What to Wear in Iran & Packing List

Iran is a country filled with conservative traditions with bits of modern flair. I must admit that when I first decided to go I’ve had no clue what to pack for Iran. It partially resulted in arriving in the country very unprepared. Despite the research, I was still feeling insecure about the outfits.

Iran holds many surprises for visitors, in terms of both weather and clothing. In order to avoid my mistakes, pay attention to some of the items on my Iran packing list.

Note, that I traveled to Iran around the end of March/beginning of April. Other months and places of interest different from those I visited in Iran might be way colder or warmer, so you should adjust your clothes accordingly.

What to Wear in Iran (2019)

What to Wear in Iran
Traditional Kurdish clothes.

Iranian Women and Dress Code for Women in Iran

Women in Iran must always wear a long coat/tunic over their regular clothes and are required to cover their heads with a scarf. It’s the law, and not only for women. Men should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts too.

Unless you’re told that you can remove your scarf, don’t do it. You can’t remove your scarf in a restaurant or a hotel lobby, but you can in a bathroom and your own hotel room.

While Iran is a conservative country and women need to be fully covered up at all times in public, it doesn’t mean that you need to dress like crap. When in doubt, do what the other Iranian women do.

I arrived in a pair of leggings and an oversized long tunic I got at Primark, only to find myself 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. As Iran changed over the years you don’t need to wear socks anymore and cover-ups aren’t that long. Your sleeves can also be 3/4 these days.

AND DON’T WORRY! Iran is safe!iran clothing


Don’t worry, you’re most likely want to buy a coat or sweater upon arrival to blend it more. I recommend you come with whatever you have and purchasing an appropriate light overcoat (manteau) which covers your clothing for $10-25 at the local market.

You CAN wear skinny jeans and leggings underneath. In fact, it’ll be more normal than wearing those baggy elephant pants. Iranians girls don’t show any intimidation in wearing tight pants, so why should tourists?

Remember that wearing a coat is not mandatory. I wore a long thin sweater and it was just fine.

Iran dresscode
The younger the woman, the shorter the manteau.


If you’re a person that doesn’t wear makeup when traveling, you might do an exception for Iran. My friend started doing her makeup after being asked many times during the day why isn’t she wearing any. Local women were finding it weird. VERY weird.

Makeup is an important part of their style, primarily in big cities. A lot of women do their eyebrows like in the US as they learn from watching YouTube tutorials. Heavy eyeliner is also very common.


Once you’re in Iran you’ll see how colorful the scarves are and you’ll want to buy many, even to use for your neckline later.  The coat or scarf need not be black – it’s a myth.

Don’t worry if your hair is sticking out of the scarf. Apart from a small percentage of older women, most young girls only cover the top of their head.hijab iran


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. Yes, you’ll look like you’re wearing a tent if you put it on like me.

Thankfully, I was helped later by a local woman. Don’t worry about bringing it, you will be loaned a chador when necessary.chador

Painted nails are fine

Before heading to Iran I heard and read that painted nails aren’t well seen. Somehow I forgot to remove my pink nail polish before arrival, but I quickly discover that everyone else uses nail Polish. Red, pink, whatever you want.

What to Pack for Iran – Iran Packing List

Basic Essentials:

  • underwear & bras
  • coat or tunic covering your butt
  • a pair of leggings, jeans or other pants – alternatively – long dress or long skirt covering your ankles (In my experience a long dress worked better than pants)
  • makeup kit
  • shampoo, conditioner, lotions & anything else you might need, as you won’t be given them at most hotels and guesthouses.

You don’t have to pack many outfits as no one will ever see what’s your wearing underneath your coat or tunic. I actually heard that during very warm summer months many girls wear just their bra under their tunic, as no one would ever know.

What to wear in Iran
You can rent one of the traditional costumes!

Lifestraw Bottle – Even though I personally didn’t find tap water unsafe, and water fountains are widely available, some people prefer to filter their water before drinking it or brushing their teeth. Lifestraw Filter Bottle always comes in handy in those situations.

Sandals – Sandals are totally acceptable in Iran. A comfortable pair is always a good idea. Luna Sandals almost never fall apart, so you might consider getting a pair.

Waterproof shoes – It rained quite often when I was in Iran, so these water shoes saved me.

Toilet paper – Hostels, guesthouses, restaurants don’t usually put out toilet paper. Scratch that – I’ve never seen any toilet paper at every fancy restaurant. Have some paper or tissues with you at all times to avoid disasters.

