Iran Dress Code for Women and Men

Sep 01.2022
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Iran Dress Code for Women and Men

In Iran Dress Code for Women and Men you will know about woman and man cloth in iran , what is hijab and difrent between arabic and persian hijab beside what to do and not to do with your cloth in different circumstances.

 

What Should I Wear in Iran?

This question has a simple short answer and a detailed longer answer and we are going to explain both versions:
The short answer is generally for female travelers as long as their hair is covered, their sleeves reach their wrist and their pants or skirt is long enough to cover their ankle, they are free to wear what they wish in any color and in any style. 
While you are choosing what to wear in Iran always choose the clothes which you are more comfortable in while observing Iran dress code norms. Also avoid wearing too flashy clothes to save yourself from unwanted attentions.
If you are planning to visit Iran and want to know more about Iran dress code then the below article will answer almost all of your questions. If you couldn’t find the answer to your questions in this article, ask us in the comments or simply just contact us.


Women’s Hijab in Iran

One of the challenges for every tourist, especially female tourists, who wants to visit Iran, is Iran dress code and Hijab. Tourists are generally encouraged to dress modestly when going through the Middle East; however clothing standard is a precarious thing with regards to Iran. That is a result of individuals’ recognition from Iran, those who have typically just observed the dark Chador on International News channels.
Iranian women are, however, very modest in picking their Veil or Hijab, and you cannot see its equivalent anywhere in the Middle East. Many of our clients are shocked by the way women dress in Iran once they arrive, they see a large number of Iranian women who are well-dressed and take great care of how they look. 

 

The Differences between Hijab of Iranian and Arabian Women 

In general Hijab means “covering” but the laws of hijab are different in each Islamic country. We understand that when you hear the word “Hijab” you instantly imagine a Muslim woman in full covering like what you might have seen in UAE but In Iran, the "Hijab Law" for women means covering some parts of the body, including the hands up to the wrists, the legs up to the ankles, the hair and neck. In Iran, covering the face is not mandatory and there is no obligation to use special clothing colors. But in reality, what people in Iran actually wear is different from what the law says. 


Wearing Colorful Clothes in Iran

Iran has gone a long way since 30 years ago regarding hijab and dress code. It means there is a big difference between the type of clothing worn by girls and boys back then and now. These days wearing comfortable and colorful clothes are common in the streets and public places and that’s no surprise because it all has roots in Iran traditions and even nomadic women (Photo of a Nomad woman) wear clothes with beautiful colors. Iranians like colorful clothes and pay special attention to what they wear. Iranian girls wear flashy headscarves with appealing patterns. So in general there are lots of different colors and styles of pants and coats that might even tempt you to dress in Iranian styles. (Photo of Girls in streets)
You will not be forced to wear black veils (Chador a long garment that covers the hair and body used by Muslim women) or black clothing in any city even in religious ceremonies. Full coverings such as chadors are only required at Holy shrines for example in Mashhad, Qom or Shah Cheragh holy shrine in Shiraz. Chador is normally white and always available for visitors on the site.  

What If my Hair comes out of my head Scarf

One of the main concerns of women travelers who visit Iran for the first time is that they try so hard to hide all of their hair under their headscarves same as Muslim women in Arabic countries but women who visit Iran for the second time always laugh at this exact memory of their first Iran trip!
According to law all girls older than 9 years old must cover their hair. But this rule is only completely followed by very religious women or grandmothers. Although hair covering is an official law but this does not mean that if some of your hair fell out of your headscarf you will be arrested or jailed! You just need to respect the rules and local community and use a headscarf even if it’s loose and doesn’t cover all of your head. If you visit Iran Nomads you will see that even in most traditional Iran communities, women only wear mini head wraps which cover only a part of their hair not all of it. 


Am I going to be arrested if my headscarf falls off?

In Iran, many women do not follow the hijab rules completely and this is always a matter of dispute between women and the government. But this will not be your problem and the police will not have any aggressive reactions towards you as a tourist as long as it’s unintentional and by accident. Only when it can be a problem that the police notice that you are breaking the hijab law on purpose and as an act of disobeying the rules intentionally. If your headscarf fell off your head just simply put it back because it is a normal accident and always happens to Iranian girls!
If you are riding in your personal car or in a cab the rules are the same.


Can I Travel to Iran with Dyed Hair

 

 

In Iran, both men and women pay great attention to their hair and look.     
It is almost normal for Iranians to see strange hairstyles and different hair colors. Women who have a scarf and their hairstyle is not visible, and even the part of the hair that remains outside the scarf can have any color and model. Many girls in Iran shave all or part of their hair
Dyed hair is not very common among men but in recent years many younger men are showing interest in this trend but since it’s not common yet, it will draw people’s attention.

