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What Should Women Wear In Jordan?


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Dorian Weems



Welcome to the beautiful country of Jordan! As a female traveler, it’s important to be mindful of the local customs and dress codes to ensure a respectful and comfortable experience. Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country, and therefore, modesty in dressing is highly valued and encouraged.


Understanding the cultural context and dressing appropriately will not only show respect for the local customs but also help you blend in with the local community. This article aims to provide you with valuable insights into what women should wear in Jordan, taking into consideration both traditional and modern clothing choices.


While Jordan is a progressive country with a mix of traditional and modern influences, it is still important to be considerate of the conservative values held by many Jordanians. By dressing modestly, you not only show respect for the local culture but also minimize any potential unwanted attention.


It is worth noting that Jordan is a diverse country, and dress codes may vary slightly depending on the location and context. For example, the dress code in more conservative areas, such as rural towns and religious sites, may be stricter compared to urban areas like Amman.


In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the cultural context of dressing modestly in Jordan, explore traditional and modern clothing options, and provide helpful dress code tips for women, ensuring you make informed decisions about what to wear during your visit to this magical country.


Cultural Context: Dressing Modestly

In Jordan, dressing modestly is of utmost importance due to the conservative values deeply rooted in the country’s culture. Modesty is traditionally associated with humility, respect, and the preservation of personal and community honor. It is also influenced by Islamic traditions, as the majority of Jordanians are Muslim.


For women, modesty in dress typically translates to covering the shoulders, upper arms, and legs below the knee. It is common for women to wear loose-fitting clothing that does not cling to the body, as a way to maintain modesty and avoid drawing unnecessary attention.


While it is not mandatory for female tourists to adopt a specific dress code, it is highly recommended to dress modestly out of respect for the local customs. Doing so will help foster positive interactions with locals and create a more enjoyable travel experience. It is worth noting that locals may appreciate and respect tourists who make an effort to dress according to the cultural norms.


Another reason to dress modestly in Jordan is to navigate the country’s conservative areas more comfortably. Visiting religious sites, historical places, or rural towns may require a stricter adherence to modest dress codes. By dressing appropriately, you show reverence for the religious and cultural significance of these places and minimize any potential discomfort or disapproval from locals.


It is important to note that the dress code expectations for women in Jordan should not be seen as a means of oppression, but rather as a cultural norm that plays a role in maintaining social harmony and respect. Embracing and respecting these customs can facilitate cross-cultural understanding and promote a positive rapport between locals and tourists.


Traditional Clothing in Jordan

Jordan has a rich cultural heritage, and traditional clothing reflects the country’s history and Bedouin roots. The Bedouins, nomadic desert-dwelling tribes, have deeply influenced the traditional Jordanian attire.


For women, traditional attire in Jordan is characterized by the thob, a long, loose-fitting dress that reaches the ankles. The thob is typically made of lightweight fabric to provide comfort in the desert heat. It is often embroidered with intricate patterns and comes in a variety of vibrant colors.


Another traditional garment is the sefafa or tent dress. This is a full-length, loose dress worn over the thob. It is usually made of a heavier fabric, providing protection from the elements, especially when traveling in the desert.


To complete the traditional ensemble, women often wear a headscarf called a tarha or hijab. The tarha can be worn in different styles, either covering the hair completely or partially, leaving the face exposed.


While traditional clothing is not commonly worn by women in everyday life in urban areas, you may still encounter locals donning traditional attire during cultural festivities, weddings, or special occasions. It can be a fascinating experience to witness the vibrant colors and intricate designs of traditional Jordanian clothing.


As a tourist, it is not expected for you to wear traditional clothing unless you choose to do so voluntarily. However, incorporating elements of traditional attire, such as a loose-fitting dress or a scarf, can be a respectful gesture and a way to connect with the local culture.


Modern Clothing in Jordan

While traditional clothing holds cultural significance in Jordan, modern fashion trends have also made their way into the country. In urban areas like Amman and other major cities, you will find a variety of styles, allowing greater flexibility in clothing choices.


Many Jordanian women embrace modern fashion trends, wearing Western-style clothing such as jeans, trousers, skirts, and dresses. However, it’s important to note that these items of clothing are still expected to be modest. For example, skirts and dresses should be of modest length, covering the knees, and tops should have sleeves and not reveal too much cleavage.


It is common for women in Jordan to layer their clothing, pairing a loose-fitting top or tunic with pants or a long skirt. This allows for greater flexibility in adapting to different contexts and adhering to modesty standards. Lightweight materials like cotton and linen are popular choices, given the climate and desire for comfortable clothing.


In more conservative areas of Jordan, it is recommended to opt for looser and more covered clothing to respect local traditions. This includes avoiding tight-fitting or revealing clothing, as it may be seen as inappropriate or disrespectful.


When it comes to swimwear, modesty is especially important. While it is common to find hotels and resorts in Jordan with private swimming pools and beaches, it is respectful to choose modest swimwear that covers the body appropriately, such as a one-piece swimsuit or a modest bikini paired with a cover-up.


Ultimately, modern clothing in Jordan allows for a balance between style and modesty. By adopting the local preference for modest attire, you can feel confident while respecting the culture and traditions of the country.


