The north African country of Morocco was made famous by films such as "Casablanca" and authors such as Paul Bowles. A predominately Muslim country, Morocco appeals to travellers who want to experience a completely different culture than the west, according to Lonely Planet. A country with beaches in Essaouira, the High Atlas Mountains and the sand dunes of the Sahara desert, traditional Moroccan women dress according to the climate and their religion.
Traditional women wear djellabas or djellabas, long-sleeved kaftan-like dresses. The djellaba reaches down to the ankles and has a pointed hood. It secures with buttons or zippers in the front. There may be side-slits near the ankles for easy walking. The materials may be linen, silk or cotton. Traditional colours may be simple stripes in light cream with white or feminine colours like pinks and purples. Traditional women also wear head scarves or hijab to conform with Islamic religious codes.
Modern young Moroccan women dress similarly to western women in American and Europe, according to the BBC. Jeans and T-shirts are worn like other young women in non-Islamic countries, and these young women do not wear the traditional headscarves like older women. Some women may opt for modern dress with a headscarf. Also, many women may wear modern clothing but in a reserved fashion. They wear long trousers or skirts with long sleeves, rather than shorter skirts or sleeveless blouses.
Mixing Modern with Traditional
Many women also wear the traditional djellabas or djellabas in updated fabrics and patterns. According to the Huffington Post in 2009, the djellabas was strictly men's clothing until 1956 when Morocco had its independence from France. Many younger-generation women wear djellabas with vibrant prints such as leopard print or in bright colours. The cuts of the djellabas are also thinner, which make them more form-fitting. Women wear these newer styles of djellabas with and without head scarves.
The Berbers are a large minority group in Morocco who are not Arabs, according to Al-Bab. They tend to live in the rural areas, such as the High Atlas mountains, and speak different dialects. Their traditional dress is different than other Moroccan women. Traditionally Berber women were tattooed, cut fringe in their hair and wore beads, especially amber and cowrie shells which protect them from the evil-eye, according to the book, "Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity." Berber women also wear embroidered head scarves or veils called tahruyt. Young women do not cover their faces like older married women, and all women wear long ankle-length dresses in white or indigo.
- Lonely Planet: Introducing Morocco
- "Morocco"; Anthony Ham, 2007
- Huffington Post: Moroccan Djellaba; 'Jedi Robes' Dominate Fashion Scene, Solana Pyne
- BBC News; Morocco Moves to Drop Headscarf, Richard Hamilton
- Al Bab: The Berbers
- "Amazigh Arts in Morocco: Women Shaping Berber Identity; Cynthia J. Becker, 2006