Are there any attire requirements for male travelers in Iran? There are many reports and much advice that women should dress conservatively and we have a related question about headwear for women. But what about male travelers? Are there any requirements for them?

To make the question practical, would a T-shirt and shorts be acceptable for male travelers? Would it be legal, tolerated from tourists, frowned upon, anything else...? Would the reaction to a Western male in T-shirts and shorts be different in Teheran than in the mountains or the countryside? And what if you would be doing sports activities like running: does that change acceptability?

I am not worried about sticking out or being the source of giggles but would like to avoid harassment or hostile reactions.


8 Answers 8


well as an Iranian, I should say that dress code is not that hard and strict that you might have heard except hijab for women which is only enforced by gov (that is not frowned upon by locals and girls are free about that at not crowded places), so you just wear whatever you like and don't worry that much.

But if you like to blend in and not be the center of attention

  • Shorts are considered suitable for kids only and those practicing a sport like biking, running, etc
  • Wearing too casual in formal places and formal meetings is not appropriate, and the appropriate dress could be only trousers and a shirt
  • You need to remove shoes in houses and mosques. Generally when you see a clean carpet ;)
  • T-shirts are OK
  • Weird haircuts are not normal they are weird :))

People in Iran are very hospitable and they know you're a tourist coming from another culture therefore it would be totally unlikely to face a harsh reaction whatever you choose to wear.

Have fun and welcome to Iran

  • 6
    I was waiting for an answer by an Iranian and this matches perfectly with what I've seen. And I loved your country. Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 18:10

For men, shorts aren't acceptable in public areas. T-shirts are ok (except in mosques). The only place were you will see people wearing shorts is around beach areas. So men's legs have to be covered...

In mosques, men usually have to wear long-sleeved shirts rather than t-shirts.

  • 1
    What would one wear to visit a mosque for example ?
    – blackbird
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 15:49
  • For sure you can go to a mosque with a t-shirt, "usually" they go with long sleeves because that's what most people wear, specially for older people.. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 16:04
  • 1
    "For men, shorts aren't acceptable in public areas." Is that valid when "doing sports activities like running" as well? From the few images I can find on Google, it does not seem uncommon to wear just shorts even for adult men when participating in physical activities. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 16:24
  • 2
    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo I believe most people would wear a jogging to practice sports. Still, you might find some exceptions. There seems to be some tolerance with foreign people. I would say : when in Rome, do as the romans do... So probably wear a jogging for sport even if a short might be acceptable for foreigners.
    – Olielo
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 16:54
  • 4
    What do you mean by not acceptable? Would one be told off for wearing shorts? Or even fined? Or would one simply be considered a weird tourist? Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 20:44

Went to a wedding in Iran last year, and then travelled around for two weeks.

Shorts - definitely only at the beach. This was difficult in July/August, but it's just the way. I'm not sure at what age this applies - kids were wearing shorts, but no adult males, at all.

Otherwise, tshirt and jeans/chinos were fine, although a lot of the Iranian men wore collared shirts.

The wedding - suits for all the guys was the call of the day.

I also wore a cap at times, no problem.

We were often guided into mosques by helpful assistants who worked there (volunteers) and they said there was no problem with what we wore for visiting mosques - although for some areas, you'll need to remove your shoes/caps/hats. It's usually clear - if in doubt, follow the lead of the locals.

  • 1
    Just curious - did they guide you in as a friendly way to avoid the faux pas of entering the wrong gender area? (I don't know whether or not mosques in Iran are segregated)
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 10:00
  • @AndrewGrimm that's getting off topic, maybe ask a new question?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 12:12

If you're obviously a foreigner, you'll get away with much more than Iranians.

You won't find many (any?) Iranians wearing shorts, and even when doing sports in a 'regular' public space, shorts aren't nearly as common as track suits. This, though, would be different at a venue specifically designed for sports.

You will see Iranian men wearing short-sleeved shirts, but long sleeves are the norm.


Iranian dress code for men are easier than women. Their dressing is the same as male dressing all around the world, but it is better not to wear short trousers. You can wear shorts in village ,beach and for sport activity.About T_shirt you are free to wear all kind and don’t think at all that colors are just black and white, you are free to choose any colors that you like.Iranian male follow fashion of the world and even you can buy some new and unique fashion style that combination with Iranian style when you are in Iran.


That's right. Many of websites have explain Iran dress code for women since the rules for men isn’t as strict as the men . generally, men can wear T-shirts but you can't wear shorts in public. But for sport activities such as cycling or running, you can wear

  • 2
    The last sentence looks cut off.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 10:02

I've been there in 2012. Dress attire for men is much more relaxed than for women; especially if you're a westener. Generally, wear long pants though. A t-shirt or polo will suffice. Normally, you should wear long sleeved shirts or such, but nobody will really blame you since it's most likely really hot when you're there.


Wearing t-shirt is ok. But sleeveless shirts and shorts are not suitable for Iran. Everything is explained in this video by an Iranian young lady: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvR1JgOipWg

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