 

Can women travelers wear sandals in Iran?

Wearing sandals for men and women in Iran has absolutely no problem. It’s clear that wearing socks is not mandatory as well.


Can Men Wear Long Shorts in Iran and especially Tehran streets

Iran dress code says that any clothing which is not in line with the customary way of Iran society must not be worn but when you visit Iran you will understand that there are many different interpretations and exceptions regarding Iran dress code. Wearing long shorts for men in public places is not common at all but there were some cases that during our Iran tours we explained for tourists that they shouldn’t wear long shorts in public and at the same time a man in long shorts got off his car and went to an ice cream shop to buy ice creams and everything was normal! What we try to say is that this is relative. For example, wearing shorts in luxury neighborhoods of major cities is not very strange for people, but if you enter the traditional bazaars or want to walk on main Streets wearing long shorts then people will give you strange looks!
Also, wearing long shorts for men or short sleeves shirts for women is acceptable in nature while mountaineering or trekking.


Are Tattoos and Piercing Illegal in Iran?

Having tattoos and piercings on your face or body will attract people's attention. Also having a piercing is uncommon for men, but young people are becoming interested in it slowly. On the contrary, having tattoos is not very acceptable for girls
But as a tourist, you can visit Iran with the strangest tattoos and piercings. You are easily accepted by Iranians, and there will be no problem with the police or the law.


Makeup is Very Common among Women but not among Men

Although natural faces are trending in Iran right now, almost all Iranian women wear makeup. So if you like to try wearing heavy makeups for a few days then Iran is the best place! In big cities, going to the hairdresser and trying new hair colors and hairstyles is a regular monthly habit for Iranian women. Also Iranian girls are in love with nail polishes and although you won’t see it on Iran national TV but most Iranian girls get their nails done in different colors and beautiful patterns!

 


On the other hand, wearing makeup is not common among men. Although you might see boys who are wearing makeup in Tehran, Isfahan or Shiraz. 


Observing the Islamic dress code (Hijab) is mandatory on flights

Passengers of international flights, especially women, should observe the Iran dress code when their flights land in Iran airports. Take the hijab law into account from the first step you take off the plane upon arrival and follow it up until getting back on the plane for departure. 
If you are a passenger of an Iranian airline, you must keep your hijab inside the plane and even when you are out of Iran. The rules are the same for Iran domestic flights. 
It’s also good to mention that in Iran no man who is an airport security official or police is allowed to carry out a physical inspection of female tourists, to do so female police or guards are at the place which you can easily recognize them by their military rank badge on their sleeve like the photo below (a female security guard or police)

 

Iran Dress Code in Mosques, Holy Shrines and religious sites:

Tourists who travel to Iran are interested in visiting mosques and religious sites to become more familiar with the spiritual atmosphere of these places and the religious rituals.


Iran Dress code in Mosques:

There are three types of mosques in Iran:
1- Historical Mosques: They are not being used for religious ceremonies by local people and are only a place for tourists visit. In these mosques, you don’t need a chador (full covering) and you can dress as usual. Some of the most famous Iran historical mosques are Nasir Al Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan and Jameh Mosque of Yazd. 
2- Historical Active Mosques: There are those historical mosques that are still active and people say their prayers and do their religious rituals in them. To enter most of these mosques you need to wear a chador (Full covering). It is possible to borrow or rent a chador at the entrance of these mosques.
3- New Active Mosques: These mosques are newly built and receive prayers regularly. Normally these mosques are not ready to greet tourists and they are not included in travel plans because they are not architecturally or historically significant but if you are interested you can enter after getting the permission from head of the mosque and participate in religious ceremonies, of course you must expect not to get the entrance permission as well. To enter these mosques you need to bring chador with you. The chador is better to be black or plain white.


Iran Dress Code in Holy Shrines:

To enter holy shrines such as Imam Reza holy shrine in Mashahd or ShahCheragh holy shrine in Shiraz, women need to wear a chador. Chador is available on the site for tourists to use.

 

 


The chador is a large piece of cloth used by religious women to cover the whole body from head to toe, and is easily found in the traditional markets of Islamic cities. 

 

Iran Dress Code in Religious Ceremonies:

Many religious festivals are held in Iran throughout the year which the most famous one is Muharram ceremonies (Ashura and Tasua). Muharram is a religious Cultural Festival that takes 10 days. People mourn the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson by singing religious songs and drumming in form of groups in streets. If you want to participate or join these groups dress as usual just avoid wearing too flashy or tights clothes and if you really want to respect the local community wear black or dark clothing since black is considered as the color of mourning in Iran.

