For Women: Female travelers in Iran are expected to cover their hair and wear long clothing on their arms and legs. However, wearing a traditional Chador is not mandatory; a scarf to cover the hair is sufficient.
Scarves are usually worn loosely, and it’s acceptable for some hair to show, especially in larger cities. Pants should cover the ankles but do not need to be wide – tight jeans are popular among young Iranian women. Long skirts or dresses are also suitable as long as they cover the skin completely. Tops should be loose-fitting, covering the buttocks, arms, and cleavage.
Alternatively, the cleavage can be covered with a scarf, and sleeves should extend below the elbow. Iranian women often wear tunics or longer cardigans and are heavily influenced by Western fashion. Open shoes and painted nails are not a problem. Young girls should start to follow these dress codes from puberty.
For Men: The rules for men are less strict, but shorts are not allowed. T-shirts are fine, provided they have subdued designs without provocative prints. Ties are not common but are accepted. Sandals are very popular in Iran. However, sturdier footwear is recommended depending on the trip and excursions.
General: Iran is a country where hospitality is valued highly, and Western guests are warmly welcomed. While the dress codes have relaxed in major cities like Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz in recent years, it’s important to respect these rules, especially at religious sites. Contrary to some misconceptions, there is no obligation to wear dark colors. In fact, light colors are recommended during the summer.