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May 7, 2009 by Ren Faire Reese

Dress Like a Royal Sultan or an Arabian Knight

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Have you ever heard the song “Walk like an Egyptian”? There is a moral to that song that will spare you undue embarrassment so read on as you pack your suitcase. The excitement of a trip to a foreign exotic land can fog anyone’s good sense of fashion. Don’t worry; I’m going to help you choose your clothing wisely.

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There are some royal sultan costumes that will help you fit right in as you visit this ancient land. And there are costumes that will set you apart to stand out in a crowd in a less than appealing way. Take a few minutes to pull those costumes that you just stuffed into your suitcase back out while you reassess your choices.

You will want to dress more according to the style people are wearing when you visit any country, IF you want to fit in. Don’t worry so much about how you dress if you’re attending a costume party or other event where dressing to the extreme or ridiculous is acceptable.

Dancer wearing Egyptian-look costume with wing...

Take this dancer for an example. On the stage, this works. If you are walking among the ruins of the Valley of the Kings, you can probably get away with wearing this ensemble. Now if you are walking down Main Street of modern day Cairo in Egypt, more than a few heads will probably turn your way. A few sneers and giggles might be aimed at you, too. Save this one for the theater and late night parties.

There are certain rules of respect for customs and traditions that you should be aware of when visiting foreign countries. This will help you avoid insulting any one. A little reading will help give you the insight you need. It only takes a little effort to plan effectively. I will share some common tips just for visiting Egypt. You can find more information by visiting online tourist sites.

It is a common belief that people in Egypt ride camels. Do you know if this is true? If it is, how would you dress for a camel ride?

In my opinion, the customary jeans or slacks worn in America would not be very comfortable. Choose clothing that is loose fitting around the waist, inseam and legs. I would steer clear of short skirts or shorts while visiting Egypt any way. People tend to be more modest. And remember, camels are tall animals with humps that you have to straddle while sitting on some sort of saddle. Their hair is coarse and rough. I suggest loose slacks possibly in a Pantaloon style that covers the modesty and comfort side of dressing.

I suggested dressing like an Arabian Knight. What comes to mind when I think of one is Lawrence Olivier in the famous movie. Now he rode camels so his clothing is probably a good example of how to dress to traverse the Egyptian and Arabian deserts. You might tone down the Knight part just a little bit though.

Keep in mind that Egypt is a desert region with hot days and cold nights. You should pack clothing that will help you keep your cool in the daytime and absorb moisture from sweating. At night, you will want to be warm. Customarily in Egypt, people dress in layers so you can take off or put on garment layers as you need to cool off or warm up.

Traditional head wraps or covers will be a great protection from the scorching sun and blowing sand in a wind storm. If you wear a head covering, you’ll be showing respect for the traditions of Egypt’s religious sect. So remember, walk like an Egyptian while touring their land and take some camel riding lessons. It wouldn’t hurt to get used to sitting in the between the humps saddle, especially if you want to show how skilled and graceful you are!

Most of all, have fun and take in lots of Egypt’s fantastic sights.  Are you sure you packed enough clothes for your trip?

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