Remember that most toilets in Iran are squat toilets. Don’t be afraid, as they’re easy to use.

squad toilet
Squad toilet. No paper.

Refreshing water spray – You’ll be positively surprised by the water spray in hot cities.

Party outfit: skirt, dress, whatever you’d normally wear for a party – You will need a nice outfit if you’re planning on visiting locals, and you never know when that might happen. I was randomly invited to a wedding and birthday party. Iranians change into ‘Western’ clothes once they enter someone’s house. Boys into suits, girls into pretty nice mini dresses. You won’t fit in well with an outfit you’d wear outside.

Dry shampoo – In case you’re planning on camping or are too lazy to wash your hair daily.

Microfiber towel – I found myself in need of my little Packtowel many times, as some guesthouses weren’t providing towels. A microfiber towel is easy to carry and dries up quickly.

Extended Phone Battery – To charge your phone on the road. It’s my absolutely necessary item.

You could also pack…

Tripod or a selfie stick– Perfect to take photos of yourself when you travel solo. Plus, Iranians love their selfie sticks so you surely won’t feel out of place using it.

READ MORE: Best Carry-On Luggage Reviewed

What NOT to Pack for Iran

Alcohol – Don’t even try to sneak anything into the country. You might be jailed.

Enjoy water instead!

Don’t also forget to ‘pack’ your travel insurance. You won’t be able to enter Iran without valid health insurance and immigration does check it before they grant you Iran visa on arrival.

Even if you’re not someone who travels with health insurance (even though you should always have one), in Iran you don’t have a choice. World Nomads covers Iran and it’s the cheapest and easiest insurance to purchase.

Ultimate Packing List for Iran
What to Wear in Iran - Iran Packing List

Do you have any questions about what to wear in Iran? Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!
Want to read more about Iran? Check out my ultimate guide to Iran page.

77 thoughts on “What to Wear in Iran & Packing List”

    • Totally get your point as when I was a teenager all I heard about Iran were those movies and books by women who married Iranians, then went to Iran and suddenly husbands kidnapping them and their kids and them trying to escape etc. And that’s exactly why I went, to see the Iranian point of view 🙂 When I actually asked my Iranian friends about this they all agreed that for instance head scarves suck and noone wants them, but it’s not like the police is running around arresting everyone. In fact, the more questions I asked the more people replies were: ‘C’mon, we have normal lives here, it’s just not public’.
      The media only portray these things (so they do in any other countries). These things happen, but so do shootings in the US for instance and while noone denies it’s a problem people do live in the US normally.

      • This is excellent …. great advice on travel there. I have been there once and we are going back there next month . We have wonderful friends there and are looking forward to seeing them. Respecting their culture and rules is important and we do that to fullest. It will be our first time to Tehran and hope to see Shiraz. Thank you for sharing your info and experience in this beautiful country with such kind people .

        • Hello.
          I as an Iranian welcome you and every body else to come and visit the beautiful Iran. Of course, I as a tour guide, know the dress code, especially wearing a scarf or a long dress, would be a bit problem(at least I think so), but please think of it as a kind of new and a so-called strange tradition that would make your trip to Iran more surprising and memorable.Even a road without any bumps can make driving boring.
          I sincerely thank Anna for writing an unbiased memoir of her trips to Iran and hope to see her in her next visit to Iran.
          Let’s love each other and give beauties to each other

    • Our hijab is our culture, but we love it and we love it.
      We feel more immune with hijab.
      Our religion, Islam, has commissioned the perfect Dinh Kurow to veil.
      We are proud of the veil we have.
      I hope that one day this false impression of Iranian women will be eliminated.

      • Thank you for you comment. Many women and men in countries all over the world dress this way . its islamically correct.im American i dress this way .i hate when people make hijab seem like some weird far out way of life. I love the style of how vibrate and beautiful the hijab is in Iran.

          • Just curious. If visitors and new residents of Iran need to follow their rules and cover up, shouldn’t these religious people also have to respect our rules and not wear the hijab when they come to visit or work in our countries. Thought it was weird that a woman can’t go to Iran and wear North American type clothes while Muslim women want to live in the USA and Canada and not follow our laws.

