Understanding Women's Dress Code in Iran for Travelers

In Iran, female travelers are encouraged to dress modestly, but not as strictly as often perceived. A colorful scarf for hair coverage and loose-fitting clothes like baggy shirts or mantous are standard. Jeans are acceptable, and in cities like Tehran and Shiraz, women often embrace modern fashion within modesty norms. Sandals and open shoes are commonly worn. While conservative attire is advisable in more traditional areas, recent trends show a relaxation in hijab enforcement, especially among young women in urban areas.

What you will read in this article:

1. Misconceptions and Reality:

The stereotypical image of Iranian women always wearing a black “Chador” is far from the truth. Iranian women often choose modest yet stylish hijabs or Veils, distinct in the Middle East. Visitors are frequently surprised by the fashion-forward and well-groomed appearance of local women.

2. Color and Clothing Choices:

Contrary to the myth, there is no restriction on colors for clothing in Iran. Both men and women can wear a variety of colors, with lighter shades recommended during summer. Women should cover their hair, but the rules are more lenient for tourists. A scarf is sufficient for hair coverage, and it’s acceptable for some hair to frame the face. Loose-fitting garments like baggy shirts, coats, or mantels are appropriate. Jeans are also widely accepted.

3. Footwear:

Sandals and open shoes are common and acceptable in Iran.

4. Regional Variations:

In major cities like Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan, fashion tends to be more modern, with women making subtle fashion statements. However, in more conservative areas like Yazd, Kerman, Kermanshah, and Kashan, it’s advisable to dress more conservatively. At religious sites like shrines and mosques, full covering is required, but chadors are usually available for visitors.

5. Travel Tips:

For your flight to Iran, it’s recommended to bring a long, baggy shirt and a thin scarf, which can be creatively adapted into a headscarf. This is especially useful if you prefer not to use the scarves provided at Tehran’s international airport.

6. Recent Changes:

Over the past year, Iran has seen a relaxation in hijab enforcement, with young women increasingly seen without headscarves in public, though still dressed modestly.

7. Female-Only Tours:

Iran offers female-only tours, providing a unique experience for female travelers.

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