Persian Dress Through the Ages

Fashion – love it or hate it, it inevitably pops up in women’s lives and in practically every corner of the world.

In Iran, women are required to dress modestly by keeping their hair completely covered and by wearing long, loose-fitting clothing to disguise their figures. For those bold enough to flout the Islamic Republic’s dress code, they risk getting fined, imprisoned, and worse, flogged.

Yet despite the harsh penalties, many young, fashion-savvy Iranian women have abandoned chadors and drab, formless coats for colourful headscarves and tailored coats that are subtly pinched at the waists and end at the knee.

While the strict dress code is mandatory today, it has not always been so in Persian history.


Throughout the ancient world including Persia, both men and women used make-up, wore jewellery and coloured their body parts. Moreover, their garments were both elaborate and colourful. Rather than being marked by gender, clothing styles were distinguished by class and status:


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