      • I am married to an Iranian man and we have a very large extended family. Not one Iranian woman I know wants to wear the hijab or uniform. To say that it’s a false impression of Iranian women is not true. Very few feel the way you do! Too bad this beautiful country is ruled by such an extreme religious dictatorship. Many in my family travel back and forth to Iran with the exception of my husband, who by the way, “escaped” the country just like in the movie that is mentioned above. So for him and me (being American) it is not safe to go. Other nationalities may be ok, but I honestly hope any American woman considering a trip there really thinks about it, especially at this time. You may not come back.

        • I am an Iranian and I think whether you are lying or you are affected by your husband’s thoughts (That escaped from Iran) because the phrase “. Not one Iranian woman I know wants to wear the hijab or uniform. ” is completely untrue and biased. and I know many girls that wear hijabs by themselves and are happy of that.
          But after all that I think it’s completely wrong to force hijab for people who does’nt want it although I think hijab is the best for people who does’nt want to randomly show their body/tease people on the streets ( and that is my own belief and I don’t force it to anyone )

          • Why would I lie about such a thing? The fact that you associate it “teasing people on the streets” shows YOUR warped mentality. This may surprise you, but not every Iranian is Muslim.

          • Iranian woman here, and I am not planning on “escaping from the country”, I can confirm 95% of my friends would not wear hijab at all if it wasn’t mandatory.

      • It,s your own idea not all Iranians women,s believe: i am an Iranian woman n i wear this shitty thing on my head by force. yes, it,s not my choice n so many ladies who I know. besides, viceversa govermental religious rules, there are a lot of people in Iran who hate these obsolete rules

        • I know a lot of Iranian women and not one of them wants to wear it. Maybe the original poster is not aware of all the protests and women being jailed because they refused to wear it. (Sarcasm)

      • Not every Iranian is Muslim and those that are not should not be forced to wear it. There are Christians, Jews, Bahai’s, and even nonbelievers – but your government refuses to acknowledge them and treat them fairly. What about all the protests going on? What about all the women being jailed and beaten because they don’t want to wear it? What about the women (and men) who just disappear? That is not the media. That is the TRUTH and you know it. I think you are living in denial.

      • Hi Anna. I’m off to Iran next month. Do you know if a loose fitting full length dress with sleeve would still require me to wear a manteau or cardigan?

    • To be covered does not really mean they are not free. I see it as they protect their women well. Plus, it is their culture. That is why we travel, to understand their culture. We should set foot in a country without any prejudice.

      • That’s a bunch of bull! They are FORCED to cover and the majority do not want to! To say they are protecting their women is insulting! Haven’t you seen the protests going on?? Women are being attacked on the streets and jailed for not properly covering! Not ONE Iranian woman I know wants to cover!

      • It’s not actually our culture. Take a look at Iran before the Islamic revolution. I see photos of my grandmother in bikini by the Persian Gulf, the very gulf that I wasn’t able to swim in it after I hit puberty because apparently wet tunic is still provoking!

        And no, I think women who don’t have the right to get divorced, have custody of their children, travel without their husband or father’s permission, and inherit half the amount that their brothers do are not free.

        • Yep, that’s why for instance, women have re-fluxed hard into wearing head scarves in Slavic countries, even without laws. Because it is part of their culture. (Heck, Ukraine has a unique head scarf per region, and in some cases, per village) Yes, these were once required by laws, grandfathered from Pagan times to Christian times. But they’ve been part of the local culture since Scythian days. They only really vanished due to discouragement of traditional cultural mores during the USSR.

    • I’m from Iran and you’ll be more than welcome to visit there are lots of amazing places you would love to see.hijab is not that big a deal when it comes to tourists.you just gotta wear something a bit longer and a simple scarf will do the trick.pardon me to mention but the public toilets are awful.they look nothing like what you’ve used to.there’s a total different system to it.you better use the ones in coffee shops or restaurants and make sure you get a good hotel i think they are cheaper than the other countries and cheap hotels are not in a good shape.
      Make sure you visit Shiraz and Yazd.I live in Shiraz myself i’ll be happy to see you here

  1. With all due respect, what you’re telling us doesn’t feel right based on what we heard and seen (fake news or not) in the media. Frankly, it looks and sounds like Iranian propaganda. We see similar from people who travel through North Korea and if and when they get out, write glowing reports of happy children and well paid workers living in high rise apartment buildings and driving cars. I would NEVER support any man or women traveling to any country where their citizens lives are ruled by one man, one religion and seek to destroy others that don’t agree with them.

