I am researching the hijab or ‘enforced standard of dress for ladies in the Islamic Republic of Iran’ with the zeal a PH.D student.
My years at a Catholic high school* have taught me how the addition of sparkly jewelry, bright coloured tights and the removal here and there of a few inches of fabric can transform a girl from flying nun to sex kitten under wraps. And I am determined to go to Iran looking respectfully, attractively as much like myself as possible.
*My mom, a committed atheist, enrolled me to keep me from going ‘wayward’ not because she loves Jesus.
So begins a furious study of stylish but acceptable hijab-wearing…..
1. Chador aka – the tent, Hefty bag, bin liner, Sith Lord, Barbapapa
I’ve read stories of foreign women arriving in Iran wearing tent-like chadors and being laughed off the streets. Plus you have to hold the damned thing together with your hands or teeth. Screw that. No tent for me. Next option…
2. Manteau and Scarf
Described in official literature from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Guardian Council as follows:
Manteau: ‘loose-fitting coat that conceals all womanly curves and drapes well past the backside’.
Scarf: ‘must cover all the hair and preserve the female’s modesty’.
Let the games begin.
TIP: type ‘Tehran street fashion’ into Google images. I feel like Anna Wintour pouring over spreads for the Fall issue.