Iran Packing List

As I mentioned in my “Overview” post on Iran, the dress code is one of the things that stress people out about visiting Iran, but it’s actually quite simple. All you have to wear is a headscarf (no need to worry about covering up all of your hair) and a top/jacket/coat that cover your butt and with sleeves past your elbows (the men have to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants as well.) Other than that, it’s anything goes – skinny jeans (and other tight clothes), heels (or sandals in the summer), and bright colors are all allowed.

You may have heard of the “morals police” going about admonishing people for not sticking to the dress code, but I only witnessed one instance on Tabiat Bridge, in which a local girl was gently reminded by a security guard to fix her headscarf, which had fallen down. As long as you don’t walk around with your head bare, you’ll be fine. The ladies in Tehran are especially stylish; I felt a bit underdressed with my travel wardrobe!

The usual sightseeing uniform

Travling during the winter, like I did, definitely makes covering up easier, but I imagine that in the summer, the scarf and long shirts would actually be cooler than baring it all (as anyone who lives in a hot climate knows, you should cover up in the heat.) That being said, here is what I packed for my 10-day trip:

– Tops: 4 thermal tops (I get cold easily), 1 turtleneck top.

– Bottoms: 3 pairs of tights/leggings (for layering under my jeans), 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of fleece-lined pants.

– Outerwears: 2 turtleneck sweaters, 1 cardigan (these are all long enough in case I had to take off my coat), 1 waterproof coat.

– Shoes: 2 pairs of boots (one lightweight for city walks, the other for more vigorous hikes.)

– Acessories: 3 scarves (they are harder to keep on my head than I expected! Bring a hairclip to fix them to your hair if necessary.)

I did feel relieved to take off my headscarf upon boarding the flight home, but I never felt any pressure from having to dress a certain way while in Iran. Don’t let it deter you from visiting this wonderful country!



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