Not everyone likes being told how to dress but as travellers we need to keep in mind that what is appropriate varies from country to country. In fact, as a traveller it’s our responsibility to respect the values of communities and cultures that welcome us as visitors. That means a conservative approach is always safer. Whether you’re travelling alone or in a group it is best to research the location you are visiting to understand what is socially acceptable. The world isn’t a dangerous place by and large, but the way you dress could affect your safety at times.
“Before going to Jordan I was searching on the net to see what I could figure about dress code for women in Jordan. What I read surprised me a little.” – Mridula Dwivedi, TravelTalesFromIndia.in
1) Don’t wear sleeveless shirts
“I figured out that wearing sleeveless shirts was not such a good idea, neither was wearing shorts, nor a short dress.” -Mridula Dwivedi
That said, it is very common to assume that one should dress very conservatively while travelling through the Middle East, especially as a woman. Try to avoid sleeveless shirts, shorts, sundresses, or jeans. Travel writer Mridula Dwivedi from Travel Tales from India, tells about her experiences while Travelling through Jordan.
Do: Wear shawls around your shoulders and arms, and long sleeves.
2) Don’t wear a summer dress
Although it’s fine to rock a dress with tights, you wouldn’t want to wear a dress on its own. “Even though tourists dressed pretty much how they dressed elsewhere, they were few in numbers,” says Mridula. “Covering up is the norm in Jordan but in tourist places like Amman, Madaba and Bethany some tourists dress up the way they might anywhere else.”
Do: Wear your bathing suit on the beach – this is not at all an issue at the local resorts.
Dressing respectfully doesn’t mean you have to dress boring. Chanel launched a whole line dedicated to servicing the fashion crowd in the Middle East, with elegant scarves and dresses that match regional lifestyles, and we thought this FASHION article on modest dressing in Qatar was on point. All in all, a long-sleeved, flowy dress works fine, as long as you’re aware that you’re in a different place where your wardrobe from back home may need a few tweaks here and there.
Mridula Dwivedi is a professor and travel writer who’s known worldwide for her blog ‘Travel Tales From India’. Her adventures have taken her all over the globe; she has been snowmobiling in Finland, shopped at the night market in Cambodia and even stumbled (inadvertently) upon the red light district in Amsterdam. Highlights from Mridula’s trip to Jordan include taking a “Dead Sea alien selfie” and masquerading as a media professional to take a picture of the Pope. Check out her blog Travel Tales from India and keep track of her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.