How to dress in Iran - Rules and Laws for Women and Men

Teheran, Iran. Meydane Azadi Monument.

Before traveling to Iran you might have asked yourself what can be worn on the streets and what is forbidden. No matter if you are a woman or man, there are rules and laws enforced by a special police on how to dress in public. So if you are plannig to visit Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz or any other persian city, scroll on to eliminate all your insecurities regarding the iranian dress code.

I have two other posts on traveling to Iran that migth interest you: Die antike Stadt Persepolis in Iran and Beste Sehenswürdigkeiten in Isfahan, Iran


What do women have to wear?

Isfahan, Iran. Meydane Imam Mosque

Since the islamic revolution in 1979, women have to wear clothes that hide their curves and only show face, hands and feet. The hair has to be covered, too.

These are the rules on how women should dress in the holy Koran. Still I have to add that in Islam no one is allowed to force anyone to live by the rules of the Koran. The idea behind the religion is that everyone follows the rules because they want to and not because they have to. That's why Iran is one of the few islamic countries with very strict clothing laws.


How do the women dress in Iran?

Isfahan, Iran. Museum und Palast Tschehel Sotun

If you want to follow the rules and laws strictly, this is what you can wear: 

  • Cardigan, coat or something similar, that covers arms and hips (to the knees)
  • a high-necked top
  • wide and long pants
  • Headscarf, that covers 80% of your hair
  • wide and long dress
  • or to make it easy: a Chador ↓ 

Isfahan, Iran. Meydane Imam with Chador.

If you stay in the capital Tehran, you will see this kind of clothing:

  • shorter cardigans or coats
  • tight pants and leggings
  • ankles and underarms are visible
  • neck is visible
  • the headscarf only covers 50% of the hair

 What can happen if you don't dress accordingly?

Shiraz, Iran. Persepolis Cyros II monuments

The last 5-10 years the police stopped being too strict on women's clothing. But sometimes there can be different reasons why the police could stop you:

  • coat too short
  • pants too short
  • clothes too right
  • too many hair visible (transparent or too tiny headscarf)

Eventhough this rarely happens, it can depend on the police's mood wether they pay attention on that or not.

Shiraz, Iran. Darvazeh Quran
If policemen stop you and criticize your clothing, they will take you to the police car and make you sign a paper. On this paper you promise to start dressing properly from now on. There might be a fine, too.

Until now I haven't seen the police ever stop tourists because of small violations of the dresscode. Of course if you don't wear a headscarf at all or just wear clothes as if you would be in Europe, they definitely will stop you.

If you still want to respect the coutries laws, then you can dress like in the picture down below and you won't have to fear any police.

What do I wear in a mosque?

Isfahan, Iran. Si-o-Se Pol (Brücke)
Iran has many beautiful mosques that you shouldn't miss. There are different rules for entering one: You should wear all loose clothes that cover all your body except from face, hands and feet. The headscarf should be worn properly, so no hair is shown at all.

Usually the mosque's employees will hand you a Chador at the entrance, in case you aren't wearing loose clothes.

The headscarf (Hidjab)

Isfahan, Iran. Dekorationsgeschäft in Meydane Imam.

There are different ways to wear a headscarf. As long as you make sure to cover about 80% of your hair (like in my pictures), you are good to go.

Differnt ways to wear the headscarf.

  What about children and men?

Children can wear anything until they enter puberty. From then on, they have to follow the same rules as women and men. Since everyone enters puberty at a different age, there is no fixed age.

Men can't wear muscle shirts or short pants. Even if it's summer, they have to keep their shirts on and the pants long.

So, how will I dress in summer? 

Isfahan, Iran. Meydane Imam Moschee.
In august the temperatures can rise up to 45°C (113°F). So it can get very hot under that scarf and cardigan. I would recommend you to wear very light materials and loose clothes. A wide and long dress can be a solution or try wide cloth pants. 

Have a nice trip!

Have you ever been to Iran? Are you planning to visit?

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