Morocco Journal 1: What To Wear and Other Notes

The debate about how a woman from the western world is to clothe herself while traveling in the Moslem Kingdom of Morocco continues.  I want to be respectful and also comfortable as the temperatures hover close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cover your elbows, advises one friend.  Another says, elbows are okay, just don’t show forearms or cleavage.  Another tells me to wear a long skirt or dress and cover your ankles.  Don’t worry, ankles are okay, says one more, it’s not Saudi Arabia, you just don’t want to wear short shorts.  At my stage of maturity, that would not be my thing.  Today, I am in the serious pre-packing thinking stage of open suitcase and clothes on the bed.

Jude looks at argan soap

Jude looks at argan soap

Sunday, September 15 is departure day.  I am traveling with my friend Judith Reitman-Texier who has been to Morocco many times for her company La Bedouine argan oil skin care and lifestyle.  Her wise counsel is priceless and her planning even more so.  Jude, also a published journalist, invited me to come with her as she writes reviews of 5-star Marrakech riads for travel magazines and sources product for her business.  My role is to photograph and document all.  Of course, the textiles are what draws me there!

 

Morocco Packing Notes

  • wide-brimmed hat
  • sunscreen
  • no open-toe shoes
  • long linen dress
  • shawls that can drape and wrap to cover
  • 2 long linen skirts
  • 1 pair loose linen pants
  • loose linen tops (3-4)
  • long sleeve linen top
  • 3-4 changes of underwear
  • sleep shirt
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • closed toe dress shoes

The list sounds like what I recommend for Oaxaca, except the arm-leg cover-up part.  Always, no short shorts!

Plus these essentials:

  • Contact your bank to let them know travel plans so they don’t block ATM money withdrawal.
  • Contact your wireless mobile service if you want data, text and voice coverage while traveling.
  • Important Note:  Especially for a woman, it is essential to carry a cell phone wherever you are that connects you to home in an emergency.  Don’t skimp.  It is part of travel safety and security.

And comments from friends on my Facebook page keep coming in, like this one:

Covered up but cool because it sure was hot when I was there. And although they do not drink they serve local beer to the tourist – just do not try to take the lovely bottle as I did. The waiter went nuts and thought I was stealing (which could have cost me a hand) but the owner graciously insisted I keep the bottle after my husband came to my rescue. On the street my husband was offered two camels for me.

 

8 Responses to Morocco Journal 1: What To Wear and Other Notes

  1. What fun, Norma! My ex-husband is Moroccan and I had always hoped to go there. Oh, well, on that one!

    See if you can connect with Maryam of My Marrakesh when you are there: http://moroccanmaryam.typepad.com/ Her blog is amazing and she now has a guest house, too.

  2. Norma–You rolling stone!! Morocco is one of my top destinations–I love their aesthetics, their food, designs, etc. And I am now learning more about Argon Oil products–does your friend know about the black mud that is used in the spas–you use it with a scrubbing mitt. I have been trying to find it to buy–maybe she knows. Anyway, have a wonderful trip. I can’t wait for your next blog. Safe and fun time!
    Robin

    • Robin! YOU are such a cheerleader, woman :) I wish you would go with me sometime — first to Oaxaca. Click on the link for La Bedouine on my blog post. It will take you to Jude’s website where her organic skin care products are for sale. I believe she has the black mud, too, or you could contact her to ask her if it’s in her line. She’s right here in NC and could ship to you easily. I think you’d love Jude and I bet she would come to Atlanta. How’s Ellie doing? Hugs to you and Ted.

  3. All sounds like FUN!!!!!

  4. Hi Norma-
    Lucky you! You are dressing far more elegantly than I did in Morocco although I always take some linen, as you are, and so was able to go to the Mamounia for a drink. I always cover my arms going to a mosque but wear slacks, not skirts. Once I had to improvise in a small town in Turkey and put a jacket on my head but the imam let me in. Sensible shoes! A must, esp. if you want to walk to the Menara in Marrakech, which we did. A bit run down but faded glory and worth seeing. Have a great time!

    • Pat wow great advice to add to the mix. I didn’t buy anything new to wear. Some of my Oaxaca huipiles will serve me well in Morocco, too. For shoes, I’m taking comfy Dansko maryjanes. Nice looking and practical. Our riad in Essaouira is inside the medina so Jude say don’t show your toes! Okay.

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