it’s important to understand that nowadays, the Moroccan clothing style can differ a lot based on the city you’re traveling to and also on location in that city. That’s why I feel that it’s important to know what exactly you plan on visiting, so you can dress accordingly and blend in.
If you’re looking for Moroccan clothes for women, you’ll find plenty of shops in any city. However, for the best deals, I do recommend exploring a bit outside of the medina. The traditional dress of Morocco is called “kaftan,” and it looks like a nicely decorated nightgown (just my personal opinion). The Moroccan kaftan is a long, loose tunic with sleeves that may be worn with a belt. It’s actually really nice, and many fashion designers got inspired by the Moroccan kaftan over the centuries.
I love it, and I was looking to buy one as well. I found some really nice boutiques in Marrakech in the Gueliz neighborhood (the place where expats live).
Moroccan clothing style for women
What’s Morocco fashion, you ask? Here are some of the things you should pack if you are still wondering how to dress in Morocco as a female:
- Long dresses. Any dress will do, but dresses that are over your knees will draw less attention while helping you blend in.
- Scarf. You can use it to cover your head or shoulders when needed, but also to keep you warm during the evening.
- Sandals. You will walk a lot, so wear comfortable shoes.
- Lose pants. In general, wearing tight clothes is still associated with tourists and can draw unwanted attention, especially if you are traveling alone.
- A jacket. It may get a bit chilly in the evenings, especially in the mountains.
- Others: sunglasses, jeans.
Q: “Can I wear jeans in Morocco?” YES! Almost everyone wears jeans, especially normal-fit ones. If you are not a big fan of dresses, then wear jeans. I wore them everywhere and felt just like a local.
Why is everyone suggesting wearing long loose dresses in Morocco? Because these dresses can be easily found in any clothing store back home, and it resembles the traditional Moroccan dress, the kaftan. By wearing something similar, you will blend in and don’t have to deal as much with some of the tourist hassles. Also, during hot days, a thin fabric covering your skin will keep you cooler than having your skin directly exposed to the sun.
What not to wear in Morocco?
In Morocco, female outfits should always be a bit loose, not too revealing. Don’t bring jewelry, expensive bags, or anything that draws attention. If you want to have the best experience, it’s always better not to draw too much attention.
The trust is that I loved Morocco, but many locals rely heavily on tourism for their livelihood, and sometimes it’s a bit of a nuisance to have to say no to everyone offering to sell their products on the street. That’s why it’s always a good idea to blend it. Also, I feel that tourists that refuse to wear clothes similar to their traditional ones tend to pay more when haggling.
Moroccan clothing style for men
What are Moroccan clothes for men? Men can be more relaxed when it comes to what to wear in Morocco. Generally speaking, a simple T-shirt and pants or jeans are always a good idea. In many places, especially outside the medinas, you will see men wearing more business-like attires.
While I don’t think there are any restrictions, I haven’t seen men wearing sleeveless shirts or shorts. Again, it is something more to do with the hot weather.
Tip for how to dress in Morocco
Given the hot weather, try to pack thin clothes that can be easily layered. For instance, have a long dress, a thin sweater, a scarf, and a jeans jacket. If it gets cold during the evening, you can put all of these on and feel much better.
Having many thin layers also gives you many options for creating many different outfits.
As a general rule, don’t wear anything too flashy or expensive. Morocco is not a dangerous city, but again, drawing attention to yourself may make you feel uncomfortable. This is especially true if you plan to walk on the streets of the medina a lot, trying to soak in the vibes while not trying to buy or interact too much.
The moment you look lost, overdressed, or carrying along too much jewelry or expensive bags, you may find yourself surrounded by too many shopkeepers. And that may ruin some of your experiences in Morocco.
Now that you understand the dress comes In Morocco, you may probably guess that you can easily spot tourists. And there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist, but it may come at a higher price if you plan to negotiate in the medina. That’s why I recommend following this Morocco dress code to make sure you have the best time in this beautiful country. But even if you dress like a tourist, go there with an open heart, and you will feel the charm of Morocco.
Each city still has its medina, the old center, which is located in the heart of the city. The streets are usually too narrow for cars, and you may need to ask for directions every now and then. This is why you come to Morocco, and there is no other plane on Earth like it.
So how to dress in Morocco as a tourist? Of course, you will be a Morocco tourist, and you will dress like a tourist. And that’s ok. As long as you don’t disrespect the culture or do anything offensively, you will have a great time in Morocco.