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Fashion

Moroccan clothing is full of rich traditions and many of the clothes worn by locals are an integral part of the culture and Moroccan identity.

While numerous Moroccans, especially those from the younger generations, opt to wear modern Western garments for day-to-day life, special occasions and ceremonial events typically see a return to traditions.

Traditional Moroccan clothes are often not only attractive, but the long, loose, and flowing garments are both compliant with religious beliefs and practical for keeping cool in the hot and sunny conditions.

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.

Djellaba

The djellaba may be found in other North African countries as well as Morocco, but it is still one of the most commonly worn items of clothing by Moroccans. It can be worn by both men and women. The djellaba is a long and loose type of robe that is often worn over the top of other clothes.

It has long sleeves and a pointed hood. The hood helps to provide shade in the sun and keeps people warm in the cold. In the past, when there were larger numbers of desert-dwelling and nomadic peoples, it prevented sand from being blown in a person’s face too.

Woolen djellabas are the most traditional, but cotton djellabas are becoming increasingly popular too. Naturally, woolen garments are favoured in the cooler winter months, while light-weight cotton dellabas are preferable on hot, sunny days. Colours vary and the garment can be won in many different settings, from day-to-day activities to at special occasions.

Gandora

The gandora is similar to a djellaba, with the major differences being that it has shorter sleeves and does not have a hood. It can be worn by people of both sexes and comes in various colors. It is more commonly worn in the summer months, though typically not for prolonged periods outdoors—the shorter sleeves leave people more at risk of getting burnt by the harsh sun.

Kaftan

The kaftan is another long and flowing type of robe-like dress worn a lot in Morocco. Unlike the djellaba, though, the kaftan is only worn by women. Historically, however, it was the ceremonial dress of judges.

The kaftan was also once strongly associated with royalty and nobility, though its use spread to the general populace during the Saadian dynasty.

Kaftans are usually ornate and decorative, with beautiful braiding, beads, and sequins sewn onto luxurious fabrics. The kaftan is made from various materials, including wool and cotton, but the fanciest kaftans are made from fine silk or luscious velvet.

Kaftans are not generally worn outside the home for performing everyday tasks, rather, Moroccan ladies don an attractive kaftan for special occasions. Plainer kaftans, made from regular materials, may also be in a lady’s casual wardrobe.

In some nations, kaftans are worn as an outer garment, whereas in Morocco they are worn like a dress. Moroccan kaftans may have long or short sleeves, which may be fitted or loose. Although the kaftan is a loose garment, some ladies add a wide, matching belt to give more shape and definition.

Tackchita

Another Moroccan item of clothing worn by women, the tackchita is perhaps the most formal and beautiful ladies’ garment. It is not an item for everyday wear, but is reserved for special occasions such as weddings.

As with fancy kaftans, the tackchita often has stunning designs and details. A two-piece item of clothing, it has an under-dress and an over-dress.

The over-dress is generally a lot more patterned and detailed than the under section, and a wide belt is worn over the two pieces to make it more fitted around the waist.

Usually fitted around the top and cinched in at the waist, the tackchita then flows to the ground in a majestic manner. The top later may button up the front completely, or may be buttoned only to the waist, allowing the lower part of the under-dress to show through.

Abaya

The abaya is a standard item in almost every Moroccan woman’s wardrobe. An over layer, it is worn on top of other clothes to hide the lady’s figures when she’s out and about in public. A long and loose item that is rather similar to a cloak, it covers the entire body save for the head, feet, and hands.

Not all Moroccan women choose to wear the abaya on a day-to-day basis, although there are many women who do prefer to cover up in this way when outside of the home.