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.
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.
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.
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.
» 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.
» 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.
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.
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The Ultimate Guide to Floating in Jordan’s Dead Sea
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Float in The Dead Sea in Jordan
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This post was provided in a partnership with My Jordan Journey. All opinions my own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
28 thoughts on “What to Wear to Jordan as a Woman Traveler”
Nice blog post. Thanks for sharing information about what women should wear to Jordan.
Another great post by you. I must say you have a knack of writing in this field. Thumbs up.
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.
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 “
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.
Great post, will help every traveler who want to go jordan.
Thanks for sharing your post.
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..
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!
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.
Thank you so much for this! I’m going in a couple of weeks and I’ve been stressing myself out with what to pack! I’ve heard they are pretty open minded when it comes to women there and that I didn’t have to be as conservative, but i still wanted to show respect and was thinking along the lines you wrote about. I appreciate you and this post!
So happy to hear that this post helped you! Jordan is an amazing country, and I hope you have a wonderful time.
Thank you for this post. I’ll be moving to Jordan soon. And this has helped me with my packing. Thank you
I am so happy to hear that this post helped you. And best of luck with your move!
Thank you for this blog! I will be traveling to Jordan soon and was very worried about what to wear! Your photos and easy read definitely set my mind at rest!
That is so good to hear! I hope you have an amazing time in Jordan, it truly is a special place.
Please come to Iran, it’s one of the cheapest destinations now and has lots of beauties.
Maybe one day!
Wish to See you in Iran for your next destination.
Thank you so much for all this information! I’m traveling to Jordan soon and found this to be so useful and reassuring!
I am happy to hear it was helpful. Have a great trip, it truly is a wonderful place.
Loved this post.it’s really helpful for my upcoming trip to Jordan next week.I’m slightly worried about being so covered up in the 30-35c degree heat though! I know you went in November but did you struggle at all wearing so many layers.
I didn’t struggle at all but it was a little bit cooler!
Adored this current post.it’s extremely useful for my up and coming outing to Jordan next week.I’m somewhat stressed over being so concealed in the 30-35c degree heat however! I realize you went in November yet did you battle at all wearing such huge numbers of layers.
A very different blog! Thank you for sharing such info. Jordan is on my bucket list I hope I visit it soon!
beautiful! You post very helpful for me. I am sharing this blog with my friends. Thanks for sharing.
The Middle East is a miracle and for sure tourism will boom after covid in ME again.
The Middle East is a miracle and for sure tourism will boom after covid in ME again.