    • I won’t be going (the whole gay thing is a major issue there but goodness knows it used to be here too) in the near future but it is a historic country with incredible sights. It’s also important in terms of culinary history.

      Please read a bit about the history of Iran, particularly the 1900-1955. You may understand the culpability of the United States in more detail. And Britain, where you may be comfortable going.

      Unfortunately, relations between the countries seem to be declining, so it may be more difficult for American citizens to travel as tourists. It’s exceedingly difficult for Iranians to come here– I have a friend who was unable to have her mother visit even after the birth of her first child. (This friend does wear a headscarf in the US, although many other local Iranian women do not choose to wear one in the US.)

  2. Thank you for the Trip advice Anna it’s so accurate and you’re still so beautiful in those dresses <3
    Loved it…
    By the way to reply to the other poster… Yes women in Iran are not free, in fact no one is but women are limited more widely because of islam's nature itself. But Wearing islamic stuff in iran is not a culture, it's a law by the Islamic Regime that people should follow or they get jailed. We hoping for Regime change.

    • You wrote, “it’s a law by the Islamic Regime that people should follow or they get jailed. We hoping for Regime change.”

      It has absolutely nothing to do with the current regime. It is based on the Islamic law built into the constitution. Regime change? that has worked out so well in all of the other places in the Middle East where the US ha prompted regime change, hasn’t it?

      • Please check your facts – it absolutely has everything to do with the current ISLAMIC regime – the monarchy of the Pahlavi dynasty 39 years ago (and thousands of years before under other dynasties) had no such thing “built into the constitution”. Moreover, the irony of this is that the whole concept of “hijab” is based on Islamic tradition, not Islamic doctrine – nowhere in the Qur’an (note, I did not state supporting religious books) is there law to “veil your hair”.

        Nevertheless, “truth” tends to be relative and subject to an individual’s education and experience these days.

        • Amen! That is MAN’S law, not God’s law! My husband and sisters all grew up during the time when they dressed very western. I’ve seen photos of my sisters-in-law wearing mini skirts! Too bad the younger people have no idea of what freedom is — but thanks to the internet, they are learning how the rest of the world lives. Let’s just hope their internet doesn’t get cut off by the government!

        • Hello.
          If no where in Quran said women should cover their hair, so for sure what you have read was not Quran at all. And that is based on the Islamic doctrine,not tradition.
          In addition, Pahlavi was a completely anti-Islam monarchy, so it ‘s not surprising to hear what you said about it.But in those monarchies back to thousand of years ago, like Archamenaid or Sasanid, the women, especially the court women had to wear their body and hair and it was against their rules of the court and also was so bad for their fame.
          Please study more and then write the correct information here.

  3. Traveling to Iran can be a good idea, but at the same time packing is a headache. For the reason that it has strict rules about women’s wearing. That’s why, I would suggest that you should purchase dressing from Iran itself.

    • As you have seen the recent methods of outfits, it would be fine to shop in any country you live in. My daughter visited Iran September 2017, while wearing a cardigan with no buttons. She was not stopped or questioned by anyone as she was traveling between cities. Again, you follow your heart on what is safe to do. Wish you all a safe and eventful trip on your next visit.

