Once the throbbing heart of the Byzantine empire Constantinople, then the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul is now the beating heart of modern-day Turkey. Istanbul is a flourishing, secular metropolis that values innovation and self-expression.
Istanbul ladies dress elegantly, following Western fashion trends but expressing their own distinct street style. You don't need to dress very conservatively in Istanbul; the main thing to remember is that there are dress restrictions for mosques, Orthodox churches, and other religious institutions.
What to Wear in Istanbul in the Summer
In the summer, you don't have to worry about modesty since Istanbul is a rather secular city. We advise against wearing shorts. While they are comfy, they scream tourist, which might be dangerous when it comes to pickpockets!
Skip the touristy shorts and shirts and consider casual but classy attire if you want to blend in with how you dress in Istanbul in the summer.
What to Wear During the Winter
While you may wear most of the above in early winter as well, we've listed some items to consider bringing for winter in Istanbul.
Take note that the autumn season has a lot of diversity! What to dress in Istanbul in December will vary greatly from what to wear in Istanbul in November.
Warm sweaters teamed with jeans (and leggings for added warmth if necessary), a jacket, and all the winter accessories will be the ideal Istanbul winter ensemble!
Avoid visiting Istanbul in the cold without a decent coat! You'll undoubtedly be sorry with lows around freezing.
What to Wear to Istanbul Mosques
When attending a mosque, dress modestly and conservatively, exposing as little body as possible. Men and women are not permitted to wear shorts or sleeveless tops. If your normal sightseeing attire is too casual, attendants at Istanbul's most popular mosques (such as the Blue Mosque) may provide robes to wear during your visit.
Women should dress in slacks or a dress or blouse and skirt that falls at least below the knees, with elbow-length or longer sleeves (no bare shoulders or upper arms), and a headscarf.
A lightweight, long-sleeved jacket-shirt or jacket with a built-in hood ("hoodie") is a useful apparel for ladies. If you're wearing pants, just lift the hood upon entering the mosque, and you won't need a headscarf