The way people dress in Tunisia depends upon several different factors and can be very diverse at any one location. For instance, when shopping at the huge Carrefour near our home, you can expect to see traditionally dressed older women who cover their heads and wear long dresses walking with their teenaged daughter wearing very tight jeans and exposed mid--rift tee shirts like you would expect to see at the mall in the United States.

However, location is one of the key factors to understanding how to dress in Tunisia. Around Tunis, and in the Tourist and Beach Areas, many people dress in the European style. In the remote and or rural areas of Tunisia you will see people dressed much more traditionally and conservatively. Dress also can depend upon traditions within families and religious affiliation of either Islam or nonIslam. Up until the last ten years or so, all women dressed very conservatively in Tunisia, covering their arms, legs, and head when in public places. Now young women dress very European-style in Tunis and the beach areas, wearing short skirts, tight clothing, and very fashionable attire.

Clothing tends to be quite expensive in Tunisia. The better quality clothes imported from Europe are quite expensive by US standards. There are some European chain stores in the Carrefour mall and Geant mall, and there is a Gap in the Berges du Lac area.

There are sales two times per year in which clothing prices can be reduced by as much as 70%. This is a good time to buy clothes as prices come down to the level of those of less expensive stores in the United States. These sales occur during the months of February and then again in August. Stores become extremely crowded at this time and it can be a hassle to shop.

There are flea-market-style outdoor used clothing sales in many parts of Tunisia, held on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. These sales are quite fun, but expect them to be very crowded, with men and boys selling clothes, fabric, table cloths, etc from tables. The clothes are very cheap: usually from 1 TD to 5 TD. Most of the clothing comes from Europe, so it is fun to rummage through looking for designer wear. Due to these sales, which are called freeps (SP?), most Tunisians have pretty nice looking clothes even though they may have little money. Often you see workers wearing nice looking suit jackets and shirts which they have bought at the frip.

The hotel areas in places like Hammamet are another scene altogether because they are mostly populated by European tourists who think nothing of going topless on the beach which kind of blows your mind because Tunisia is a Muslim country and it is disrespectful, but no one seems to care!