The dress code that often comes to mind when dressing appropriately in Israel is one that projects modesty. Actually, this may be the case for religious sites and communities, or traveling to unknown parts of Israel. But for the major secular cities and bustling international events taking place in the large metropolitan area, almost anything goes.
As Israeli society is ultra casual and informal in mentality, this laidback outlook also applies to its attire. Possibly attributed to the constant smoldering heat of Israel, or adopting a lax dress code just for the sake of pure convenience, casual attire is what you’ll see suitable for most Israeli settings, including weddings (ranging from casual dressy to business casual).
Here are some guidelines and tips about the what, where and when you should wear in all situations around Israel:
The day-to-day attire consists of really whatever you are comfortable wearing. T-shirts, shorts, pants, sandals, and sneakers are completely acceptable. Maybe a hat and some sunglasses is advised in summertime.
There are multiple articles of clothing that can be worn to dressier events, but to put it simply, the dress code for these events usually equals casual dressy to business casual. A pair of nice jeans, slacks, button-ups, dresses, or blouses are usually worn to more formal events, such as symphonies, plays, and so forth. Although not common, jackets are sometimes worn with a suit and it’s pretty rare to witness ties or gowns at any formal event (unless you are invited to an event where the dress code is specifically addressed).
It may be appealing to wear a simple tank top and shorts on a hiking trail or a nature excursion, but this actually may work against you. Because of the intense heat and humidity (during the summer), it’s better to cover up your skin with light, airy clothing to at least block some of the direct sunlight away from your skin (and after the use of a hefty application of sunscreen).
Israeli markets and clothing shops sell light pants and thin t-shirts that are meant for these exact scenarios. It’s also suggested to buy the proper hiking shoes for these trips, or durable sandals that work great with the outside elements while allowing your feet to breath. Lastly, bringing a hat and sunglasses on these trips is a must, as it helps to prevent dehydration, heat strokes, and sunburns.
Religious Sites & Neighborhoods
When traveling to holy sites and religious neighborhoods, it’s important to dress conservatively and show respect for the surrounding people and environment. These locations won’t always permit entry to those that are not dressed modestly.
Modest clothing consists of covering a majority of the body (such as the shoulders, arms, legs and chest), especially for women. This includes long-sleeved shirts, over-the-knee skirts, and completely covering the chest area. Men usually have to cover their head, which at the bare minimum can be a disposable paper skull cap that is offered at some holy sites. Unfortunately, there is no way around these clothing requirements, even in the height of the summer, but at least you can enjoy the breathtaking historical sites of Israel hassle free.