Hijab rules for visitors to Iran

Question: I plan to visit Iran before the end of the summer and I don’t know what to wear?

Answer: Dress codes for female visitors are specific and defined and there are certain guidelines which we will explain. A head scarf is required by law, while it is best to avoid showing arm skin on legs when entering the airport, even if you are a foreigner.

After the 1979 revolution in Iran, new Islamic laws required women to wear the hijab outdoors. Since then, all women wear the hijab in public places. Additionally, international visitors are required to dress as Iranian residents. In recent years, coat fashion has shifted from tight-fitting coats to looser garments (better in the heat). There are several online stores to find styles like this before you hover.

How to cover yourself in Iran?

The coat. This word from French has become one of the most common forms of cover for women in Iran in recent years. The loose long coat (best in summer) effectively acts as a cover for your usual tops and pants.

You will see women dressed in full black capes called “tchador” literally meaning tent. As a visitor, you don’t have to cover up like this if you don’t want to, and it’s often reserved for the more pious women in Iranian society.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, notably in the cities of Qom and Mashhad and shrines, where it is advisable to wear a larger blanket such as a chador at shrines.

Sandals and flip flops (jandels for you Australians) without socks are acceptable for women and men and you don’t need to cover your toes.

Covering inside

In commercial places like malls, women are always expected to wear a headscarf and a coat, while inside houses, a blanket is less expected except in a religious household.

Hijab for female tourists in Iran

As stated above, visitors must abide by hijab laws. But most of the time they don’t have to wear it as strictly as Iranians. But remember, in holy places such as Imam Reza Holy Shrine, Fatima Masumeh Shrine or Jamkaran Mosque in Qom, wear a chador.

burka in iran

The use of the burqa is very unusual in Iran. There is a type of veil in the south of the country that is found in the province of Hormozgan, but if you visit cities and tourist areas of the country, you are unlikely to encounter this style. If you visit Hormozgan, you will find women wearing boregheh which is like a mask! Very exotic even for most Iranians.

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