Before coming to Jordan, a large concern of mine was what type of clothing to pack. Knowing that the weather in Jordan is extremely hot and dry, packing light and thin clothing was a priority. At the same time, however, I needed to keep in mind the cultural norms of dress for women. Men, on the other hand, have more freedom in how they can dress in Jordan. The following recommendations predominately apply to women:
Wearing shorts publicly will get you lots of unwanted attention, so I recommend packing several pairs of loose cotton pants. This way you can keep cool without attracting weird looks. I will typically wear these kinds of pants while running errands, going to class, and anytime I am walking around town.
Leggings are acceptable to wear in Amman, however, I recommend packing some longer shirts to wear with them. I wear leggings around town as well, but always pair it with a more conservative shirt.
Long dresses and skirts are also appropriate, but I would avoid wearing anything short.
Lastly, I recommend packing a few pairs of jeans and a pair of dress pants. Although it is difficult to wear jeans in the hot temperatures, you will want to pack articles of clothing that can be dressed up for nice dinners or events. In general, people tend to dress up when they go out in Amman (this is a big difference from how casual Oregon is).
As for shirts, it’s best to pack t-shirts and long flowy shirts. This is what you will wear on your typical day. Showing off shoulders and cleavage is not very common here.
However, I do recommend packing a few tank tops, but I recommend pairing the tank top with a cardigan. If you go out in the evenings, you will notice many girls wearing tank tops in restaurants and bars. But once you leave the premises, you will notice girls putting cardigans back on. When out in public, it is best to stay on the conservative side.
If you plan on traveling around Jordan to sites like the Dead Sea and Aqaba, you should definitely pack a swimsuit. Typically, travelers stay at private beaches and hotels, so you can wear whatever you like. This includes sundresses and bikinis.
The good news is if you forget to pack something, you can find many of the brands and stores you are already familiar with like H&M, Gap, and American Eagle in the malls (Taj Mall and Mecca Mall are two large ones with many popular stores). Clothing in Amman does tend to be pricey though, so I recommend bringing everything you think you will need.
Jordan does not have any regulations on how individuals should dress, however, it is important to respect the culture.
Here is an example picture of what my roommates and I typically wear: