What to wear in Marrakech: your packing & etiquette guide
Great fashion comes with great responsibility. Applicable everywhere, but crucial when it comes to knowing what to wear in Morocco. No matter how sartorially sorted your suitcase is, you’ll still be in the market for a few tips. Because baring too much shoulder, regardless of how sustainable your organic cotton is, puts you under scrutiny.
Yes, you’ll see fashion-forward types in spaghetti strap tops and short shorts. But is that a wise move? We’re far from fusty in the couture department, but we’d still say no. Because, in Morocco, while the rules aren’t exactly clear, revealing too much is rarely met with compliments on your dress sense. So, we’ve sashayed through the country to walk you through what to wear, not just in Marrakech, but those lesser known parts we just know you’ll be exploring on your travels.
Laws and etiquette
The good news is, there are no laws stipulating what you need to wear in Morocco. The bad news? It leaves a grey area – open to interpretation. Wherever you are in the country, it pays to know that a modest dress sense is expected. For men, this means covering everything from your shoulders to below your knees. Options are less flexible for women – who are expected to cover up from wrist to ankle. Pack at least a few ensembles to stick to these rules and you’ll not cause offence. No matter how well-planned your capsule wardrobe, respecting Muslim dress etiquette pays off – especially in remote villages.
What to wear in Marrakech
Now isn’t the time to be taking Morocco fashion tips from social media. Influencers and bloggers tend to, dare we say, bend the fashion rules in Marrakech. Those stylish shots of long-legged folks perched in front of a mosaic? They’re not entirely as they seem. Anyone baring shoulders, legs and pretty much anything else has only done so for the shot – before quickly covering up again.
Going to try and wing it when you land? Well, you could still be left floundering. When we wander through the Medina, we do spot local women dressing less conservatively. But, the amount of attention this garners shows little sign of waning.
You can let your guard down in Marrakech, a little. Shorts are ok – just ensure they’re way, way beyond cheek-grazing territory. Similarly skirts – though in the heat, we’d always opt for long and flowing. Baggy t-shirts are as skimpy as you’ll want to take things. And remember, Marrakech’s streets aren’t paved with gold. You’re more likely to find fresh animal nuggets. The kind you’d expect Ray Mears to have a good rummage in. Keep anything long and draping well off the floor and keep footwear fairly sensible too. Stepping in something untoward in a flip-flop isn’t the holiday look anyone’s hoping for.
What to wear in Morocco
In wider Morocco, you’ll want to keep things strictly conservative. Always opt for baggy rather than tight-fitting clothing and keep sleeves, trousers and skirts long. Pashminas, shawls and scarves are essential to have in your day bag. Great for covering your head, shoulders and/or arms, you’ll be able to fit in at a moment’s notice, especially if you notice all the women around you are covering up too.
What to pack for Morocco?
The ultimate Morocco accessory no one should be without. They keep the worst of the sun off you and keep you snug when desert temps drop during an overnight excursion. Perfect for dramatically sweeping in insta-shots too, should the need arise.
Controversial in fashionista circles, but heels are no friend to cobbled streets, steppingstones at Morocco waterfalls or putting on the greens of Marrakech’s golf courses. Closed toe shoes will keep your feet away from much that can be found on the dusty streets.
Light and billowy, they are perfect for covering up and keeping cool. You might live in denim jeggings at home, but you’ll not fare well in Morocco’s soaring temperatures.
No, this hasn’t been written by your nan. You really will need a jacket or, at a push, a cardigan at night. Especially if you’re travelling into the mountains.
FAQs: What to wear in Marrakech and Morocco:
Can you wear shorts in Marrakech?
Very much a personal shout on this one. Women, feel free to wear long shorts – though a capri pant would minimise any unwanted attention. Men, you’ll be fine in Bermuda shorts. When it comes to shorts – anything in hot pant territory is a definite no. Covering your legs completely is always the safe option.
Can you wear leggings in Marrakech?
Long and flowing are words rarely attributed to leggings. Though these will cover you up, you’re still showing off your curves – no matter how strictly you’ve followed your pre-holiday cleanse. Great for pairing with a shorter skirt or dress for modesty – not great for matching with your athletic wear.
Can you wear vests in Marrakech?
You can – but reactions can be varied. From unwanted attention to even being told off for your fashion choices – vests, strappy tops and tank tops are best avoided. That said, there’s nothing to stop you pairing a vest with a shirt. Just make sure the neckline isn’t too low.
Can you wear swimwear in Morocco?
Bikinis and swimwear are very much hotel-only outfits in towns and cities. If you’re surfing in Morocco, you’ll find attitudes to swimwear tend to be a bit more lax in surf towns such as Essaouira. Take a moment to suss out what others are swimming in to avoid an embarrassing fashion faux pas.
Can you wear skinny jeans in Morocco?
Yes – with some of caveats. Any accompanying tops need to – how can we put this – cover your modesty. So, think longish tees, tunics or shirts to accompany them.
What can you not wear in Marrakech?
Technically, you could wear anything you like. Whether you should take that approach is another story. Steer clear of short shorts, anything see-through and anything that reveals your shoulders, cleavage or too much leg. Leave your haute couture at home too. Anything showy can make you a target for pickpockets.
Scoured your wardrobe for comfy classics that cover your curves? Perfect. Just one accessory left to pack. Your phone. And before you do that? Download the Orbzii app. We’ll see you in Morocco.