How to Dress for Egypt/ The Last Place You Need to Look

Hello Dear Reader and Welcome back to the blog!!! Sit down, grab a tea or coffee, and brace yourself because this is gonna be a long one folks! Today we are going to discuss one of my favorite topics of all time, CLOTHES! I remember when I was coming to visit Karim for the first time, this was one of the first things I researched, what to wear of course! I will answer your first question, no you do not need to wear hijab here! Egypt has many tourists and foreigners living here and hidden hair is not enforced.

Now I know if you are reading this that you would probably prefer to not look like as much of a tourist as you will be, let’s just act like tourists and not dress like them. This is your absolute comprehensive guide to how to dress for Egypt.
For one thing, I have noticed that those loose hippy style pants are something that many people feel they should be wearing here, you know the ones with the funky prints usually sold at shops that smell like incense full of yogis? A bit reminiscent of Aladdin again in my opinion. I have nothing against this style, I’m just saying, don’t feel you need to wear it to fit in. I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t wear those, but Egyptians DO NOT wear these kinds of pants in Cairo. You’re more apt to see them in jeans, hijab, or some loose sweatpants with white platform sneakers. First I’ll go through a few things that should be best avoided and then some suggestions on what to wear instead. Enjoy!

1. Shorts

Now you will see many visitors wearing shorts in Cairo around the touristic spots, but really, you will feel much more comfortable by choosing to wear something else. And the sun is really strong here, wearing something longer will protect your skin from the sun and your legs if you choose to do a camel ride! That being said, areas by the Red Sea like Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada more than tolerate shorts, but for Cairo I would go for something else.

2. Heels

You can wear heels here if you absolutely wish, but only if you want to bury them and hold a small ceremony before you leave. If you are an absolute shoe-lover and can’t bear going anywhere without heels, opt for a cute wedge instead OR only wear the heels within the hotel, seriously. Cairo eats shoes for breakfast, and with what you’ll be stepping on…’ll thank me later.

3. Tank tops, Crop tops, Spaghetti Straps

You will also see girls wearing this, but again for your comfort, it’s really better to stay covered in this area though it’s very hot. You will get stared at a lot just for being a foreigner, we don’t want to add more reason.

Okay now the fun part!!! So what can we wear in Egypt?? Let the games begin! Let’s start from top to bottom.

Fabric options - Cotton and Linen are fantastic for much of the year. Looser fits are also very comfortable and breathable. 

Colors - Bright colors looks absolutely incredible in photos with a desert backdrop!


1. Hat (Optional)

A person wearing a hat oozes style! I don’t know why hats ever went out of style, people used to wear them all the time and they matched their outfit and looked great! Egyptians don’t wear hats usually, but honestly the African sun is fierce! Not just for burning, but also heat fatigue. It really protects your head and your eyes.

2. Sunnies

Also kind of optional, but only if you’re okay with constantly squinting. The UVA index is sky high (no pun intended) and they just also look so cute in pictures don’t ya think? It was also suggested to get a darker tinted lens so men can’t see your eyes.

3. SPF

Say yes to SPF! (Don’t worry, no cheerleaders were harmed in the writing of this post) Even if you don’t normally wear it, here it’s an absolute must. Find one for the face that you really like! I love ones from Bioderma and La-Roche Posay. I prefer 50+ to be really comfortable and keep applying throughout the day! This in combo with the hat is great and absolutely necessary without the hat.

4. Scarf (Optional)

This could also be a fun souvenir that you could purchase from here, but if you have an Old Faithful, she could come in handy to cover your head and neck while in the desert/ protect your hair from dust, and or be a light shawl in the evenings when it’s cooler. Or if you’re a neutral-wearing fiend, several scarves could really spice up your outfit for variety!


1. Small Backpack

The most practical of the bunch, but carries everything. You will be needing to carry water around as well as potentially snacks, sanitizer, wet wipes, tissues, etc.

2. Light Tote

If you’re really not a backpack person, a tote that you don’t mind if it gets a little dusty can also work to carry multiple things and still look chic. Camel brown works well with a lot of outfits.

3. Side Satchel

Ideal if you’re the kind of person who really does not want to carry a lot of things, but goes with bare necessities.Side satchels are wonderful and carry so many things! I love ones from Fossil, but also TJ Max and Marshall’s have a lot of cute options.


1. T-Shirt

Completely normal to wear. Bring as many as you want, not much to say here.

2. Linen Shirt/ Button-down

My PERSONAL favorite of favorites for Egypt! It’s just such a classic, is so comfortable and breathable and protects you from the sun! I prefer mine with long sleeves! Nerd moment: did you know Linen is antimicrobial? It’s just an absolutely amazing fabric! I have one in peach and one in white. Plus they are really nice tucked into A-line skirts.

3. A Light to Medium Jacket

Now this one depends on the time of the year! If you’re coming in the fall and spring, the nights can be a little cooler so it’s good to have a cute light, neutral jacket. If it’s winter time, you don’t need a heavy-duty winter coat, but maybe one that you would wear in the autumn time, and a fluffy scarf should cover most of your needs.


1. Jeans

A great staple, sturdy, doesn’t stain easily and overall very comfortable, plus it goes with a lot of things! It does get so hot in Egypt though so it might be hard to wear in the warmer months, but if you have jeans you’re more than welcome to wear them here.

2. Capris

I love capris so much as they give the modesty that you will need but they also come in many different styles of color and fabric and can dressed up or down depending on your shoes and top.

3. Long Flowy Skirts

A light neutral colored one can keep you cool, look chic, and go with many outfits! Also a printed one can look so, so beautiful and elegant!

4. Long Flowy Dresses/ Maxi Dresses

My most favorite of favorite for photos! Go for bright colored dresses that will really pop in photos and look effortlessly elegant and chic. Prints and solids both can work well! Be a bit wary of wrap dresses as it can be windy sometimes! Another option is to buy a colorful, local galabeya as a souvenir, they are very comfortable and flattering on all body types.


1. Sneakers

These can be very comfortable and practical. Just a suggestion, try to get ones that match your outfit or are very neutral and not super sporty for workouts as those can be a bit of an outfit killer.

2. Sandals

A note on sandals, you can bring comfortable walking sandals, but just be forewarned, Egypt is extremely dusty. Your feet will get dirty and you will have to wash them when you get home. It depends what you are doing that day, if you know you will be outside all day, opt for close-toed shoes, but if you really want to wear sandals and you know you’ll be in a mall or the museum, you should be okay.

Alright that’s all I have for you today! I hope you enjoy planning your little capsule wardrobe as much as you enjoy planning your trip to Egypt! Please feel free to share with someone you know coming to Egypt!



4 thoughts on “How to Dress for Egypt/ The Last Place You Need to Look”

  1. Another great blog!!! You look fantastic… I especially like the first photo by the car 🙂 Any woman would need to know what to wear… and you give such wonderful advice on clothing! Now that I know what to wear, I only WISH I could come visit Egypt!! <3

    (I would certainly buy you a cup of coffee if I had one of those pay features.)

    ~ Karie H.
    Manchester, NH USA

    1. Hi Karie! Sorry for the late reply! We’ve been all over the place! Thank you so much for your beautiful comment! I really appreciate your input and taking the time to write! Yes you must come visit Egypt ESPECIALLY after knowing what to wear! Lots of love <3

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