As a foreign woman (or man) traveling in Jordan, it’s important to give some thought to how you dress. As was the case in Egypt, Jordan is also a mostly Muslim country where dressing conservatively is appreciated.
Now, nothing terrible will happen if you don’t follow these clothing “rules.” However, as a tourist, I think it’s important to respect the culture and customs of the country you are visiting. So, offending the people of the country I am in is something I, personally, try to avoid at all costs. This was especially true for me in Jordan, where I met some of the kindest people I’ve ever come across in my life – and I grew up in the Midwest!
What does it mean to dress conservatively as a woman in Jordan?
What this means is, your shoulders, knees and cleavage should be covered. (So, short sleeves are fine, just avoid spaghetti strap tank tops.) You also should not wear anything super formfitting. (It’s more comfortable anyways to wear looser clothes!) So, avoid tight jeans and leggings or low cut or tight tops. (Or, if you wear tight jeans consider wearing a longer top with them, or a scarf with a tight or low cut top, etc.)
While many local women will wear a headscarf, this is not necessary as a tourist. I also usually wore a hat while I was out exploring, I did this more to prevent sunburn than anything, though…(and my hair is a bit short to tie back).
What does it mean to dress conservatively as a man in Jordan?
It’s also important to note, that conservative dress is not limited to JUST women. Men should also keep this in mind too. Many men wear long pants (not shorts), and sleeves that at least cover the shoulders (so, again, short sleeves are fine – but tank tops should be avoided).
My husband would argue that wearing his lightweight hiking pants is actually more comfortable than shorts anyways – even during the hot summer weather.
My Husband’s Outfit
My husband wore a long-sleeved linen shirt with his hiking pants. He also wore his sneakers and his Indiana Jones hat for this entire trip. He LOVES this hat. (It also was perfect to wear when we got to Petra, haha.)
My Outfit for Traveling in Jordan
We had visited Jordan in late May. Now, it was nowhere near as hot here as it is in Egypt at this time of year. The highs were in about the lower 80s (Fahrenheit) during the day. However, at night it dipped down to the low 60s or upper 50s – it was cool enough that I needed a lightjacket with this outfit at night.
Obviously, this wasn’t the only outfit I wore while in Jordan. It is, however, my favorite, and in my opinion, the most stylish of all the outfits I wore while I was here! I had worn it for a day of exploring Northern Jordan. (Petra and Wadi Rum will be getting their own outfit posts – as that’s a different ballgame.)
This maxi dress was the main reason for that. It’s flowy and ruffled hemline and poofy sleeves were a fantastic addition to a maxi dress. This dress is also loose-fitting but has a tie waist, so you aren’t drowning in the fabric.
Unfortunately, this exact dress sold out shortly after I ordered it. It’s by All in Favor… however, Anthropologie is actually carry a ton of similar maxi dresses right now that are simply STUNNING. (Where was this gorgeous dress when I was shopping for this trip?!)
I also wore a hat for the duration of this trip. Having your hair covered is respectful and it’s a good way to keep yourself from getting sunburnt anyway! This exact hat also sold out immediately after I ordered it – it’s by Brixton (this one is almost identical).
I don’t usually wear hats, but I was grateful to have one along for this trip. (I also wore it nonstop while in Egypt.) To be honest, though, having one with a neckstrap would have been a better idea – as I nearly lost this one countless times due to the wind.
I also found that wearing a lightweight scarf proved to be a good way to look more modest while in Jordan. It also prevented the sun from hitting my chest and burning me to a crisp, too. I actually brought along 2 other scarves identical to this one just in different colors. They were perfect for this trip (and in Egypt too)!
I wore these sandals the most for this trip through Jordan and also Egypt. This is because they are incredibly comfortable to walk in and versatile. They required absolutely no breaking in either. I literally put them on and wore them for an entire 8 hour day of nonstop exploring – no problem!
I don’t know if you can tell in these photos, but my feet are incredibly swollen as well. This happens to me pretty frequently when I’m a bit dehydrated (and it really doesn’t help if I’ve been flying a lot too). These sandals were a godsend because they didn’t restrict my puffy feet until I could get them back down to a normal size (lots of water and no salt or alcohol!). Instead, the soft leather straps expanded with my feet, and they still fit nicely once my feet were back to normal. (The website says to size up a half size, I ordered my normal size 8 and they worked. However, an 8 1/2 would have likely been better.)
If you have any questions about how to dress while traveling in Jordan, I’m happy to answer them in the comments section at the end of this post.
Where to find it:
Dress: All in Favor (Sold out. Similar options here.)
Sandals: Steve Madden (Size up a half size!)
Hat: Nordstrom (Similar here & here)
Sunglasses: Similar here
Watch: Similar here
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