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"What Clothes to Pack for Jordan?" by Laurie Jones

"What Clothes to Pack for Jordan?" by Laurie Jones

When packing for Jordan I would say the number one thing giving me anxiety was what to wear. I knew that I needed to be conservative, but I also knew that it was going to be hot and in my head those were two contradictory thoughts. I also was coming from Ireland, a very different climate so I didn't have a lot of room.

I talked to my friend who had lived in Amman for 4 months and she gave me great advice. She said that with me being blonde and having freckles, I was going to stand out and I would just have to recognize this. She said fashion-wise that the one main thing to note is that Jordanian women are very fashionable.

I had no idea what that meant so I just packed my bag and honestly just hoped for the best.

I have attached several pictures of me and my friends and what they have worn recently in Amman to give you some inspiration for cites all over Jordan. 

My sister does a great job of showing that you can be conservative and cute. The notable thing is to not show your shoulders. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

I brought a tank top and didn’t wear a scarf once. No one ever made comments or did anything but I was just not very comfortable with the large amount of stares at that point. If you're packing light, basics are always a good way to go. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Flowy pants are definitely the name of the game and a lot of my friends found a lot of fun looking for and wearing beautiful and spunky pants that they might not have thought of wearing before. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Another fun way to spice things up is a romper or overalls. I have 2 rompers that I brought and it was honestly such a good idea. Some days you just don’t want to put an outfit together and that’s the way to go. If your romper is cut a little low, wear a shirt underneath it. That is a great mix of fashion and coverage. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Honestly, this is probably the most common thing you will see on Americans. Some sort of dark, breathable pant and a pretty top. It is easy to do and easy to wear. It also translates well if you want to go downtown after class. Trust me with all that walking, you can build up a sweat! Photo credit: Jones, 2019

If you wear a hijab, one thing that I have noticed a lot of Jordanian women do is do all black and a colorful headscarf. It is very easy to do and that pop of color is very nice. Again it’s all about staples here. What can you wear more than once and on different occasions? Here my friend also does a wonderful job of layering. You can see her long jacket; that is a great way to cover perhaps a shirt with no sleeves or just to spice up an outfit. Honestly obsessed with this friend’s style. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Let’s be honest: for dudes it is a lot easier. This friend of mine does a great job showing how relaxed one can dress here. Pants are still HIGHLY recommended but the rules are a bit looser. (Plus a bonus peek at the student lounge!) Photo credit: Jones, 2019

This friend literally packed 4 shirts and 2 bottoms and that was all he needed. Simple is best. If you just have a couple of T-shirts you can throw on and a pair of jeans, honestly you are set. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Around more touristy places you can definitely get away with less conservative clothes. No matter how much of a local you are, Wadi Rum is still a desert and the desert is HOT. Everyone in my group still wore our pants and sleeves, but the heat in the day was honestly really brutal at times. If I were to give advice of any kind: BRING OR GET A SCARF!! If you wrap it around your head or your neck it protects you from the sun and gives you a bit of help where you might not know you need it. If you can wait, you can barter for a pretty cheap scarf on the way to the Monastery in Petra and they are stunning but if not, any scarf will do. You can wear shorts during the day, but you’ll want pants at night. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

Petra is also very different than Amman. There are a lot of tourists here and that means a lot more shorts. However, I notice wearing shorts means that you’re more likely to be heckled by the people with the horses, so just keep that in mind. Here it is honestly a free-for-all, but my main tip is: WEAR CLOSE-TOED SHOES. As you can see from the ground in this picture, it is dirt. I saw a woman hike to the monastery in a dress, sandals and a full face of makeup. If you can do it, do it. But I barely made it up with my hiking boots and breathable pants. ALSO BRING ALL OF THE WATER! Photo credit: Jones, 2019

The Dead Sea is another spot that is very popular for tourists to go. There are people of all walks of life there. Clothing-wise, you can honestly wear any bathing suit you like. I forgot a bathing suit and bought a two-piece with a high waist at a mall in Jordan. I felt very comfortable. Most everyone else that was in my group wore a one piece. I actually ended up going back with my mom and sister and my sister wore a regular bikini and she was more than comfortable. If you are not by the pool or the sea, then you may wear some more clothes and you will need a pair of pants/skirt to get and to and from the hotel. Photo credit: Jones, 2019

No matter how many times I say it, just note that the Jordanian people are very fashionable. To quote a fellow classmate, think California vibes for teens and then chic elegance for adult women. So, being in your twenties and somewhere in between, just give it your best shot. No matter what you wear, you will be fine. You’re a tourist and everyone knows it, so don’t worry about it too much. Think cute and conservative for fall or spring and you will be good. Good luck and happy packing!

"First Day in Amman, Round 2" by Christina Murray

"First Day in Amman, Round 2" by Christina Murray

"Surfing in Rabat" by Martina Finley

"Surfing in Rabat" by Martina Finley