 

What should women wear on Iran beaches? Can women wear Bikinis on Iran Beaches?

Wearing bikini and any type of swimsuit that shows a part of women’s naked body is forbidden. This law is the same on the shores of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran and on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman in southern Iran. But for men, there are no strict rules and they can wear swimsuits on the beaches and swim.
On some of Iran’s famous beaches such as Kish and Qeshm, there are some Female-only Plagues that women can wear swimsuits there. No men are allowed into these plagues of course.


Don’t get it all wrong! Iran is not always warm and sunny.

Do you think of Iran as a vast desert while hot sun is shining on the sand dunes? This perception is completely wrong. 
Iran is a four-season country that has different geographical climates. Even if your trip to Iran is in the summer, expect cold nights in mountain towns and villages. You will experience dry, cold and without moisture weather in autumn and winter in desert cities. Always expect rain and snow during fall and winter. If you cross the mountainous roads of northern and western Iran, bring very warm clothes with you. Spring is unstable with the surprising weather conditions in most parts of Iran. Be prepared for anything. Iran's climate is very diverse. Some cities and villages can also have variable climates due to altitude. We recommend consulting with our travel advisors about the weather before you travel to any place in Iran.

 

Tips for tolerating hot summer days in Iran while following Iran dress code

-Men can wear T-shirts and short sleeves shirts but wearing long shorts is not common in public places.
-It is common to wear long skirts without pants or socks in big cities such as Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and Tabriz. Note that this skirt should be long enough to reach below your knees.
In smaller and more religious cities such as Yazd, Kerman or Kashan, choose a longer skirt that covers the ankle. Usually, the police ignore your dressing style as a tourist if you try not to disobey the law intentionally, even when your clothes are a bit unusual, and you will not be arrested for indecency. Unless a specific part of your body is bare! Even In this case, you will be politely warned and there will be no harsh behavior.
-The fabric of your scarf is not important at all which means it does not matter if the scarf is thin or thick or even a little transparent. You can find different types of light scarves suitable for hot weather in Iranian markets.
- In smaller and more religious cities and places, some religious women who usually wear chadors may warn you to observe your hijab. No worries. They are not from authorities and have no official powers they just consider it as their religious duty to warn you to wear your Hijab properly! Just smile and respect the local community as you are a guess in their city. The definition of hijab in Iran, while complicated, is really that simple.
-Wearing T-shirts and tops without coats or mantels for women is against the law, Also the sleeves of your dress should reach up to the wrist. It is also not common for men to wear tank tops in public places.


Women dress code in Iran religious cities Vs moderate cities

Some cities in Iran are more religious than other cities. For example, in Tehran and Shiraz, people are more moderate and their way of dressing is more modern but Yazd, Kashan, Isfahan and Kerman are more religious cities so people dress more conservatively. 

Bring a pair of nice dresses for private parties!

Iran dress code and hijab rules are only for public places and in your private space, no one can tell you what to wear.
If you are invited to an Iranian party, a wedding or a birthday party, we suggest you bring a suitable party dress with you! Iranian women pay great attention to how they look. On the other side if you are invited to a Persian household for a friendly gathering or dinner then dress as usual, nothing fancy is needed! 


Iran dress code at hotels, Cafes and Restaurants

Restaurants and cafes are considered as public places and you must follow Iran dress code while you are in these places as well.

 

When you should take off your shoes In Iran

In Holy Shrines

In recent years, tourists have been allowed to visit these places. Tourists, just like Iranians, have to take off their shoes before entering. The main courts of shrines are usually carpeted. In this case, you do not need to take off your socks.

In a Persian Household

Iranians are very hospitable people and you might get invited to a Persian house while you are in Iran. If so, make sure to take your shoes off before entering the house, Persians tend to wear slippers in door and that’s understandable. Who wants a dirty Persian carpet? As a matter of fact wherever you saw a Persian carpet whether in a religious site or at a house, consider taking your shoes off.


In a Nomad Tent

If your adventurous soul took you to visit a Nomad family in Iran then before entering their tent take your shoes off or simply ask your host if you can come in with shoes or not.

Buying suitable clothes in Iran
There are many popular and high-quality clothing brands in Iran that allow you to buy any clothes in accordance with Iranian dress code here. So if you forget to bring enough clothes you can buy the rest in Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan markets at very reasonable prices. Many international brands such as LcWaikiki, Bershka, H&M, JeanWest and many more!