You need to know that traveling to Iran requires adhering to certain rules, among them dress code.
The Iranian dress code is not as strict as you might have heard , but it is not also as relaxed either.
Women need to wear cloths that cover their body modestly. Here are some tips:
1- come with your own cloths and then buy some new ones in Iran. This would help you to integrate easier in the society and therefore to travel more comfortably.
2- Whether you want to buy your travel cloths in Iran or not, you need to wear the following cloths as you enter Iran.
- a long sleeve shirt
- a pair of long pants that doesn’t show your legs.
-a headscarf that modestly covers your hair.
- if possible wear a mantou. Mantou is a trench coat. nowadays majority of Iranian women wear mantou as their main cover dress , when they need to go out to work or street. Chech the images on the left and also the following link for a better understanding of the kind of dress code that you would see nowadays in Iran streets.
Beginning to understand the dress code…
Limitations in what you wear in Iran:
There is a quit wide range of variety within the limitations of the kind of the dress code that government wants its people to wear. And you are not an exception to that either. So don’t think that you have to stick to certain kind of style, color or design. just try to wear modestly if not conservatively !
Men can wear T-shirts , jeans, …etc except shorts on the street.
Younger generations are always taboo breakers!!
Public dress code:
Traditionally Iranian women wear Chador. Chador is a long cloak, usually made from dark color fabric.
You are not required nor need to wear chador. Chador usually signifies some degree of conservative and traditional minded dress code.
Some religious sites like ShaheCheragh in Shiraz would provide chador to female tourist , if they want to visit inside of the mausoleum .
I guess it is a good idea to buy one chador as a gift and something to keep. Something that would always reminds you of Iranian women, of their … and …. . I let you to fill the blanks on your discern!
You will encounter many situations where you be approached by random people who are really interested to know of you.
It is mostly out of curiosity and wanting to ask you what you think about your travel . The funny thing is that many of them offer you help , even though you might not even need any help. but that is just part of Iranian mentality and being overtly helpfulness.
You might be offered to join for a dinner , tea . That is again part of Iranian culture which sees sharing whatever they have with foreigner is a virtue and part of Iran culture of hospitality. You are encouraged to accept such a invitations, unless you have reasons to not.
Younger generation is more curious that older one. They want to learn of you , to hear what you think about their country and of course there would be lots of questions about freedom , politics, movies, sport…etc. S you are going to have fun talking to them .
It is ok to socialize with opposite sex so long as it dosent get to the overt expression of affections on public. So , please no kissing or holding hands!
It is not really a good idea for women to smoke in public . So try to avoid that as much as you can.
Be Aware :
Try to avoid staying late night out . Do not accept shady invitations. Do not go to underground clubs. Wear modestly. Learn some words in Farsi.
Try to dress conservatively and try to take clue from the local women. It is always good to know how to avoid advances and nuisances that others might advertently or inadvertently cause . You can thwart such a advances by no eye contact , moving away from the person or place where you feel uncomfortable with. Always trust your instinct and if you felt really uncomfortable with a person or situation go to the nearest hotel or store and ask the manager to help you. In worse situations you can ask for calling police . in the most of case it would not get to the point of asking any body to help you getting rid of irritation person since an angry look would alarm the obnoxious person that he or she should stop it. Believe me it works every time!