42 responses

  1. cali
    April 27, 2015

    Hi I posted a question on here a few weeks ago but ill try to repost. My husband and I are going to Egypt next month. I was wondering do they make jelabiyas for women? Where in Egypt did you get can I get tunics like the nice ones in your photo? Can you find jelabiyas and tunics everywhere? I was thinking of packing very light and getting most of my clothes out there.

    Thanks in advance,

    C

    Reply

    • Maria Alexandra
      June 17, 2016

      I have been traveling so much, so sorry I missed this! They can be found online, but to buy them in-country, it’s best to visit the traditional markets and haggle for them. They are everywhere!

      Reply

  2. Cali
    April 7, 2015

    Hi thanks for this article. I was in Morocco 4 years ago so i have an idea on conservative dress but now that my husband and I are going to Egypt next month, i wanted to know how different the two contries are in regards to this attire. I heard that Egypt is more conservative.

    My husband would like to wear shorts and they are def below the knee so thats ok right?

    As for me, i love those cute tops that you bought in Egypt. Can you find them everywhere or do you have to go to certain malls or shops? We will be going to Aswan, Luxor and Cairo. I also have a Moroccan djelba in bright blue. I was thinking about bringing it but it wont be Ramadan in may so do you think the bright color would bring too much attention? I still plan to buy some out there. What are the typical prices for them?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply

    • Maria Alexandra
      June 29, 2016

      I believe I responded to your comment in the form of an email Cali, but just in case I didn’t, my apologies!

      Definitely can find galabeyas in any of the markets and haggle for them. I found that whatever I bought in Egypt I could carry and wear in Morocco, so I would think it could go both ways. I hope you had a great trip, please do tell me about it πŸ™‚

      Reply

  3. Samantha
    August 31, 2014

    Thanks so much for this post!

    I was just wondering if leggings, a blouse and a cardigan/kimono would be an acceptable outfit to travel through Egypt in? And also to visit Luxor.

    I’m a fair-skinned English woman hoping to attract as little attention as possible!

    Thanks again πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • Maria Alexandra
      August 31, 2016

      that definitely works Samantha! Although a long kimono might attract some attention due to how exotic it is. I vote for the cardigan or cover up scarves and blouses!

      Reply

  4. Samantha
    July 20, 2014

    Hi, thank you for your post…how much full length galabeya cost in Egypt? Thanks a lot

    Reply

    • Maria Alexandra
      August 31, 2016

      it depends how good of a haggler you are! Ha ha πŸ˜‰ it can be very cheap, definitely under US $20

      Reply

  5. Licia
    June 16, 2013

    I appreciate your advice about wearing your hair pulled back in a low ponytail. I planned on bringing a scarf for my hair as well as my hair is dark too! I am going to Egypt in August for 2 weeks. First week in Cairo and second in Alexandria. Are leggings not too hot under a dress that time of the year? I have some skirts that are real long but have others that cover my knees by a couple of inches, are they still ok? Thank you.

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      June 18, 2013

      so long leggings are made of an organic fabric, such as cotton, you should be fine and not to hot. August is REALLY hot though, no matter what you wear, you will be sweating, so remember that! πŸ˜‰

      I recommend the long skirts over the ones that barely cover the knees. Showing the legs will simply bring much male attention you might not want.

      Have fun! Jealous you’re going back to Egypt, I can’t wait to go back myself.

      Reply

  6. Lexie
    March 4, 2013

    Thank you so much! I’m leaving to study abroad in Egypt for the fall 2013 and even though my Egyptian friends were giving me pointers, a picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      March 8, 2013

      Glad I helped, Lexie! πŸ™‚

      Reply

  7. Kay Rodriguez
    December 26, 2012

    Wonderful advice and the photos help a lot too! I definitely learned these lessons when I was in Guatemala last summer. Learning how to dress was a huge adjustment, especially since we came from the US. Wish I’d read your article sooner!

    Reply

  8. Andrea
    November 9, 2012

    Great post! I was approached a lot when I was in Turkey, and tried to be as conservative as possible… I’m just thankful I have dark hair, as soon as my tall blonde friend came to meet me all the attention was taken away from me and out onto her (thank god!) Great advice, I’ll be sure to refer back to this post before traveling to a Muslim country again!