Dress Code Tips for Women in Jordan

When visiting Jordan, it’s important for women to dress in a manner that respects the local customs and cultural norms. Here are some essential dress code tips to keep in mind:

  1. Opt for modest clothing: Choose loose-fitting clothing that covers the shoulders, upper arms, and legs below the knee. Tops should have sleeves and avoid low-cut necklines.
  2. Avoid tight and revealing clothing: Tight-fitting or body-hugging clothing should be avoided as it may draw unnecessary attention and be seen as inappropriate. Instead, opt for clothing with a relaxed and comfortable fit.
  3. Consider lightweight and breathable fabrics: Given the warm climate in Jordan, choose fabrics like cotton and linen that are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable for all-day wear.
  4. Pack a scarf or shawl: It is advisable to carry a lightweight scarf or shawl with you at all times. You can use it to cover your shoulders or wrap around your head when visiting religious sites or conservative areas.
  5. Choose appropriate footwear: Comfortable and modest footwear is recommended, especially if you plan to explore historical sites or areas with uneven terrain. Opt for closed-toe shoes or sandals.
  6. Be mindful of swimwear: When visiting pools or beaches, choose modest swimwear such as a one-piece swimsuit or a modest bikini paired with a cover-up. Avoid wearing revealing or skimpy swimwear.
  7. Respect local customs and traditions: It’s important to be respectful of the local culture and traditions. Pay attention to how locals dress and try to adhere to the same level of modesty.
  8. Observe dress codes in religious sites: While visiting mosques or other religious sites, it is customary for both men and women to dress modestly. This may require covering your head with a scarf and ensuring your arms and legs are covered.
  9. Adapt to different contexts: Dress codes may vary depending on the location and context. In more conservative areas such as rural towns, it’s recommended to dress more modestly compared to urban areas.
  10. Use common sense and be respectful: Dressing modestly shows respect for the local customs and traditions. Use your judgment and be considerate of the cultural sensitivities during your visit to Jordan.

By following these dress code tips, you can ensure a comfortable and respectful experience while exploring the beautiful country of Jordan.


Clothing Recommendations for Different Contexts

When traveling to Jordan, it’s important to consider the specific context and location to ensure that your clothing choices align with the local customs. Here are some clothing recommendations for different contexts:

  1. Urban Areas: In cities like Amman, where Western influence is more prevalent, dressing modestly while still embracing modern fashion is acceptable. Opt for loose-fitting tops, pants, skirts, or dresses that adhere to modesty standards by covering the shoulders, arms, and legs below the knee.
  2. Rural Towns: When visiting rural areas, it’s advisable to dress more conservatively to respect the local traditions and customs. Choose looser and more covered clothing, such as long dresses or skirts paired with modest tops, to fit in with the local community.
  3. Religious Sites: When visiting mosques or other religious sites, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully. Women should cover their shoulders, arms, and legs below the knee. Wearing a scarf to cover the head is also customary. Carry a lightweight scarf or shawl with you to easily adapt to the dress code requirements.
  4. Historical Sites: Jordan is home to a wealth of historical sites, such as Petra and Jerash. Dress comfortably but modestly when exploring these attractions. Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing, comfortable walking shoes, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  5. Beaches and Pools: While most hotels and resorts in Jordan have private swimming pools and beaches, it is important to choose modest swimwear. Opt for a one-piece swimsuit or a modest bikini paired with a cover-up or sarong. Avoid wearing revealing or skimpy swimwear to be respectful of the local culture.
  6. Evening Wear: If you plan to dine at upscale restaurants or attend formal events, it is appropriate to dress more formally. Opt for elegant dresses, skirts, or dress pants paired with a modest top. It is recommended to carry a shawl or light jacket to cover your shoulders in case the venue requires it.

While these recommendations provide general guidance, it’s important to note that dressing appropriately is highly appreciated and respected in Jordan. By adapting your clothing choices to different contexts, you can ensure a positive and culturally sensitive experience throughout your journey.



When it comes to deciding what to wear in Jordan, it’s crucial to consider the cultural context and dress modestly out of respect for the local customs. Modesty is highly valued in Jordanian culture, and dressing appropriately can help create positive interactions with locals and enhance your overall travel experience.


While traditional clothing holds cultural significance, modern fashion trends have found their place in urban areas of Jordan. It is important to strike a balance between style and modesty, opting for loose-fitting and modest attire that covers the shoulders, arms, and legs below the knee.


Regardless of the context, it’s always advisable to respect dress codes at religious sites, historical attractions, and in conservative areas. By doing so, you not only show reverence for the cultural and religious significance of these places, but also minimize any potential discomfort or disapproval from locals.


Remember to pack a lightweight scarf or shawl to cover your head and shoulders when needed. This versatile accessory can help you adapt to different dress code requirements and ensure a seamless transition between different contexts.


Lastly, always use your discretion and be respectful of the local customs. By dressing modestly and adapting your clothing choices to fit in with the cultural norms, you show consideration and appreciation for the Jordanian way of life.


By following these tips and guidelines, you can navigate Jordan with confidence, embrace the local culture, and make lasting connections with the warm and welcoming people of Jordan.