  4. Thank you Anna for what we read here and also thank you for visiting my country. Indeed you mentioned good points that were nothing but facts. Here we do really like foreign visitors by being so hospitable to them. We do want all our visitors feel like home. In Iran we consider our guests holy friends sent by God ” Habibs of God” . Believe it: we even have proverbs for that. We don’t want anyone have a bad mental picture of our country and we do our best to prove it, especially for women: we behave respectfully and everyone wants to make sure everything with them is OK and nothing bothers them. The only problem is that these are cultural and linguistic differences. As any other country, we suggest the visitors to consider those differences neutrally with no negative prejudgments, and see them keeping the fact that: I am a tourist. The people are living their own lives and I am not here to change people or judge them .I am here to witness the differences. Then you will see that things are “merely” different: Neither harmful nor dangerous.Hijab, a bad or good, is accepted by the people and has entered daily culture. It is not the matter of force by culture or rule. It is something like if you smoke cigarette at school. You are not going to be severely jailed. Showing hair does not mean absolute nudity. People do understand it, especially for tourists. Every woman does it in public, but in privacy of home you will see them wearing their favorite clothing easily. Even policemen: They are there hired to warn you observe your hijab as a custom or rule or anything, but contrary to what might imagine they are not there to react urgently. I suppose in West it will be the same for school students or clerks to observe dress-code rules as well. Let’s be realistic. We don’t expect the US president to have a speech while wearing shorts. The same belief goes here, and we don’t expect men walking in shorts in public. It does not say anything dangerous etc. All kind of alcoholic drinks are available, though illegal and somehow with difficulty, to local people. We don’t recommend it to tourists. But as a tourist you might ask a hotel manager if he can arrange it. They won’t call police for that, I promise. But there is the likelihood of arranging one bottle for you at least. The satellite TV, free internet via VPN’s etc. are also available for locals, for you as a tourist they might be out of reach at first glance though , but local people use them at ease of their privacy with no concerns. Thousands of people in Iran got Facebook accounts, they spend more time on Hollywood films than expected through Iranian satellite TV’s broadcast abroad and even on national TV and you rarely find a young person in big cities that has not attended English classes. They are familiar with western cultures. Most of them want to keep Iranian reputation high. So they won’t steal anything from you, they might even guard you. Don’t forget that everywhere in the world you might find evil or good. Here the people will consider you a guest so here we might offer you free food or place to stay. Don’t hesitate then: They themselves honor to be host to such guests. My advice is: 1- Don’t judge Iran by media 2- distinguish between what people want and do with what the rule is. Most rules are flexibly observed in certain places. Your privacy is yours. Do whatever you are missing from your home.

    • I have no doubt that the people of Iran are wonderful. After all, I am married to one and our son is half Iranian. We also have a very large family that have all left the country, some only recently. So, I am a little familiar with your culture. 🙂 The thing is it’s your government… I wish it wasn’t, but you know it’s true. I’m sure once inside the country it is very safe. My fear would be be able to leave.

      • You are certainly right. But not the Government!!! Indeed Iran has two parallel governing systems operating simultaneously : the supreme leader and his followers, the president and his followers.And the government goes under the second category , which is a temporary 4-year limited administration , unable to decide anything outside constitution and clerical rules. The president and his men , including all ministers, are nothing but performers of dictated canons. They are what form the “government” ….The real decision making system is operating in silence … nobody would ever feel their presence, they never attend any international meetings or conferences …but they are in control of everything: The old (over 90 years old) clergymen who would make sermons, advice people of observing good and evil , warn them of hell and chastisement ….. but under the cover of good-character (god-father) preachers they decide what people do, what they are allowed to eat and what is good for people…. they are Iranian sovereign system ..

    • Hi Alizera,

      I think you are completely wright about prejudgments , I love India and I know a bunch of people that would never go there…..so I’m familiarly with different culture, in fact is that what I’m looking for.
      I’m Portuguese and next week we (6 Portuguese girls) are going to Iran for 2 weeks trip.
      I kindly ask you for some advice’s: can we smoke in the street? You talked about a VPN for internet , should we download it in our country? Do we need to pay for it? Can we buy a SIM card in the airport ?
      Many thanks for you support

  5. Thanks for sharing this post. As in Iran the dress code matters I would like to share your dressing ideas it with my sister who is going to visit that place for her friends birthday bash. Keep sharing such helpful posts.

  6. Very informative and true. Have been twice and both times were exceptional. Hijab is no problem. Many women complain but look at different groups all over the world who wear some form of head covering. Food is exceptional andhealthy. All your tips are on target. Thanks.

  7. This is really a fantastic guide for Iran, I am so glad that I have come across your blog, as this year we are planning for a trip to Iran, this is really helping us. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  8. I am planning to visit Iran. Your blog was extremely helpful. I’m already in love with Iran and very excited about visiting. I’m from India and long dress and head covers don’t bother me. One question tho’–I have long loose dresses about six inches above ankle, should i wear socks or leggings underneath and must I wear an overcoat on top?

    A woman from India living in USA.

    • I’d say you’re probably fine since they’re really not as strict towards tourists as they are towards locals. As long as your knees are properly covered, then it’s all good.

      • Hallo! Thank you very much for your so helpful post on this blog! I was wondering if you can help me: I bough a couple of items like scarves or a long tunic for my travel in Iran. In all guides/websites I read that you have to cover your ankles, but I see a lot of pictures of beautifully dressed Iranian women with pants that let their ankles uncovered, like with boy cut. Mostly I see them on Pinterest. Since I have many pants like that, if it’s possible to use them, I don’t need to buy new ones, not counting that I like them much more the the longer ones. So do you think that is necessary to cover your ankles or I can wear boy pants without problems? Thank you very much!

