Before arriving in Morocco, most of us had to find, borrow, or buy all new wardrobes to accommodate what we expected to be a much more conservative style of dress. This belief was shared by family-who asked multiple times if I needed to buy a burqa or wear hijab.
The reality of street wear in Rabat proved to be very different from what I expected; while many older women dress very conservatively, the younger generation would blend right in on any street in the United States. Tank tops, short dresses, and heels coexist with hijab, long sleeves, and djellabas.
In a city where families still eat most meals together-but do so while sitting around a television; where the call to prayer plays in the background while my host family watches Pretty Little Liars with Darija subtitles; where you can eat tangine while drinking a Coca Light-this clash between conservative and western style dress hardly seems a clash at all. It complements the spirit of Rabat perfectly-a mix between traditional Moroccan culture and modern Western influences.