One of the most frequently asked questions for visitors to Iran is the dress code. We've put together this handy guide for women and men to know before you travel to Iran.
Dress Code for Women:
While Iran is a conservative country and women need to be covered up in public, it doesn’t mean that you need to dress like crap. When in doubt, do what the other Iranian women do. There were tourists who arrived in a pair of leggings and an oversized long tunic, only to find themselves hideously outclassed by the Iranian women with a great sense of style.
And unlike what you can read in the Lonely Planet’s Guide, colors are welcome! Iranian women love to dress colorfully. You don’t have to wear black – it’s a myth.
You must have a scarf basically just on the top of the head. Your hair can get out in front or back. In big cities this is even more relaxed. You'll see many locals with headscarves perched far back and held in place with a pair of sunglasses on the head. We recommend fastening your headscarf with hairgrips to prevent having to constantly rearrange it.
Women usually wear a coat/tunic over their regular clothes, called “manteau”. It does not have to be very long. As far as it covers your behind, it’s totally fine, and your sleeves should also be long enough only to cover your upper arms We recommend you come with whatever you have and purchasing an appropriate light manteau at the local market if you feel uncomfortable.
You CAN wear skinny jeans and leggings and it’s OK if your pants are above the ankles. In fact, it’ll be more normal than wearing those baggy elephant pants. Iranian girls don’t show any intimidation in wearing tight pants, so why should tourists?
Sandals are totally acceptable in Iran, and everyone uses nail polish. So feel free to have your favorite color on.
In order to enter some mosques, you’ll have to wear a chador. It’s a large piece of fabric that covers your entire body head to toe. Don’t worry about bringing it, you will be loaned a chador when necessary.
Dress Code for Men:
Men have it simpler – they just shouldn’t show their legs and upper arms.
There is one simple rule for all and that is “Dress Respectfully” and you will be totally fine.