  9. I am a larger lady travelling to Iran next month and I do have a couple of longer bum to knee dresses that have a fitted look around the top but flow from underneath my bust line. As my breasts are a good size I am concerned I would look all booby. Would something like this be ok to wear with jeans or leggings or should I buy something looser around my breasts. Any suggestions would be welcome

    • I’d say as long as your boobs are covered and your dresses aren’t low-cut you should be fine. You can always put more scarf on top of your boobs if you end up feeling uncomfortable 🙂

  10. I have not visited Iran till the day and i have gone to the places like Dubai, Saudi and other places. But after this article, i would surely like to visit the places that are mentioned. I just have to plan the trip after my Dubai visit so just have to go ahead with that.

  11. We have just returned from Iran early November. Before we left I read everything on your Blog as to what is acceptable dress for women. I really got obsessed with what to wear trying to make sure I dressed acceptably. I needn’t have worried….. a couple of long shirts that just covered my bottom,leggings a couple of scarfs and I was set. Just a tip as far as the scarf goes I had a couple of light smaller ones that worked well and weren’t too hot. As for the Iranian people they are the most friendliest, generous and happy people we have met anywhere in the world. We had a lovelydriver/guide to ourselves that was extremely knowledgeable about the history of his country. We would go back there in a heartbeat and thoroughly recommend to any nationality.

  12. Hello I’m Aroosha and I’m from Iran. I’m a young girl and I should say you shouldn’t cover all of your hair in Iran. Me and my friends don’t cover them too. I’m really glad that you visited my country and I hope you be happy to. We have many beautiful cities and places in Iran. I like to see other countries like you.

  13. dear Anna ….
    everything that you say about Iran is correct…..
    i hope you visit Iran again and have fun more and more….

  14. Just to inform you about Iran , men are not required to wear long sleeve shirts, it’s a false information. Women are not required to wear all of their head and hairs with hijabs. It’s just in black and white not accepted by Iranians in practice. For travelling to Iran try to get cheap flights from iran air lines. Try to get village villas in north of iran to chill out, more beautiful than alps mountain and forests.
    Go to shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Yazd, Kerman and Tehran with multiple flights.
    We are hospitable people, just ask us when you’re in two minds about housing and travelling within Iran, you would be surprised when see how Iranians invite you to their homes rather than spending a night in hotels.

    Go and explore fabulous Iran

  15. Foreigners will not be jailed if they try to bring alcohol into Iran. The police understand that they might not be aware of Iran’s public policy. The worst case scenario is that they will take it from you and you are okay to enter the country.

  16. Thanks for your informative post! I am going to Iran for March/April of this year with my husband (who is Iranian) and 4 kids (10, 6, 3 and 1). For the dress code, is it ok for me to wear a tunic style shirt dress with no coat? Are long open cardigans with a t shirt underneath ok?

    • If your sleeves are at least until your elbows you should be fine. But bring coats and sweaters. I went in March/April and it was freezing!

  17. Hello everyone!
    First off, Anna great job with the blog- it’s unbiased nature makes it believable and quite wonderful.
    Also, I’ve been skimming the comments and realized how many there were on “Women shouldn’t be forced to wear a hijab”, “This is unreal and unfair”, and from the other side, “It makes the women immune”, “It’s part of our culture and we love it”, etc. I would like to clear this up on behalf of Americans and Iranians since I am both. I understand it’s unfair- I was born and live in America so I don’t see how wearing a hijab and covering yourself entirely is fair. However, I do visit Iran VERY often since my whole family is Iranian. For the people who believe it’s crazy or sexist, uncalled for, unbelievable, and so on, please don’t make such assumptions when you haven’t even lived there. Yes, it would be better if EVERYONE was born with freedom in what they wear, yet you don’t see anyone moping around. It is correct that written in certain books and prayers, a hijab isn’t given to women in a sense of “they need to be covered”, but more in a sense of “they have pride they must not lose”. How the women take this is different- it’s understandable that it would be fun to dress freely but I know from experience that not all women would be comfortable with that, AND it would interfere with their culture. Once this important part is removed, then the culture becomes more faint and it’ll eventually eradicate. Wearing a hijab is meant to protect a women from vulnerability and “the outside”, keeping her respect for herself and her body. It’s meant to work as a shield from people and the environment. Additionally, it isn’t only women who have to keep covered so no, it’s not sexist. Women don’t get arrested for not wearing a hijab (unless they’re running around the street naked), and they don’t get beat up. Men also have to keep covered in respect for their culture and religion. No, it’s not sexist. Although it would be fun to dress freely, it’s not worth loosing the culture and the value hidden in the meaning of keeping yourself covered. I have lived there. I’ve learned from that experience what it really means to wear a hijab. Yes, it may suck but at the same time, women won’t complain about it. Most embrace it in the fancy colors and types of fabric. If it truly bothered them, they could happily move to a more secluded area in Iran where they could go outside without wearing a hijab. It’s simple.
    I hope that cleared some things up!

