Moroccan Traditional Clothes is rich in traditions, and many of the clothes worn by locals are an integral part of Moroccan culture and identity. While many Moroccans, particularly those from younger generations, prefer to dress in modern Western garments daily, special occasions and ceremonial events typically see a return to traditions.
Moroccan Traditional Clothes are not only attractive, but the long, loose, and flowing garments are also religiously acceptable and practical for staying cool in hot, sunny weather.
Learn more about the history and use of traditional Moroccan items, and perhaps be inspired to buy some local clothing as a souvenir on your next visit to the kingdom.
Although the djellaba can be found in other North African countries as well as Morocco, it remains one of the most commonly worn items of Moroccan Traditional Clothes. It can be worn by both men and women. The djellaba is a long, loose robe that is often worn over other clothes.
It has long sleeves and a pointed hood. The hood provides shade in the sun and keeps people warm in the cold. When there were more desert dwellers and nomadic peoples, it also prevented sand from being blown in a person’s face.
Woolen djellabas are the most traditional, but cotton djellabas are gaining popularity. Woolen garments are naturally preferred during the cooler winter months, whereas lightweight cotton dellabas are preferred on hot, sunny days. The colors vary, and the garment can be worn in a variety of settings, from daily activities to special occasions.
The gandora is similar to a djellaba, but it has shorter sleeves and no hood. It is suitable for both sexes and is available in a variety of colors. It is more commonly worn during the summer months, though not for extended periods outside—the shorter sleeves put people at greater risk of sunburn.
The kaftan is another long and flowing type of robe-like dress popular in Morocco. The kaftan, unlike the djellaba, is only worn by women. Historically, however, it was the ceremonial attire of judges.
The kaftan was once strongly associated with royalty and nobility, but its use spread to the general populace during the Saadian dynasty.
Kaftans are typically ornate and decorative, with beautiful braiding, beads, and sequins sewn onto luxurious fabrics. The kaftan is made from a variety of materials, including wool and cotton, but the most opulent kaftans are made from fine silk or luscious velvet.
Kaftans are generally not worn outside the home for everyday tasks; rather, Moroccan ladies wear an attractive kaftan for special occasions. Plainer kaftans made of regular materials can also be found in a lady’s casual wardrobe.
Kaftans are worn as outerwear in some countries but as a dress in Morocco. Moroccan kaftans can have long or short sleeves that are fitted or loose. Although the kaftan is a loose garment, some women add a wide, matching belt to give it more shape and definition.
The tackchita, another piece of Moroccan women’s clothing, is possibly the most formal and beautiful ladies’ garment. It is not an item to be worn daily, but rather for special occasions such as weddings.
The tackchita, like fancy kaftans, often has stunning designs and details. It is a two-piece outfit that includes an under-dress and an over-dress.
The over-dress is generally much more patterned and detailed than the under-dress, and a wide belt is worn over the two pieces to make it more fitted around the waist.
The tackchita is usually fitted around the top and cinched in at the waist before flowing majestically to the ground. Later, the top may be buttoned completely up the front or only to the waist, allowing the under-dress to show through.
The abaya is a staple in almost every Moroccan woman’s wardrobe. It is worn on top of other clothes to conceal the lady’s figure when she is out and about in public. It is a long and loose item that covers the entire body except for the head, feet, and hands.
Not all Moroccan women choose to wear the abaya daily, though many do.
A trust is a large embroidered scarf-cum-headdress worn by Berber ladies, particularly those who live in more remote mountain areas. It is made up of two pieces of cloth, usually dark in color, that have been stitched together and adorned with colorful and intricately embroidered details.
It is thought that the practice of embroidery is related to the traditions of facial tattooing in Berber groups; the individual patterns are thought to take the symbolic place of the facial markings.
The big piece of cloth covers the head and is long enough to drape over the shoulders and upper body, with one corner crossed and tucked in at the shoulder. Some women wear tassels on their scarves to frame their faces.
Many people refer to the tarbouche hat as the fez. Contrary to popular belief, it does not originate in the Moroccan city of Fez or even in Morocco.
It’s a stiff hat with a tassel that looks like the bottom of a cone. It is worn by some Moroccan men and is also part of several official outfits; you may see it worn by the Royal Guard on ceremonial occasions.
The taqiyah, a short and rounded skullcap comparable to the Jewish kippah, is another style of male headgear. It is a sacred emblem for Muslims. The taqiyah is most typically white, however, it comes in a variety of colors.
The hijab is a sort of head covering worn by Muslim women. A fitting headscarf that comes in a variety of colors; many ladies like to wear a hijab that matches their abaya or other clothes. Not all Moroccan women prefer to wear the hijab.
Niqab and Burka
While the niqab and burka are both sometimes worn by Moroccan women, particularly those of older generations, their use is less widespread anymore. The niqab is a sort of head and facial covering that normally leaves the eyes visible, whereas the burka conceals the entire head, face, and torso.
The burka, the most concealing article of Islamic attire for females and often used in more conservative Islamic countries, was prohibited by the Moroccan government in early 2017.
The balgha, also known as the babouche, is a traditional Moroccan shoe. The leather footwear is soft and slipper-like, and it may be worn both indoors and outside. (It is still customary to remove shoes when stepping across the carpet in a home.) Balgha are manufactured in a variety of colors and styles, ranging from basic to ornately ornamented.
The slippers are traditionally created in Fez and can be seen in souks across the country. While sturdier shoes are frequently favored for everyday activities, the balgha is often worn for important occasions and religious festivals.
In Morocco, henna skin designs are extremely important. Although visually pleasing, the usage of henna is typically viewed as having more than just an aesthetic value. Henna designs, according to traditional Berber beliefs, provide good luck and aid in fighting off bad luck.
Intricate henna tattoos frequently include the khamsa hand symbol, diamonds, and eyes, as well as flowery patterns, swirls, and geometric forms. The henna party is a key component of wedding ceremonies and is frequently used by married ladies for celebrations and festivals.
It was also used in circumcision rites. Men can use henna to color their beards as they begin to grey, and both men and women can use it to color their hair.
Where to Buy Moroccan Traditional Clothes
The country’s souks are considered the greatest venues to buy authentic traditional Moroccan apparel. Strolling around the bustling marketplaces, it’s just a matter of time until you come across stalls offering apparel.
Some dealers specialize in a single sort of garment, while others provide a wide range of options. Remember that haggling is often expected.