Women are better off wearing dresses or trousers which cover the knee at least. Also make sure that your shoulders are covered; spaghetti band tops are not appreciated here! On Aqaba beach, one-piece swimsuits are better than bikinis. Especially on the public beaches, locals are not used to the ‘naked’ tourists.
The local female population walks round in a combination of western and eastern clothing. Women wearing a skirt or a pair of jeans are commonplace. There are also women who wear black robes from head to foot, sometimes with their faces completely veiled. Bedouin women usually wear colourful dresses and headscarves.
Men will usually encounter no problems if they wear shorts, although this can be viewed as eccentric. Long trousers are appreciated more by the locals. Many local men wear a jalabiyyeh (a long, eastern ‘dress’), on top of which they nearly always wear a western style jacket. Others are dressed fully in western style clothes. Many men also wear a red or black headscarf called a keffiyeh.
You must be barefoot to enter a mosque. If you wish to visit one, dress conservatively. Some of them, such as the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, will give you a coat to wear over your clothes if they deem your dress sense unsuitable for the mosque. Men wearing shorts may be refused entry, with or without wrap-around overgarments. Women must also have their heads covered. During the summer months, a good travel wardrobe would contain light comfortable cotton clothes (better not shorts, miniskirts or vests), good, closed shoes, maybe even sandals, sunglasses, sunhat or headscarf, swimwear and a jumper or thin coat for the evenings. During the winter, a raincoat can come in handy, as well as a couple of thick jumpers, a warm coat, sturdy walking shoes/hiking boots and something thin and light for the daytime.