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      November 9, 2012

      thanks Andrea! From my experience, wearing dark sunglasses and ignoring any catcalls helps. They eventually leave you alone. Just have to pretend they are not there, just like the local girls do πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  9. Paulette @ Marginal Boundaries
    August 14, 2012

    I wish I had this when I went to Dubai! Although Dubai is used to tourist and is filled with resorts that cater to western ideals, I visited during the week of Ramadan, and thus conservatism and modesty was to be practiced particularly well. I did my best in remaining respectful, but I am imperfect, and it was around 110 degrees at the time (whew!) Thankfully they have personnel purveying the malls and I was given a notecard that had “suggestions” on how to dress properly as a female. True, we all probably broke the rules out there if we were not from Dubai, but the main thing of importance is visiting a conservative country with every intention of doing your best and respecting their culture and beliefs

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      August 15, 2012

      That’s cute about the notecard! Now you have a pictionary for next time you travel to the Middle East, though πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  10. Angela
    July 25, 2012

    Headed to Eygpt soon thanks for the length of the pants. I am always covered on top.

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      July 25, 2012

      You’re welcome Angela! Happy to see my advice was helpful. Enjoy Egypt–and don’t forget to visit Dahab if youc an! It is my favorite place on Earth πŸ™‚

      Reply

  11. Hiba
    June 28, 2012

    I absolutely love the photos!

    This reminds of when I went to Pakistan to visit family for the first time in 10 years. If you went out in jeans and a t-shirt men would stare at you like you were some sort of strange creature! It was ridiculous. It really opened my eyes to how uniquely different the western and eastern views are. I learned to wear the local clothes to blend in more, especially when I went to the markets and public areas.

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      June 28, 2012

      glad you like them! Tourists don’t realize that trying to blend in when visiting a conservative country can save them plenty of headaches. It drives me crazy when tourists complain about the locals attitude toward them, when it is their fault for disrespecting the local culture!

      Reply

  12. Mohamed
    April 16, 2012

    Firstly let me Thank you for your Amazing Article and your polite way to explain the Egyptian people natural . all the above mentioned cautions and attentions I can’t consider it as stain of us, This’s our Culture, attitude and behaviour . and that’s why we travel around all over the world to exchange it. Welcome in Egypt @ any time for any one we strongly respect our guests but you also should take into consideration where you put your feet . Thanks a lot

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      June 28, 2012

      not a stain, Mohamed. Simply a different culture πŸ™‚

      Reply

  13. Ashlee D.
    March 29, 2012

    Hey! Saw you RT’d this and have a few questions… I’m going to Morocco in May and it will be my first time in a predominately Muslim country!

    What about jeans? I know they get to be really hot, but besides the heat factor, are they culturally ok? What about skinny jeans, would they be considered too tight?

    What about shoes? Are sandals OK or should feet be covered as well?

    Do you recommend wearing hijab/covering your head?

    Thanks for the advice! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      March 29, 2012

      Depends which part of Morocco you are visiting.

      Pants – I would not really recommend skin-tight jeans during the summer months, you will die πŸ˜› long skirts are airy, conservative, and enterprisingly comfortable. Also very feminine πŸ˜‰ maybe light canvas or linen pants (not the see-through kind) will be a viable alternative, as jeans are def. hot.

      Sandals – many Moroccans wear them so they shouldn’t be a problem at all.

      Hijab – not necessary at all. Some Moroccans don’t even cover their heads. In most of North Africa (including Egypt) and Near East (i.e. Jordan), wearing a hijab as a foreigner is not necessary nor expected. Just follow the tips I outlined on this photo essay (and this comment), and you’ll be alright πŸ™‚

      Reply

  14. Gwyneth Genevieve
    March 4, 2012

    Such a good post! I’m headed to Marrakesh on Wednesday and I’ve been so worried about what to wear. Looks as though conservative tops, semi-loose jeans, and full length skirts will be a-okay! Thank you so much!

    Speaking of Marrakesh, I noticed you visited! Did you find yourself heckled while you were taking pictures there?

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      March 6, 2012

      Glad you found the post useful Gwyneth! I did visit Marrakesh, about 3 different times. I found that simply ignoring whoever hassles you is even better than saying “go away” or anything along those lines πŸ˜‰ just act like you’re too busy to notice. Bon voyage!

      Reply

  15. Jenna
    February 13, 2012

    Very good ideas. I remember before studying abroad in Italy, our professor explained how we should dress there, especially when going to churches. Leggings & long sleeves were very useful.

    Reply

  16. Ayngelina
    February 12, 2012

    Great post. I agree that you can wear whatever you want but then don’t complain about the attention you get from it.

    Reply

  17. Dick Jordan
    February 10, 2012

    A great “fashion statement” in photos!

