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Women Dress in Iran

by nattybabe Online Now Dec 2, 2008 at 7:32 AM


I'm leaving for Iran on Sunday and would like some advice as to what to wear. Should I go shopping for the proper outfits before I go or would loose clothing and a scraf do? Covering up shouldn't be a problem as it's cold there!!

Is a pashmina around my hair suitable?


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  • grets's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by grets Online Now Dec 2, 2008 at 8:09 AM

    Loose clothing and a scarf will do fine. You can pick up a local outfit quite cheaply when you arrive. A pashmina will be fine - in some places the religious police can be more strict and may not approve of hair showing underneath the scarf, but mostly you should be OK.

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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by hawkhead Online Now Dec 2, 2008 at 8:33 AM

    Returned six weeks ago. You will be fine with a pashmina around your hair, although you might find it difficult to eat with it on!! An ordinary headscarf would be easier. You can easily buy a manteau upon arrival. Loose clothing is fine but make sure the coat/top covers your behind i.e. it should be at least mid-thigh length. I wore a long robe and found it comfortable and perfectly acceptable. People spoke to me a lot, as opposed to the other members of the group who were in slacks and a long-ish jacket. We were all over Iran and no-one bothered about how much hair we had snowing - I wore my scarf far back on my head. You will see all sorts of variations when you are there, although now it is cold, there might be less variety.

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  • mar38's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by mar38 Online Now Dec 2, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    My personal adress is

    If you are not fat I will give you my clthes.Tell me your size.I can give you my telephone and adress.It will be nice to visit you.I will help you in Tehran.

    Best wishes Maryam

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by suvanki Online Now Dec 2, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Hi! Where in Iran are you visiting? Shiraz and Esfahan are a bit more liberal than say Tehran, but even there, I didn't find it too oppressive. In Shiraz and Esfahan the women are noted for wearing brighter coloured scarves etc.
    I was advised not to wear black by the women I met there.

    Many of the women I met on my travels kept saying 'you're a tourist/ visitor, you shouldn't be so covered up', or 'Do you dress like this back home'? but then again, I didn't want to risk getting myself or my guide into trouble by being 'inappropriate'

    I did enjoy a couple of days when we were out in the country, when It was a bit more relaxed - I even had a short time with no scarf, and I wore a short sleeved t-shirt- as we picniced, and then again when I went for a meal at my guides house, with his family - blimey it felt strange after nearly 3 weeks of being covered up! His wife wore a sleeveless t-shirt and cut off trousers, and without a scarf (and they were a devout Muslim couple).
    As it was summer, I had taken a pair of sandals to wear. Some of the info I'd read stated that feet had to be covered with socks or stockings. I now realise that much of this is out of date - I went bare footed, with nail polish, and had no problem (I kept checking with my guide that this was OK as we travelled to different places)- I didn't receive any disapproving looks or comments from the locals etc.

    I visited in May/June this year, so it was very hot.
    My main concern before my trip was the clothing. I think in hind sight I over reacted! - I spent ages working out how to wear a scarf without showing a strand of hair - buying hair grips and hair bands etc- Once I was there- day by day, my scarf went further back on my head.

    Although just after I returned home, the Revolutionary Guards had a clamp down on 'improper dress'

    Most of the Iranian women I met were very elegant, with their long coats and full make up. I wore loose shirts and trousers - and felt quite frumpy next to them! It wasn't difficult to spot non-Iranians, by their dress.

    As it's winter- a long coat (to cover your backside/ butt) and a variety of scarves will be OK. I took a pashmina, which was welcome when I was camping out (and very cold!)! I had a couple of 'best scarves' to wear at night, when dining out - just to make me feel a bit better dressed.

    Jeans and jackets/ tunic tops were worn by many of the younger females - some in quite modern prints. I'd planned to buy some clothes there, but didn't because they were mainly in man made fibres, so too hot for me in summer.

    So, I'd advise your ordinary clothes as long as they're not too tight, and reach to mid thigh, and a variety of scarves.

    VTer Sachara has just returned from Iran, and has some pics of herself, so you can get an idea of what she wore there.

    Hope this is of some use to you,Please check out my Iran pages for more info (though they're no where near complete!) and please feel free to contact me for more info.
    Have A Great trip, and I look forward to reading all about it!
    Best Wishes,

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  • nattybabe's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by nattybabe Online Now Dec 3, 2008 at 1:36 AM

    Thanks for all the answers! Very helpful! I fly to Shiraz, then go to Esfahan, then Tehran and then Dizan for skiing. It's a 6 day EID holiday. Yay!

    Seeing as it's going to be cold I'll bring pashminas to wrap around my head and neck like a scarf and I'll also buy other scarves which are colourful. Am off on a shopping trip at the mall tonight so hopefully I'll come back with something suitable. I can always buy an abaya if nothing else suits. i think my main concern at this point is staying warm (especially as I'm from Dubai!) and making sure the visa comes through. Fingers crossed!

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  • mortezasadr's Profile Photo

    Re: Women Dress in Iran

    by mortezasadr Online Now Dec 7, 2008 at 8:39 AM

    Salam, dear fellow. I'm an Iranian guy working in tourism related areas.I saw your questions about your trip to IRAN. I hope it wouldn't be too late. ragarding your first question, changing your money in you'll not face any problem . whatever your currency is, the exchanges will change it for you easily. but take my advice, if you travel to small cities of IRAN, it's better to have Dollar Or uruo with yourself. Visa card is out of use here due to sanctions. that was a problem my french friend faced this summer when he came here. and about what to wear, it's ok. just the hair be covered with scarf or pashmine or whatever. and ofcourse the body. you can count on me about whatever comes to your mind... this is my email. hope a nice trip for you....

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