15 September 2008

Style Dilemma: Wandering Egyptian Paths

N wrote in for help:

I will be traveling on vacation to Egypt this coming october and have no idea what to wear! I want to look chic and yet will be doing lots of walking activities and potentially hiking on this trip. Also, because egypt is predominantly Islamic, any clues on what I should definitely avoid (aka no tank tops?)

Any advice would be so greatly appreciated!

Upon followup, it turns out that N is going on the trip because it's been a dream of hers to go visit since she was a kid pouring over ancient egypt books. Her best friend just went this year, and she figures, "Heck if she can, no reason why I can't either." She'll be traveling on a tour with some beach time, city time, and lots of touristy desert walking time. She describes her style as "minimalist," liking clean lines and solids. As for what she won't wear? "Anything that's has a pattern that looks like old wall paper."

Last bit of important information - she's trying to "go backpack," rather than "kitchen sink" on the packing style for this trip.

Dear N,

Excited to help out. As it turns out, bluesuitgirl just made the trip last year. She'd asked for my help, too, specifically on shoes and a bag. Start with that post, and then temper it with her "real trip" advice. I've added some selections based on her recommendations. You also might want to take a look at my response to dariaux' plea for her trip to India.

From bluesuitgirl:

Egypt is such a great experience, you will see sights you have never seen before, crowded streets, slums, the traffic and all sorts of other things ie. animals, pushcarts travelling down the highways. It is improtatnt to remember that Egypt is returning to a more conservative era, meaning many women are covered to the point that only their eyes are showing.

Being a westerner, sometimes we can be a bit disrespectful because we are not aware of the proper norms. You should keep your shoulders and knees covered at all times-- meaning in even 100 degree heat, no tank tops or shorts...and with that you will still be heckeled in the streets and some random men may grab your butt or arm or any other part of your body they can get a quick grasp of. And if they don't actually touch you, they sure will be whistling.

Light t-shirts are great, khakis or cargo pants that are not heavy. Jeans were a bit much in the heat. If you wear dresses, make sure they are knee-length or longer and something over the shoulders. Layer, although it doesn't really get cool at night, it is cool compared to the really hot days.

Sturdy shoes are key. The streets and sidewalks are not in good shape, cute little strappy sandals may prove a bit hazardous when navigating the uneven roadways. If you are spending the day out sightseeing, a big floppy hat is a must--along with lots of sunscreen!

Good luck on your pre-trip shopping, N! And be sure to let us know what you end up buying - and then wearing! If you snap any great shots, we'd love to see those when you get back!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for the ADVICE!!! :) Now im on the hunt for some long Indian skirts!

--- N