All the female tourists we talked to had worried about what to wear in Iran. Quite easy actually: baggy pants, a shirt that cover your hips and bum, very little cleavage, short scarf – otherwise most of it is wrapped around your neck and drives you crazy, especially in the heat. You are set, not matter where, in rural areas or in urban areas!
Of course in the hip north of Teheran or in the Julfa quarter in Esfahan, you will be out-dressed no matter what you wear. There you find the most stylish and most elegantly dressed women, an almost transparent small scarf dangling over a bun of beautiful shiny hair rising high up. Very different in smaller towns and rural areas: it is the chador, period!
Young male Iranians wear exactly what young men wear in Europe and in most parts of the world, except shorts though. This phenomenon – how differently the two sexes are required to observe dress codes in Islamic countries – has always been puzzling us.
We also learned that tourists get away with a lot that Iranian women don’t. We watched the youngest daughter of an Iranian family being stopped by a group of female pasteran who scolded her for showing too much hair and wearing a low cut T-shirt showing too much of her neck. A couple we met in Teheran was worried about her smoking in public, while we were resting in a park.