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What to Wear, Where -- Her 50 Fabulous Clothing Tips


Evelyn Hannon

Our statistics show that on any given day, 1600 TO over 4,000 visits from JourneyWomen worldwide are recorded at our website. Some come to do their research for upcoming trips, others drop in to become armchair travellers and still others pop by to send us their latest travel tips.

In the past little while we've collected over fifty different points-of-view and bits of advice regarding what to wear as you journey the world. Each tip provides one more culturally-correct piece of the travel puzzle.

Marsha from Ohio (USA) cautions blondes to cover their heads in Morocco, Meg in Melbourne (Australia) advises that it is disrespectful to wear sleeveless tops in Thailand, and Bloem writing from Huizen (Netherlands) says, 'the Dutch are much the same as the Canadians and Americans. Guys won't stare at you because of what you are wearing any more than they would at a Dutch girl.'

Thank you, everybody! We are so very grateful for all these clothing tips coming from "experienced" travellers. They are invaluable for any female, anywhere, who is getting ready for her next journey.

If anybody has additional information, please take a moment, click here and send it along. You'll be helping another female somewhere in the world to pack a comfortable and culturally-correct wardrobe.

Teenagers wear tight jeans in Syria...
I dressed pretty conservatively when I went to Syria -- long-sleeved, loose shirts which button to the collar and baggy pants. I kept my hair tied back and had a scarf to cover my head when I visited mosques. No flashy colours or jewelry. Surprisingly, when I got there I saw women in the large cities, dressed in all fashions. The teenage girls were wearing the tight jeans and latest in platform shoes. That said, my conservative approach was fine and when visiting larger mosques, they have cloaks for women to wear if they don't have a headscarf. So no worries there. Happy travels, everybody.
Francoise, Montreal, Canada

Air conditioning is fierce in Hong Kong...
Most women in Hong Kong are dressed modestly; no short skirts or bare arms. Bring a light sweater as the air conditioning in buildings can be very cold! I found dark colored capris with an untucked cotton blouse and simple sandals, to be quite comfortable and fashionable. Don't wear shorts and athletic shoes or you will be shouting "tourist."
Mari, San Francisco, USA

Moroccan men love to pinch bottoms...
Travel in a Moslem country is very different from that in European countries. Fortunately, I was with a tour group and we were told what and what not to wear each day. No shorts ever, no jewelry, a secure money belt and bum pack for other objects. Moroccan men were very bold about touching and/or pinching foreign women. They followed us with their eyes wherever we went and so we had to appear modest and unassuming in public. It pays to be very careful and aware in Morocco. Children clung to us and held our hands as soon as they saw us -- maybe they were just friendly, but maybe not.
Betty, Vancouver, Canada

Ed. note: It pays to keep your eyes and ears open wherever you travel. A female traveller does best when she's not complacent.

During my month in Morocco, I wore long skirts and long-sleeved button-up shirts and was free from harassment (and sunburn!). Wearing more conservative clothing made me feel more respectful and less like a target. If you journey to the dunes, bring along a scarf or piece of fabric to tie around your face to keep out the blowing sands. Enjoy!
Lindsay, Colorado Springs, USA

It's always humid in Indonesia...
Wear breathable clothes since it is always humid in this destination. Tailored or fitted style clothes are the best, especially in big cities like Jakarta (people generally treat you better if you dress up). I think it's okay to wear shorter skirts (not too short), but I would recommend covering your chest. Some Indonesian men think that a cleavage is meant to be touched.
Katherine, San Francisco, USA

Sarong 'yes' -- bikini 'no' in Egypt...
Travelling to the Middle East? If you want a lot less hassle, wear long sleeved tops and long skirts/trousers. When you think that the local women wear trousers and a dress and a bhurka/jashmak - the men fall over themselves when they see someone prancing around in a bikini. Save yourself potential trouble -- being a foreigner you'll get hassle anyway whatever you wear but not as much when you're covered. You'll feel a lot less exposed and people will stare less.
Sam, Southend, USA

I packed loose, long skirts and conservative tops. Jeans and pants were OK for horseback riding and hiking around and shopping. I saw some Europeans in shorts and scant tops...bad taste for sure. Locals wear black till summer even though it is very hot before then.
Susan, Florida, USA

Take a sarong - it can double as a towel and when its really hot (I was there in midsummer) you can just wrap it around as a skirt and avoid offending the locals. They are also thin enough to dry overnight saving you from packing several different skirts (I hate carrying too much weight when carrying my own luggage).
Andrea, Wellington, New Zealand

Having spent the last three years living in Cairo, I'd like to remind women to respect the local dress code. ie. no shorts. If you do wear shorts, you will be seen as wearing your underwear on the street, and will get attention you probably don't want. And even if you are French or German and that is what you do at home, topless sunbathing at hotels in Luxor is an absolute no-no. The waiters and other employees around the pool are generally Muslim and baring your breasts is disrespectful. This leads these men to believe that all foreign women are "Pretty Babies" and will pursue you relentlessly.
Heather, Ottawa, Canada





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