When visiting any country of interest, it is always a wise choice to do some research about the culture of the country you are visiting.
To avoid any misunderstandings or even accidental cultural offense to the people of the country, it is best to be well aware of its do's and dont's. And Lebanon is no exception.
So what can you wear when visiting this country to abide by its dress code? The answer is anything and everything! However, some tips may come in handy in some cases.
For that, here are insider tips from a Lebanese resident of more than 20 years.
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About traveling to Lebanon
As an Arab country in the Middle East, one might assume that Lebanon would have a strict code of ethics that includes an uptight dress code. However, that is not the case in this culturally diverse country.
With its abundant natural sights, strategic location between the east and the west, and rich nature, Lebanon has been the home of many civilizations over time. Its mosaic-like culture has been greatly influenced by the settlements of the neighboring and far countries alike.
Not only that, but Lebanon is the home of 18 different religious sects. (Yes, 18!) From the different sects of Islam to Christianity, in addition to the Jewish community, Lebanon encompasses a large scope of beliefs and traditions.
Hence, it is no challenging feat to fit in with the miscellaneous Lebanese people.
What is the Lebanon dress code?
Lebanon has no specific dress code. You will find the conservatively dressed and the more liberally dressed walking together in the typically picturesque Lebanese streets, just like you would find a church and a mosque on the same street in Lebanon.
Albeit their near extinction, you can also find traditionally dressed individuals wearing the sherwal (loose trousers with fitted fabric from the knees down) and a headdress that differs according to the religion of the wearer.
What can women wear in Lebanon?
Whether it is a niqab, hijab, shorts, skirt, or even a onesie you want to wear during your visit to Lebanon, you will be accepted and able to fit in.
Check our selection of affordable long skirts you can wear in Lebanon.
However, keep in mind, when visiting any place of religious significance, it is important to wear the appropriate attire while there. A headscarf and clothing that covers the body is a good idea to go about a visit to a religious sight like a mosque, a church, or a temple in Lebanon.
Additionally, the ratio of the conservatively dressed to the more liberally dressed tends to fluctuate and vary in Lebanon according to the region.
You would be able to find the latter more in Beirut and the urban Lebanese cities than in the villages and small towns where an overall modest manner of dressing remains.
You can find versatile clothes for traveling here.
What do men wear in Lebanon?
Unlike some of the other Arab countries, men in Lebanon do not wear the Dishdasha or the Kandura as their Arab counterparts in, for example, UAE and Saudi Arabia do.
They predominantly dress as any typical western man would. Shirts, pants, shorts, and hoodies are common among Lebanese men.
Here are some recommended hoodies men can wear in Lebanon.
However, due to a variety of religious, traditional, and regional reasons, some men prefer dressing up in a traditional fashion.
For example, among one of the Islamic sects, the Druze, you can find many traditionally dressed men who wear the previously mentioned sherwal with a baggy white shirt and a white laffa, otherwise called Taqiyah or Kuffiyeh, to cover their heads.
They typically reside in the mountains of Lebanon and are on the more conservative side of the spectrum.
Also check out our guide on men's fashion mistakes to avoid.
About seasonal clothing in Lebanon
Lebanon has four seasons while maintaining a mild climate that is neither too hot nor too cold. However, it is also a very small country with varied geographical aspects. So one place might be warm while the stop nearby would be cooler and even cold.
It is advisable to be mindful of your location, or multiple locations, and their respective climates when traveling to and in Lebanon.
If you are staying along the coast where it is humid with a relatively high temperature in summer like Beirut or Sidon (Saida), some loose clothes would come in handy.
Here are fabulous summer dresses for your trip to Lebanon.
In contrast, staying on a higher land like in the mountains of the north or the south, heavier clothing that provides some warmth and protection against the cold would be a better option.
Check out these trench coats that will shield you for the cold.
Dressing for the occasion in Lebanon
Even if there is no specific dress code in Lebanon, special occasions call for specific rules of attire.
For example, if it is a business meeting you are attending, a dress shirt with trousers or a complete suit is the proper ensemble for a man while chic or business chic is what a woman would typically aim for.
That might consist of a dress shirt or blouse, trousers, a suit, or an elegant dress that is usually not too revealing.
Here is our selection of elegant suits for men and women.
As for celebrations like weddings, graduation parties, and similar events, Lebanese people usually like to go all out on their clothing, opting for extravagant dresses and suits.
With their fun and social spirits, Lebanese people wouldn't mind it if you either dressed up for the event for picture-perfect photos or dressed down in a more laid-back attire to be comfortable on the dance floor that will most probably be present and bustling in every big Lebanese event.
Get inspired by stunning formal dresses for special occasions.
Last tips for a Lebanon trip
Lebanon will welcome you despite how you choose to dress as long as you respect its few regulations. Even if you accidentally offend somebody with a certain outfit, a sincere apology can go a long way with the Lebanese people.
If you are deemed true, you will experience the hospitality of a culture that has welcomed plenty of civilizations into its country with open arms and smiling faces.
Despite its small size and unfortunate political problems, a trip to this mesmerizing country will be unforgettable, never boring, and remarkable in more ways than one.
Bon voyage and, as the Lebanese say, ahla w sahla!
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