What to Wear to Jordan as a Woman Traveler

I packed my bags carefully for travel to the conservative Muslim country of country of Jordan, where masking your curves and covering your hair with a hijab is the norm. Even though the weather would be relatively warm, there were no short shorts or little skirts in my luggage; they were replaced with lightweight long sleeved cardigans, lengthy loose t-shirts and colorful scarves.

There is an amount of respect that needs to be paid to the culture of a country and I wanted to be certain to honor it.

I erred on the side of conservative.

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

Turns out Jordan is a progressive Muslim country — most women were covered up, but they were also pretty stylish. Just about everywhere we went there were some local women wearing skinny jeans, cute tennis shoes, colorful blouses and snazzy sunglasses.

Still, don’t flaunt your goodies.

Unless you want to get extra attention, stay away from v-neck tees that will show your cleavage, shirts that expose your back or showing too much leg (nobody needs to see your butt cheeks!). Tight clothing was not as much as a flub as showing your skin, though most tight fitting pants were covered just past the rear end with a shirt or cardigan.

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

» Headscarves

It will be surreal when you first land in the capital city of Amman. Some women will be wearing a black niqab, a face-veil that leaves only their eyes uncovered, while others will choose to only conceal their manes and a few will be in very discreet Western wear with their hair freely visible.

There’s a different expectation for Western women.

The typical assumption for Western women is that they will not be covering their hair or faces and you should feel comfortable having your head exposed everywhere you go with the exception of a mosque. BUT, make sure to thoroughly dry your hair before leaving your hotel, wet hair is seen as sexual.

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

The only times that I wore a headscarf was as a shield for the sun and when our Bedouin host wanted to show me the proper way one should be wrapped. Otherwise, my hair was exposed and I felt very comfortable everywhere I went.

With all that said, it is always a great idea to pack a scarf to ward off a face sunburn, use as a cover up and block the dust if you plan on spending any time in the desert of Wadi Rum.

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

» Shorts & Tank Tops

One of the number one clothing questions people want answered before they travel to Jordan is, “is it okay to wear shorts and tank tops?” And the answer is that is really depends on where you are. In the resort areas and heavily touristed places it is more common, but definitely not in the more rural areas of Amman or small villages.

I saw many people wearing both shorts and tank tops at the Petra Archaeological Site and our hotel at The Dead Sea, but still never any styles that were too skimpy.

Again, be discreet.

When in doubt, the key is to layer your clothing (for example, wear a cardigan over a tank top and carry a scarf for your neck). This way you are able to take off a layer when you feel comfortable in doing so and adding a layer when needed.

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

What to Wear to Jordan in the Middle East

» Bathing Suits

At the beach or in a resort area like The Dead Sea, the dress is a little more lenient when it comes to swimsuits. Though you may see some women swimming in a burqini (full body suit), it is acceptable to wear a two-piece bikini and a majority of the women were doing so during my Jordan travel.

Swimsuits are fine while swimming (or floating) at the beach, but don’t be walking through your hotel or on the streets wearing a hot pink string bikini. This ain’t spring break in Cancun.

Use a cover up.

What to Wear to the Dead Sea in Jordan in the Middle East

» Shoes

Bring a couple of pairs of comfortable walking shoes to Jordan. For the city, sturdy and stylish sandals work well (I brought a pair of comfy b.o.c.). But, it is recommended that if you plan on going to Wadi Rum or exploring Petra to bring a pair of light hiking boots. It can be very dusty in these places and the ground can be uneven. With one pair of sandals and one pair of hiking boots you’ll be ready for almost every occasion in Jordan. I added a third show, my favorite pair of boots, Clarks Orinocco.

Don’t stress too much about your attire for your travel to Jordan. With these simple guidelines you should feel comfortable wherever you go, plus the Jordanian people are so welcoming and hospitable which will put you even more at ease.

Read More About Jordan

Explore Petra Archaeological Site in Jordan

Float in The Dead Sea in Jordan

Spend the Night in Jordan’s Wadi Rum

What to Wear to Jordan as a Woman Traveler

My trip to Jordan was hosted by My Jordan Journey, but all opinions are my own.




2017-04-24T16:42:26+00:00 Categories: Asia, BEAUTY & STYLE, Jordan, TRAVEL|Tags: |

9 Comments

  1. Travelomatrix July 26, 2016 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Nice blog post. Thanks for sharing information about what women should wear to Jordan.

  2. devesh July 27, 2016 at 1:44 am - Reply

    Another great post by you. I must say you have a knack of writing in this field. Thumbs up.

  3. Maria Han July 29, 2016 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Very informative post, I think if we follow the culture of the area we could move freely even if we are travelling solo. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.

  4. Leo Shouse July 31, 2016 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    It’s almost inevitable that during your time in Jordan you’ll be invited to drink tea with someone, either in their shop or their home. It’s quite likely too that at some point you’ll be invited for a full meal at someone’s house. Jordanians take hospitality very much to heart, and are honestly interested in talking to you and making you feel comfortable. However, offers tend to flow so thick and fast that it would be difficult to agree to every one, yet people are often so eager it can also be difficult – and potentially rude – to refuse outright. First and foremost, whether you’re interested or not, is to take the time to chat civilly; nothing is more offensive than walking on without a word or making an impatient gesture, even if they’re the twentieth person that day to stop you. If you’re invited and you don’t want to accept, a broad smile with your head lowered, your right hand over your heart and “

    • Annette White July 31, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      Wonderful words of advice. During my visit, I was both invited for tea and a meal. Luckily I was able to accept both offers and each was a memorable experience.

  5. Dennis L. Ward February 22, 2017 at 4:22 am - Reply

    Great post, will help every traveler who want to go jordan.
    Thanks for sharing your post.

  6. Shruthi May 3, 2017 at 9:32 am - Reply

    This was good to read and good info about how to dress in Jordan !! Could you please help me by providing information about interesting places to visit , apart from the main touristy attractions. Your photographs look amazing, may be it would be good if you could provide information about where they were taken..

    • Annette White May 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      I actually only visited the main attractions of Jordan. The two places with the least amount of tourists while I was there was Jerash Archaeological site and the dessert of Wadi Rum, but they both had some! Good idea about adding the destinations of photos!

  7. Shirley Cheng May 31, 2017 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Hello Annette, I must say you are an incredible blogger. It is must to know the dressup of different countries, if you are going to travel there. Thanks for sharing such an informative blog. Thanks for sharing such a nice blog.

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