What to Wear If You're Visiting a Country Where You Need to Cover Up in Lifestyle

If you go on holiday you may find that some countries have a very modest dress code. Find out how to dress appropriately in order to respect their culture.

Where might you need to cover up?

It’s a good idea to cover up on holiday regardless of where you go, to keep you protected from the sun and mosquitoes. Plus, it’s always good to avoid dressing like a tourist (bumbags!) in order to avoid pick-pocketing and other scams.

However, in some countries it's a part of their culture to dress modestly. Places like Lebanon, Egypt, India and United Arab Emirates (this includes Abu Dhabi and Dubai) will require you to be a bit more covered up. 

This is especially important during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, when it would also be respectful avoid eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking in public during the daytime in Islamic countries.

When visiting mosques or other religious places, you should also make sure to cover up.

Why?

In some cultures and religions it's believed that we shouldn't show off too much skin in public, and when visiting other countries it's important to respect their beliefs.

Covering Up

Head

You can wear a cotton scarf/shawl/pashmina over your head, which will cover your hair up and help save your scalp from potential sunburn.  

Arms

Long sleeved tops made from cotton will cover you up, as well as keep you cool due to the material. Make sure to cover your shoulders and most of your arm.

Legs

Long skirts past the knee are your best option, and smart trousers (that aren’t jeans) are also a good idea. Make sure they are loose fitting – tight jeans or trousers will be uncomfortable in the heat and aren’t acceptable in some countries.

Things to Avoid 

Shorts, sleeveless tops, low cut tops, tight-fitting clothes and sunbathing without a shirt or bikini on. Avoid wearing a lot of jewellery too, as it may attract pick-pockets.  

Check out our summer fashion that doesn’t flash the flesh for ideas, and make sure you do some research on local culture and laws before you leave.

Visit young.scot/SummerReady for more advice, information, opportunities and everything you need to be #SummerReady!