What to Wear 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.
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.
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) that 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. Iranian girls don’t show any intimidation in wearing tight pants, so why should tourists?
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 heads.