SUMMARY OF IRAN DRESS CODE FOR TOURISTS
No need to wear hijab in Iran?
Iran, the country of colors, is a multi-ethnic and multicultural society, where traditional dress is a product of the glorious Persian heritage. Iran is a country with many different ethnic groups. Each of them has their own exceptional clothing traditions and styles. Most traditional clothes are bright, beautifully adorned, elegant, and eye-catching. And all of them were designed to cover the whole body, particularly for women. Nowadays, especially in big cities, these traditional clothes are not that much popular anymore.
There are government rules about wearing hijab in Iran which all Iranian and foreigners should follow. The Iranian attitude to dress code is more casual than you might expect, but there are definitely rules you need to follow. The key one for the woman who visits Iran is the headscarf. These need to be worn at all times so can become a bit of a hassle, having to put one on just to nip down to the reception area of your hotel for example, but we find our tourists get used to wearing them pretty quickly. They must cover your neck as well as your head, so a bandana is not acceptable. You can have a little of your hair showing with no problems – you’ll see many locals with headscarves perched far back and held in place with a pair of sunglasses on the head, so it doesn’t need to be right up to your forehead unless in a shrine or a mosque.
According to the dress code in Iran for tourists, you are supposed to hide your body shape, so you should wear trousers – either jeans or if visiting in summer, something loose and cotton is best. Your top should be fairly baggy and fall to about mid-thigh. A summer dress over jeans and t-shirt is a good option. Bare forearms are fine but you should definitely cover your shoulders.
About footwear, there aren’t any strict rules. You can wear whatever you want like sneakers, sandals… . Just remember this in shrines or mosques you should cover your foot, so have a pair of socks in your bag to use in these religious places.