EGYPT! Clothing options for women!

Hi there,

My partner and I are considering booking a tour around Egypt sometime next year!

I’m obviously quite concerned about what clothing to wear to be respectful.

I’m one of those people that absolutely cannot stand being overdressed in the heat and would run around in my bikini top and shorts all year round if I could!!!
I’m also quite fashion conscious but most importantly I will be trying to do my utmost to be respectful of more conservative cultures.

I’ve got quite a lot of time before we go, (possibly even a year, we haven’t even booked yet or planned dates!) So I thought I’d seek a few opinions on what other travellers have seen and what they consider appropriate dress so I’m well prepared!

I’ve got an idea in my head of bringing three or four maxi dresses that are quite light materials with at least ¾ sleeves and closer to ankle length. That way I’ve covered up and I’ve got the freedom to run around, get dirty and explore without restrictions! (I’m quite the tomboy as well)

I would make sure I get these in a size bigger than normal to avoid anything tight fitting as I’ve got some un avoidable curves up top, if you know what I mean.
I’m also planning to do some alterations myself to make them versatile and more appropriate such as adding buttons to shorten a side split.

As far as accessories go, I’m planning on taking several pairs of sunglasses as I’m told eye contact is often considered a form of flirtation, a shall or two to cover up if for some reason I’m underdressed, a ring to place on my right hand to suggest I’m engaged and off the market and a few scarfs as I’m planning on covering my hair and somewhat face if needed as I’m blonde and hoping to avoid unnecessary attention if possible.

Of course I’ll also pack regular clothing for when the dress code is not as conservative such as when I’m in resort or high tourist activity areas.

Really I’m seeking opinions, feedback, suggestions or other peoples experiences.

I know I’m probably going to stand out like a sore thumb regardless but am I on the right track? Would you consider my ideas appropriate?

Just FYI I don’t need people telling me I shouldn’t worry about fashion and I should just shut up and cover up, I can’t stress enough that I’m aware of cultural expectations for women, I’m hoping to respect that, be happy with the way I look and be comfortable in my clothes  hence I’m starting to prepare so far in advance!

I’ve attached a few links to dresses that I’ve got in mind (some needing obvious alterations) but if they’re loose enough in size (on the models they are not) and the obvious have been amended, (a few more buttons, a few modest accessories to take attention away from my silhouette, hair etc.) what do you think?
Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Much appreciated guys

Emily x

More Links…

Hi Emily,

Thanks for your interest in Topdeck and our Egypt trips!

So nice to hear that you are planning your trip well in advance, it definitely pays to be organised when it comes to these sorts of things.

In regards to your clothing, as you suggested, anything long that covers your shoulders and ankles is a great start. I would highly recommend avoiding side splits if possible. I had the same idea about a recent trip to Turkey and although I tried to remain covered up at all times (apart from when in the resorts and at the beach), having splits or your shoulders out will make you feel exposed. The dresses you posted are beautiful though, so if you do wish to be a little more on the feminine side they should be fine, just make sure they are buttoned down the side and front.

Loose fitting beach style pants are another must have for the Middle East. Not only do most people find them incredibly comfortable, but you do not have to worry about the side splits and the wind or unpredictable weather blowing them open unintentionally. You can also just wear a plain top with these which will keep you protected from the sun and covered up to avoid unnecessary attention.

In regards to the scarfs, these are a great idea! 1 or 2 is all you will need particularly when at some of the ancient sites and cities.

The need to wear a ring on your wedding finger is totally up to you. Perhaps have a ring there ready to go, however in my experience you won’t actually need it. In the majority of the places you will travel to and experience, you will find that people just want to talk to you and that they support tourism and multi culturalism.

I hope that this has helped a little with your trip planning.