    Reply

  18. Sabrina
    February 9, 2012

    Great tips! And still looking fashionable πŸ™‚ As one of the previous commenters said, it is much harder to stay under the radar with lighter hair, but dressing appropriatly certainly helps. I used your scarf tips in Italy and Egypt a lot. Great for covering shoulders, hair, a little cleavage, … And so easy to keep in your purse with you if you don’t need it. I think the dress code is obvioulsy much more relaxed in all touristy beach towns in Egypt (like Hurghada and Safaga for example), but in the older parts of town, following your tips would still be a great idea!

    Reply

  19. LAbackpackerChick
    October 6, 2011

    Great ideas!

    Reply

  20. LatinAbroad
    August 23, 2011

    Hello again Willow! The picture you see of me with the pink galabeya and my hair down was taken in Morocco, which is actually a little bit more relaxed I feel like and wouldn’t bring too much attention from the men. Plus by then, I had already been living in the Arab world for more than a year, so I was kind of immune to any attention I drew πŸ˜‰ although, I must note, that picture was taken while I visited a Moroccan friend’s family, so we were not really out in the public. I always recommend girls going to the Arab world for the first time to put their hair up as to get the least attention from the men, so they feel more comfortable, but you can “let your hair hang if you wish.” Just remember: You *will* get attention from the men, so if that’s something you are trying to avoid at all costs, you know what to do! πŸ˜‰
    Have a great tip and I’m glad you find this photo essay on how to dress in Egypt helpful! =)

    Reply

  21. Willow Francis
    August 23, 2011

    I loved this!! I had an idea about the cleavage, and the shoulders; but no idea that knees wear a no-no also!! THANKS so MUCH!! Will have to go shopping for some “looong shorts” πŸ™‚ or some capris to make sure I don’t draw attention on me… Wearing your hair lose is a good thing or a bad thing, or it doesn’t matter? My favorite picture of you is the one with the pink long shirt and the capri jeans (that’s lovely!! I even love your sandals!!) You are wearing your hair down in that pic…but in other you mention its a good idea to put it up in a bun and cover it…
    I have dark hair like you (and I probably could pass for Egyptian also; since I have olive skin due to my hispanic heritage…however I have blond highlights in my hair… Is that a not common thing over there? Should I wear a hijab?… Thank You kindly for your terrific piece, it’s been quite informative and helpful!! πŸ™‚

    Reply

  22. Natalie
    August 21, 2011

    Love this post. A lot of people here in Turkey complain about the attention they get. They are normally complaining while showing most of their cleavage or legs!

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      August 22, 2011

      Couldn’t agree with you more Natalie! Thanks for commenting

      Reply

  23. Mark Wiens
    August 21, 2011

    Awesome, great tips! When I was in Egypt, I bought a Jellabiya and wore it as much as possible. It was one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing I’ve ever owned and now that I live in Thailand, I still wear it occasionally!

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      August 21, 2011

      Haha, that’s awesome Wiens! Galabeyas are very comfy, for sure!

      Reply

  24. Sam Lovell
    August 21, 2011

    Nice post! Very useful to any woman traveling to any conservative country. I only recently returned from Morocco and it was rather embarrassing to see what some of the tourists were walking around in. I have been known to wear the local clothes. Especially in Pakistan it was useful, and I always have a beard which also helps. Usually though I just wear long trousers and smart (and hopefully clean) shirt. Nice post. Will post it to my fb page! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • LatinAbroad
      August 21, 2011

      Oh wow Sam, Pakistan! May you share with us how you ended up visiting? Not many Westerners do and would be interesting to know what drove you there

      Reply

  25. LatinAbroad
    August 11, 2011

    I agree Jeff. My American and German friends had a much tougher time, as their fair skin and platinum locks still attracted much attention from men. They find it exotic, so there’s hardly a way around it unless they wear a hijab I would assume. I have to admit, I had it easy over there as I easily passed as an Egyptian everywhere I went, so didn’t attract much attention if dressed properly. Good for you and the galabeya! They def. love it when foreign men dress like them, I remember some of my American friends even got invited to political meetings, reunions, parties, ahwas, etc. just for dressing like them; Egyptians love it!! =)

    Reply

  26. Jeff
    August 11, 2011

    Good post. Egypt is tough. Was traveling with a friend and she’s almost 6 foot with platinum blond hair. She always dressed well-covered in public and still attracted lots of unwelcome attention. It made it tough traveling at times. But, we got through it. I was given a galabeya and came to love it. I got lots of smiles and thumbs up as I walked through the streets.

    Reply

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