What to pack: Marrakech

Marrakech is truly a tale of two cities: the clamour of the close-quartered souk and the glamour of the wide-open esplanades of the new town. For the former, you want to be street-smart, ready to barter. You need boots made for walking, getting lost, discovering dainty little riads behind hidden doorways. You need sunglasses packed for open-air dining in the Jemaa, where the kebabs sizzle on the grill, charmers summon black cobras from baskets, and the atmosphere buzzes and crackles. For the latter, you need glad-rags, the kind of outfit that won’t look out of place on the terrace at La Mamounia, which should be visited at dusk, when the air is heavy with jasmine and birdsong, and you can sit in the gloaming with a ruinously expensive but eye-wateringly vast negroni and pretend you’re staying there.

Marrakech for him

Tile Lace Short Sleeve Shirt – Ecru

When it comes to the Marrakech souk, you need to think, bartering and arts and crafts. With the latter in mind, you will certainly not look out of place in this lace short-sleeve shirt exquisitely designed by Bode. Made from an ecru lace in a tiled pattern it is inspired by lace tablecloths from the 1930s. In a boxy light fit, this shirt will fall easily over a pair of trousers and keep you cool while you search for those hidden bargains

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Manolo Blahnik Capuleti Leather Mules

If you are going to arrive in style, then these Manolo Blahnik Capuleti leather mules made in Italy with comfortable padded insoles are a great alternative to open-toe sandals. In a rich brown leather, they are easy to dress up with tailored trousers and shirts and will gain you entrance into the smartest of hotels and terrace restaurants.

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Oliver Spencer Judo Trouser Phaidon Black

When in hot climates you don’t always want to wear things too close to the body and trousers certainly fall into this category. Oliver Spencer has come up with the perfect alternative to traditional men’s trousers – the Judo trouser – which is slightly looser on top and tapers down nicely to the ankle for a more tailored finish. Yes, you can wear these casually to the souk, but you can easily dress them up for dinner. Just don’t overload the pockets as you want them to keep their shape. See the crossbody bag for a solution.

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Dries Van Noten Knotted Crinkled-Leather Belt Bag

This Crossbody bag by Dries Van Noten was made for an adventure. With crinkled leather with knotted straps, it part resembles a water pouch from the past but today neatly opens up for you to carry all your essentials across your body. The great thing about it is that it takes the pressure off putting the heavier items in your looser unstructured clothing. It’s a win-win for style and travel. 

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Oliver Peoples O’Malley Sun Sunglasses

Good sunglasses are essential to pack when travelling to Marrakech – it’s hot, sunny and the souk can be dusty. These iconic O’Malley Sun sunglasses by Oliver Peoples in Tuscany Tortoise have a vintage traveller-cum-writer feel about them and are easy to pair with both classic tailoring and broken down casual pieces. They neatly come with photochromic glass lenses that transition from light to dark when exposed to sunlight, helping you to navigate your adventure in style.

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MR P. Suede Trucker Jacket

It’s always good to have an extra layer when travelling and this MR P classic suede trucker jacket in a dusty pink is perfect to pack for hot countries. It’s a cool, sophisticated colour which makes it easy to match with everything from a white T-shirt and chinos to washed-out denim jeans and a black polo shirt. It’s one investment piece that’s certainly good to keep close for all your future travels.

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Marrakech for her

Jacquemus Green Le Chemise Bahia Shirt

Sometimes going somewhere exotic calls for something slightly more adventurous and this Jacquemus green La Chemise Bahia shirt with knotted detailing at the waist certainly provides this in spades. Its plunging draped open front can either be adorned by pendant necklaces or can be layered with a white vest top underneath. Either way, it can be dressed up or down depending on where you are going and it’s the perfect shirt to pack for a summer adventure.

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Toteme Embroidered silk wide-leg pants

Summer trousers won’t come any more elegant or practical than these embodied silk wide-leg pants by Toteme. In a neutral tone you can wear them with anything, and they will keep you perfectly cool while meandering through the souk. They will work equally well with sandals if you are going to a restaurant or trainers and a loose cashmere V-neck if you are feeling sportier.

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Chloé + NET SUSTAIN Pema embellished leather espadrille sandals

Of course, when visiting Marrakech you will need several pairs of shoes for different eventualities, but if you are going to pack one pair then Chloé has come up with the perfect bohemian sandal for summer excursions. The Pema sandal is crafted from leather and set on woven jute soles for extra strength and comfort and is adorned with glinting gold hardware which really shines in the sun. Easy to wear with breezy dresses or silk trousers. Perfect around the pool, on the streets or dressed up for that summer party.  

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Jil Sander Brown Giro Leather Tote Bag

This Giro leather tote bag by Jil Sander is the perfect accessory for a trip abroad and with its knotted handles has an air of craft to go with its minimalism. Form and shape are key to finding the perfect bag that sits equally well on your shoulder as well as in your hand and this modern tote will equally transfer naturally from the streets of Marrakech to the streets of London or New York. It’s a keeper.

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Boteh Blue Smocked Cotton Mini Dress

If you’re staying at the La Mamounia resort, then this Boteh Blue smock mini dress is the perfect attire if you want to venture onto the terrace of the poolside restaurant to eat. It feels both modern with its unique geometric patterns and yet vintage with its bohemian silhouette. This dress is both stylish and practical and can easily be worn on top of your swimming outfit and with a pair of leather sandals for a day at the market.

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Jacquemus White Square Frame Sunglasses

When you are staying in Marrakech, one of the most cinematic and picturesque of backdrops, then sunglasses are a great way of having fun with an outfit. These white, square-framed tinted sunglasses by Jacquemus are both modern and have an air of Hollywood style to them. Easy to style up with your resort dresses or a white T-shirt and a pair of jeans and perfect for that negroni by the pool with a book in hand. A perfect way to start and end the day.

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By James Sleaford, style director of Secret Trips. James has worked in the fashion industry for 20 years and has held the post of fashion director of French GQ. You can find more of his work at jamessleaford.com

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