  18. What’s the fishing like over there? I make professional-grade fishing tackle at home, and need a vacation.

  19. I absolutely loved your blog, it helped clear up some views people have about Iran. I’m part Iranian and Hijazi raised in the states. I have friends and family living in Iran. I also visit Iran with family. The hypocrisy of some of the posters on this blog is just mind blowing.
    1. Most AMERICANS don’t know what’s outside their zip code, let alone Iran. Some of you on here have posted about your ‘feelings’ in regards to visiting Iran due to Iran’s dress code for women; both men and women have a dress code they must follow when they’re in public. Both men and women are expected to cover up. There are no restrictions when it comes to a woman’s right to an education, work, politics. Iranian women are some of the most educated in the region. They’re doctors, engineers, scientists; they hold major position in government.
    2. Iran is a country that went through a revolution. It went through a long, 8 year war, it continues to go through economic sanctions imposed by the US.
    The fact that some of you actually lack basic understanding of what happens during a revolution speaks volumes! It wasn’t until the early 1900 that women in the states were granted the right to vote, it wasn’t until the 1960 that black Americans had to struggle to be considered equal. It almost took 200+ years for America to achieve that. Every nation goes through a process.
    3. I’ve studied political science and history, I suggest you study up on what’s known as Soft War, stop trying to impose yourselves on others, stop trying to shove your way of life on others! Have some respect for other cultures and go erase your ignorance, in today’s times, there’s absolutely no reason!
    4. Millions visit Iran every year and of those numbers, less than a handful are caught because they’re hanging around restricted government sites and are involved in suspicious activity!

    Bottom line, No, women are not abused. There’s a dress code for both men and women while in public. There’s a dress code in the states as well, the difference is in how much one can show!

  20. Dear Anna, thanks so much for your information about travelling Iran!!
    I want to go there in November and I am so insecure of what clothes to buy and to wear, although I read so much about it until now. What I still don’t know is if the coat needs to reach the knees. Or is it okay if it ends somewhere on the upper leg?
    Best regards!

    • It’s going to be pretty cold in November, so you’ll want to dress up more 😉 As long as you’re covered don’t worry about the length of your coat.

  21. Hi Anna I’m going to Iran next month. Can you tell me if lacy or see-through’ish’ scarves are acceptable to wear? I’m not used to wearing anything on my head and I’m trying to pick ones that are light and won’t feel like a weight. Thanks.

  22. I am looking forward to my trip to Iran & experiencing the culture there. I have travelled in other Muslim countries & never had any problems. I am happy to conform with the laws & wear a scarf etc. Incidentally one country I would never want to visit is the usa – especially when they have such a bully of a leader at present.

    • Can I pack my bible? Can I bring bibles as gifts for friends? Can I have my Bible app on my phone? The US is a country with many freedoms, including religious freedom. Just wanted to make sure Iran was the same, as all the posts here indicate that it is a very free country and all visitors are welcome.

  23. Hi!
    I’m an Iranian girl. I really enjoyed reading your article I’ve been always wondering how my country looks like from a tourist’s point of view.
    I just wanted you to know a bunch of stuff about here like Iranian people aren’t really into hijab themselves unless they are so religious
    Alcohol is allowed in areas where jewish or christian people live(cause it’s a need there)
    People here spend too much time and money on makeup because they’re not really a fan of naturality and that’s dissapointing(as an Iranian teen I don’t even know how to do my makeup for a simple birthday party)
    LGBTQ+ community is not really supported by adults(especially religious ones because they think god hates gay people) but teenagers treat it better
    That’s all I can remember
    I hope you come here again, I also live in tehran and I hope we meet someday
    I’d like to travel around the world and make articles about different places like you do.
    Love Ya❤


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