The dress code in Iran for women is more casual than you expect. Iran is an Islamic country and the only country where the hijab is a government enforced law but you don’t have to pack your most lose-fitting and unpleasant clothes to completely.
Iranian women have found creative ways to express themselves along with the hijab. The law is not observed as strictly as one might think and it’s definitely a lot looser when it comes to foreign tourists. But just so you know what to pack for you trip to Iran, we’ve simplified the dress code for women in Iran into these sections:
Covering your head
Headscarves are one of the most important parts of your style in Iran. Iranian women either wear big square scarves or long rectangular ones. It may seem difficult to keep a scarf on your head, but there are a few ways to solve that:
Cotton scarves stay better on your hair, and satin scarves are a bit slippery. You could also use bobby pics to fix the scarf to you hair so that you don’t have to constantly rearrange it.
Make sure the scarf you choose covers your head and neck. But it’s not essential to cover all of your hair and you can wear as loose as you want. In Iran women wear the hijab voluntarily and some mandatory and the hijab in Iran has become more of a social etiquette. You could easily notice who’s more religious and who’s not.
As a tourist, you don’t have to worry about wearing loose or shapeless clothes. Just pick a mid-thigh length long-sleeve, 3/4 sleeve tunic or dress and you’re well-suited for Iran’s dress code. You can perfectly pair them with jeans or any types of trousers.
If you are traveling to Iran in the summer, wearing a long dress would be a good option. If your dress is sleeveless, you can easily layer it with a light kimono or cardigan.
Manteau: Iranian women usually wear Manteau over their regular clothes. Manteau is a type of coat-type clothing that is long sleeve and usually reaches down to mid-thigh. Women in Iran prefer to use manteau as their outfit which has a big variety of styles and colors. If you fancy having one, you can buy it almost in every shopping center.
Chador: The Chador is a black clothing that more conservative women wear and covers their entire body head to toe. Using Chador as an outfit is not mandatory except in some holy
shrines. If you are required to use a Chador while visiting a place, you will be loaned one at the entrance and you do not need to carry one in your luggage.
There’ misconception that it is not possible to wear skinny pants in Iran. In recent years, the clothing has changed a lot and many Iranian women also wear skinny jeans or leggings. All you have to do is keep your pants covered to your ankles.
In summer, you can wear loose-fitting cotton pants and maxi skirts to stay cool. There’s also nothing wrong with wearing boots with legging or skinny jeans during winter. Moreover, sandals with bare feet are fine for summer and you don’t need to worry about open toes.
If you are into makeup, welcome to the crew! Especially in the capitals, many Iranian women wear makeup daily, and it’s almost a part of their style. So the makeup layers on your face is not a strange matter. If you’re not a fan of makeup, that’s fine.
Nail polish is very common and you see a lot of colorful and designed nails.
Dress Code in Iran for Men
For men, the dress code is simple. It’s almost the same as daily clothes in every country. Although, wearing shorts is not allowed in cities. You can wear shorts on the beach. It is also forbidden to wear tank tops and sleeveless outfits.
• All of the above tips on dressing is for the public appearance included hotel lobbies, cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls. If an Iranian family invited you to their house, you do not need to cover up and you can wear whatever you want.
• Following the dress code is necessary from your arrival at the airport. If you’re traveling by an Iranian airline, it’s usually requested when the plane enters Iran’s boundaries.
• According to Islamic law, girls must wear the hijab from the age of 9 or 12. But in Iran, appearance is more important than age. If you are traveling with your daughter and she looks childish, don’t make her follow the hijab, but if she has a few feminine features, wearing a loose scarf is enough for her.