Morocco is a conservative Muslim country and when travelling throughout their country it is respectful and within your best interest to abide by cultural standards of dress code.
It is important to cover shoulders, knees, chest and midriff to avoid unnecessary attention and to respect cultural standards. This guide will help you find weather appropriate and culturally appropriate styish outfits to pack for your trip to Morocco.
For women, I suggest long maxi dresses and maxi skirts. Long pants are also ok but it is recommended to not wear extremely tight garments unless your shirt is able to cover your bottom. Elephant pants are great for Morocco as they are loose fitted and breathable. It is preferable that you choose a thin cotton pair over a pyjama type material as a thin cotton will not stick to skin or trap heat. I learnt this the hard way on my first day in Marrakesh.Open gallery
Men will stare if you are inappropriately dressed and as a tourist, you need to remind yourself you already stick out on your own. Men may say things to you, but if you do not understand French or Arabic this may not affect you as much. In this occasion only speaking English will be somewhat of a blessing.
For religious places such as the Hassan II Mosque, the only Mosque to which non-Muslim tourists are able to visit, these dress code requirements are a must. If you do not abide by these rules when attempting to enter the mosque for a tour, you will not be granted entry. This should be done as a sign of respect for their culture and religious choices. Here is the outfit I wore to the Hassan II Mosque, inside my shoulder bag is a scarf.Open gallery
When wanting to opt for a shirt that may reveal too much back or shoulder I recommend using a scarf and draping it around the back once then pinned to cover the shoulders. Another option for dresses is to wear a t-shirt or cropped shirt over the top of a dress to hide chest and shoulders. When I do this, it looks like this:Open gallery
The blue striped dressed displayed in the second and third photograph is from Bardot. You can use any simple black (or any coloured) t-shirt over dresses, and I myself are quite fond of tieing them into knots to tie all excess shirt material if I am not wearing a cropped t-shirt.
For your own safety and comfort, I suggest packing a shoulder strap bag that you can wear across your body. These bags are great for comfort whilst travelling to hold your wallet and phone, whilst also being the safest option that won’t look dork to keep your valuables safe when travelling. A secure bag is a must when visiting the medinas. (old town and market areas with many small walkways and alleys). When inside the medinas it is recommended you keep your bag in front of you at all times. This can be easily done with a shoulder strap bag. I even take these bags to music festivals. You can get the one I have in black or brown from Kmart at just $9 Australian dollars here.
I personally only had one or two cat calling type experiences, both were in the Marrakesh medina when I and another female friend appeared to be alone. However, I understand that this is not the same experience as others received, and I may have just been lucky. I also travelled in groups mostly and abided by all dress code rules (bar my time in the Sahara Desert) which may have aided my security and avoided any unwanted attention.
Morocco can be a very safe place to travel when appropriate and required safety rules and dress codes are abided by. Please do not let the fear of the unknown hold you back from exploring a wonderful new and exciting country. Deal with obstacles as they come and go, and always always always travel with an open mind.