What you wear in Egypt defines you in the eyes of Egyptians maybe more than it does anywhere in the world. Instant conclusions are drawn as to whether you are rich, poor, good (modest) or bad (promiscuous).
HOW HOT IS HOT? You wonder ‘how will I cope with the hot dry heat in Egypt – will it be too hot?’ There are a few special products you can buy on Amazon to make coping with the heat easier. Top of my list is the HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Sport Cap, which looks like a regular sports cap.
There are also cooling wrist bands and cooling bandanas or neck-ties – which cool your blood thereby lowering your entire body temperature as all your blood circulates through the neck and wrists. If you want to go all out – and I consider this a real luxury in heat of 45 degrees celsius – there is a really cool body vest and waistcoat. Believe me, there were days and nights when I dreamed of being able to have these beauties delivered to Luxor!
WHAT CAN I WEAR IN EGYPT? – shorts, strappy tops?
Over the years it appears to be more acceptable for female tourists to wear skimpy or revealing clothing – short strappy tops or shorts in the streets but women travellers should be aware that showing your cleavage, legs and even upper arms gives the local population the impression that you are promiscuous and in all probability…looking for a man and/or sex.
WHAT NOT TO WEAR IN EGYPT – on the streets
- skimpy, strappy tops revealing your shoulders or belly-button
- shorts or short skirts
Don’t bring jewellery such as rings that you value or prize highly if you think your fingers will swell in the heat as you may end up leaving them in hotels when you leave.
What clothing should I bring to Egypt?
- Lightweight clothing that you can layer is best…then you can dress up or down according to the weather. Due to the heat most tourists dress casually day and night time.
- Lightweight 100% cotton pants and long skirts – even as little as 10% polyester or nylon will make the clothing sticky and uncomfortable.
- Tops and/or blouses that cover your shoulders and do not show cleavage. Exposing upper and lower arms is fine unless you are visiting a mosque.
- Comfortable shoes for walking – The Valley of the Kings and some of the Temples have uneven ground and sometimes you have to walk over sand – hot grains of sand in your sandals is not nice!
- Good sunglasses.
- Non-slip flip-flops for wearing in the bathrooms and wet-rooms is a good idea for safety and hygiene reasons.
- Wide-brimmed hat and a sweat band would not go amiss to keep sweat out of your eyes, especially in the tombs, which are very hot and humid.
- Bikinis and skimpy summer wear for pool side and beach, but not on the street, dining room or otherwise in public.
- Between November and March the nights can be chilly so bring warm pyjamas (many places do not have heating as it is only cold at night) and pullover or jacket to wear when going out.
- Your “Go-Everywhere With Me, Bag” This is the bag that goes out with you every day and night.
What do Egyptian women wear?
While a percentage of the population, especially in Cairo are wearing modern, western-style clothing, more Egyptian women are wearing the Hijab (veil/headscarf) and the Niqab (covered head to toe, except for eyes) than ever before because it is being promoted as the way a “good woman” dresses.
Strangely enough, the clothing problem appears to be a “skin thing” as wearing body-hugging clothes is quite acceptable and many girls wearing the Hijab (scarf) wear tight clothing but they wear bodysuit type tops under the different layers Some years ago there was a problem about the belly dancers showing skin so they had to sew flesh coloured material between the bra top and skirt……………
I advise packing a max of three changes of clothes. There are excellent 2 day laundry facilities on the ships and hotels and it is most likely you will be surprised at the bargains in everything (even western fashion if you are going to Cairo), to be found in Egypt. Most people end up having to buy extra bags to take their bargains home! So save your space for your bargain buys and an extra fold-up bag would not go amiss. Neither would a water bottle holder with shoulder or hand strap (and if it can keep water cool – even better!)
Latest posts by Mara (see all)
- “Tourists Return to Egypt as Prices Fall & Security Improves” - 21/05/2018
- Relaxation in Egypt - 17/03/2018
- Egypt Group Trip – Day 11 - 24/02/2018