Jordan was the first country I visited in the Middle East. I was super excited as Petra had been on my bucket list for years and I was finally going to get to see this stunning UNESCO site. I was also planning on spending some time camping in Wadi Rum desert.
However, having never been to a Middle Eastern country, I did wonder what to wear in Jordan and what were going to be my essentials on my Jordan packing list?
Jordan certainly has seasons (I visited in the Spring, so warm days and cool evenings) so I knew I’d need layers – but what about the rest.
The way people are expected to dress in Jordan is considerably more conservative compared to pretty much everywhere else I’ve travelled.
I knew it was a sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention if I wandered about in my usual travel attire (which is my shredded denim shorts and a singlet vest style top). So it got me thinking about what to wear in Jordan as a woman.
This packing list for Jordan contains all the essentials I took, it meant I was dressed appropriately for hot days and cooler evenings as well as still being able to dress femininely whilst not attracting attention by not covering up appropriately.
Disclosure: Some of the links below might be affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you , if you click one of them, I may receive a small commission (for which I am deeply grateful) but it helps me create more awsome stuff like this post.
What NOT to wear in Jordan
So lets start with some big no-nos for your Jordan wardrobe.
Obviously, in the confides of your hotel room, resort or private space you can wear what you like. But anywhere in public there are some items of clothing to avoid like the plague. For sure, the south of Jordan and around Aqaba it’s very touristy, so you’d get away with more relaxed clothing than in other parts of the country. Six things to avoid hitting the streets in are;
- booty shorts and hotpants
- anything made in sheer fabric (basically if you can see your underwear through it, it’s gonna be a no go)
- mid-drift tops
- figure-hugging tops or low cut tops which expose your cleavage
- anything that shows off your figure – so leave that 80s lycra catsuit at home.
- clothes that expose a lot of flesh
I’m wholeheartedly for the argument that women should jolly well be able to wear what they want when they want. And that wearing skimpy clothing doesn’t mean you’re ‘looking for it‘. Man, in a hot country, I just want to dress for the weather and try and get a bit of a tan on my pasty white British skin.
Equally, I wasn’t interested in attracting unwanted attraction and looking like I was being THAT disrespectful twat of a tourist by ignoring local rules and regs.
So what should I wear in Jordan?
To sum it up and to make it easy, avoid showing off your body in any shape and form and you’ll be fine.
Essentials on what to wear in Jordan.
Secure Bag Day Bag
Before I talk about what to wear in Jordan, one essential you will most definitely need if you’re planning on going out and seeing stuff is a secure day bag.
It goes without saying all over the word there are people waiting to rummage about in your bag and nick your prized posessions. It’s no different in Jordan.
To help combat this and for peace of mind make sure you’ve got a secure day bag to keep your valuables in if you have to take them out with you.
This waterproof and tamper-proof backpack comes with charging ports and a great idea if you’re out for a full day to keep your camera and phone topped up.
Alternatively, if you prefer something more stylish then this faux leather anti-theft bag is a great option.
I have an obsession with scarfs, mostly because the UK is so frickin cold for the majority of the time.
In Jordan, my scarf proved an invaluable commodity.
On occasions, while I was wondering about some of the seedier streets of Amman, I felt like the local men were staring at me, in particular my boobs. I’m not a busty girl so they’d have to use their imagination by a long shot.
However, having my scarf with me, gave me a quick extra cover-up from their wandering eyes as I was able to rearrange it to add an extra layer to my T-shirt.
These amazing hidden zipper infinity scarfs come in loads of awesome colours and are a perfect solution if you’re going to an area where pick-pockets work, like in busy markets, and don’t want to take a bag with you.
These were my saviours – loose-fitting and lightweight, yet not figure-hugging, these were a godsend here. I lived in them! I seriously felt like I was wandering about in my PJs all day so they score a 10 out of 10 on comfort. The bonus is that you can roll them up to make cropped trousers when it did get too hot.
A Poncho, Throw Over or Shawl
A bit of an upgrade from a scarf is a poncho, throw or shawl. And also great to cover up from those wandering eyes that I’ve already talked about a couple of times.
However, my shoal was an invaluable top layer when I was up and about before the sun and the air was still chilly. It was super easy to throw on top of what I was wearing – I pretty much walking about in a stylised blanket.
This super cute throw over is perfect for the chilly mornings and evenings. It’s even got pockets – gotta love practical girl clothing!
I LOVE crop tops so much that I’ve lost count of how many I own. They are one of my travelling staples.
However, it’s a bit of a no goer in the Middle East so I opted for a selection of oversized shirts and t-shirts.
Think ‘boyfriend style’. Get them with baggy sleeves so you can roll them up in the heat. They always covered my mid-drift even when they were tied up – these still looked cute and feminine.
….which leads me onto Sports Bras. Back in the UK, it’s just the norm, and no one really thinks anything of it when there’s an odd lacy bra strap on show. It’s just a strap, right?
In Jordan, just having this wayward piece of strap seems to be just a bit too much for some Jordanian men (like guys, are you serious?!?!)
So, the most un-sexy bra known to man; The Sports Bra! A total cover-all-squash-em–down-garment – ain’t that a sexy thought!
It’s also a handy little ‘hidden’ space to stash away a small stash of money.
I love these classic sports bras by Nike and Under Armour. They are super comfortable and great value.
Yes, the obvious reason for keeping sun out of your eyes, but also for a sneaky reason. Generally, the key tip is to ignore ANY form of unwanted male attention. The guys do try it on.
As a solo female traveller with blonde hair, I was an easy target. I loved being able to wear a pair of glasses which meant I could do a quick sideward glance without them noticing, whilst pretending to be looking straight forward and ignoring their advances.
I love these vintage style sunnies, with the cute wide brims, these are pefect for doing those quick sideway glances to help avoid unwanted attention.
What to wear in Jordan Packing List - For You To Download and Print
Hopefully, this article has given you some tips on the essentials to pack for Jordan.
I’ve gone one step further and included all these things I’ve talked about in this article PLUS a full packing list of what pack for a trip to Jordan.
I’ve created a downloadable and printable list just for you to make sure you know what to wear in Jordan.
Want to know the secrets to packing like a pro? Check out this article filled with loads of top packing hacks.
You might also be interested in how to achieve stress-free travel.
You can click here or on the image to download your FREE WHAT TO WEAR IN JORDAN PACKING LIST.
Travelling to Jordan? You might be interested in these other useful articles
Pin it for later
If you found this article useful, or know someone that will, then please like and share. Planning a trip to Jordan and wondering what to wear in Jordan, then why not pin it for future reference.
Have you visited another Middle Eastern country before? Have I missed anything off this Jordan packing list? What else would you pack? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.