Egypt Travel Tips – What to Wear

Being an Islam dominated country; people are generally conservative with their appearance. Both male and female wear outfits that fall past their knees and elbows, whereas women often appear with head covering apparels. Since Egypt is a desert country and hot, people tend to wear light, cotton clothing.

Egypt Traditional Costumes

Many Muslims tends to dress more strictly. And the farmers and villagers mostly wear gallibayas/ jellabiya. The upper classes adopted the Ottoman fashion from 1500s and later European fashion from 1798 whereas Nubians have their unique costume and across the desert the Bedouin also have a separate style of clothing.

Basic Traditional Male Costume:

  • Gallibaya – An ankle length robe with wider cut and longer sleeves.
  • Tilke – A loose shirt with looser underarms.
  • Kamis – A long shirt with long sleeves.
  • Sserual – Loose fitting trousers often wore under kaftan.
  • Tarboosh/ Fez – A head dress for male
  • Skull caps/Turban – Head covering for male
  • Kaftan – A variation of robe or tunic

Basic Traditional Female Costumes:

  • Tob Sebleh – A female version of gallibaya.
  • Tshalvar or Shintijan – Turkish female trousers gathered around ankle.
  • Melaya Luf – A large black cotton wrap used as long skirts.
  • Burqa – Full body covering female outer garment.
  • Hijab – A female head covering.
  • Taqiya – Short rounded skullcap wore in prayers.
  • Mandil – Female apron style dress shirt

Egypt Tourist Dress Code

Egypt dress code for tourist can be conservative by western standards though basic desert gear and sun protection are recommended. Avoid tight- fitting clothes and PDA in public. Swim wear is only allowed in beach resorts.

Female:

Allowed –

  • Basic clothes include loose linen/cotton trousers or a below knee skirt and sleeved blouse.
  • Always go for cotton blouses with sleeves down at least to your elbows.
  • Trousers are allowed but not fitting.
  • Skirts should be long i.e., at least to your ankles for mosques, mid-calf while shopping, above the knee in certain beach areas.
  • The hair if long should try and keep it tied back if wore scarf better for the culture and climate.
  • Comfortable and strong shoes i.e., sneakers/trainers/good leather shoes are a must.
  • For evenings, wear smart clothes and having a shawl to cover bare shoulders would be a good idea. Same goes for cruise boats. For nights, a casual jacket or shawl is smart since outdoors is cold.

Not allowed –

  • A skirt is not a good idea if planning to a camel ride.
  • Tight clothes and low necks are to be avoided.
  • Also avoid transparent blouses or pants.
  • Sandals are not recommended since you will encounter dust, sand and mud puddles in Egypt roads and streets.

Male:

Allowed –

  • Normal trousers and shirt/ T-shirt are fine, in cities.
  • Shorts are fine in the resorts of Sea Side areas.
  • It’s better to be more covered in local restaurant and markets.
  • Wearing shorts that fall below the knee is acceptable in most modern cities.

Not Allowed –

  • It would not be acceptable to wear short shorts or tank tops/sleeveless tops all around.
  • Shorts are not acceptable in mosques or religious sites.

Children:

  • Many little girls wear long cotton skirts and shirts that cover their elbows.
  • Boys usually wear long, loose-fitting trousers and shirts much like adult men.
  • A child with blond hair may feel more comfortable covering his hair. Egyptians like to touch blond hair, and it’s considered acceptable to do so.

You can also try to blend in by wearing traditional attire. It is fun and refreshing to wear traditional Egyptians costumes. If you enjoy belly dancing, NILE HOLIDAY  will love a traditional belly dancing outfit for you that will keep Egypt and his culture alive with you…

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