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Women Clothing (Hijab)


As you may know, there are certain rules in Islam about clothing, especially for women, called Hijab. Iran, being an Islamic country has these rules too and you are required to obey them. Hijab is an Arabic word which means cover or piece of clothing but today it is almost exclusively use for women.

No matter what you have seen in the news or on the internet, Hijab in Iran is not as strict as you might think.


What does the law say?

Women have to cover their entire body except for their face, hands and feet. It is also important that the clothes should not be transparent. There are no restrictions about color, material or the type of clothing

• How strict is it?

The rules are not as strict as they may seem. Women must put scarves on their heads but it can be loose and show a little bit of the hair; they are free to wear jeans, brightly colored clothes, makeup etc. Also, folding up the sleeve up to your elbow is a common practice for women.
You can see from a lot of photos that Iranian girls dress quite up to date and not at all uncomfortable clothes.

Reactions about Bad Hijab

• Police Nowadays the police enforce hijab laws less strictly, especially if foreigners are concerned. They avoid disturbing the tourists so you will hardly be stopped because of hijab. Even if the police stop you, they will just notify you about the rules of clothing in Iran. So there is no jail, punishments or fines about hijab but of course they will stop you if you reveal too much of your hair or skin.

• In the street People’s reactions to hijab can be different depending to the city you are travelling to, but fortunately Iranians understand that in many cultures there is no hijab and that you are not a local, so in large cities you can walk without any problem and people will not pay much attention to your hijab. But in little cities people may stare on you if you do not have proper hijab although they will never cause any harm.

• In Iranian homes The idea of clothing habits can vary greatly depending on the family. In Tehran most families do not have any problem about hijab and you can stay in their homes dressing the way you would do in your home. This is true for other big cities as well, but in little cities and in more religious families people pay more attention to hijab, so it is better to ask the women in the family how you should dress.

• In Holy Shrines or Mosques In religious places, women have to wear a chador which is a long fabric covering all the body. Chadors are mostly black but colorful ones can also be found.In some touristic mosques you are not forced to wear a chador. And do not worry if you do not have one because if necessary they will give you one at the entrance and take it back when you are leaving the mosque.

Where to find and buy Islamic clothing

In case you live in a country where there is no such thing as hijab and you do not know how to dress, you can simply bring your winter clothes to serve you as hijab while travelling in Iran. This can be quite uncomfortable during summertime, so you can buy some Islamic clothes like tunics and scarves from the numerous shops offering a wide variety of choices.

We will provide information about hijab stores in the shopping section on the page of each city.

Bad and good Hijab

Although the law is explicit about hijab, some clothing items are not advisable to wear in Iran because they can be unacceptable for the Government and for religious people. Very tight or short clothes as well as showing most of your hair from under your scarf can be considered bad hijab.

Here are some photos demonstrating types of clothing and telling you which ones are not acceptable in Iran.