Iranian fashion, moral police, iran dress code, manteau iran, iran streetstyle, hijab fashion, hijab streetstyle

Breaking quite a few fashion (& legal) rules with this look, mindlessly wandering the streets and alleyways of the capital of Iran.

While I could have broken out my tripod and broken a few more social rules while I'm at it, I thought it would be fun/more appealing to the sloth inside me to collaborate with a couple of Iranian photographers to produce a some shots. This one is in collaboration with Ali Mohagheghi, an architect-in-training and Instagram photographer who really works well with lighting and angles (he's mostly a landscape photographer). I highly recommend checking out his work on Instagram! Iranian photographers have a distinct style that is really beautiful and I think so different from what I'm used to in the USA. Or I could just be being a nationalistic Iranian. Anyway.

Back to rule breaking. Let's dissect this.

+ Harem pants are actually an ancient Persian invention (you're welcome 21st century) designed for the women in, well, the royal harem. 
(Side note: Amazingly enough, if you look up harem pants on Wikipedia, the only mention of their historical roots in Persia is a single line referring to where the French "introduced" them to Europe from. The "article" continues on about harem pants as European. See, fashion is always political. That, and your high school teachers were always right--don't trust Wikipedia for your sources, kids.)

Euro-centric Wikipedia entries aside, harm pants have always remained a staple of Iranian clothing, although mostly for various ethnic minorities and villages in Iran. While harem pants were originally a Persian design, they haven't resurfaced recently to become part of mainstream Iranian style dominant in major cities, as they have in the West.

So wearing these pants and walking around the streets of Tehran is, well, ill-advised. As some boys  *graciously* took the time to remind me. From across the street.
It's obviously not illegal, but just a big fashion no-no. 
(unless you're into strangers asking what you're doing and a lot of stares at your legs).

+ Massive chunky boots, I also found out, no one *really* wears in the summer (someone asked if Zorro gave them to me) but I guess that's sort of fair. That doesn't really happen much in the USA either, now that I think about it. Actually yeah I think it's really just me...? (someone back me up)

+ I'm also wearing what would be labeled an open-front manteau, which is actually currently very much on-trend in Iran. Legally though, not so much. While the state probably appreciates that this cardigan is long and loose, they are not a huge fan of the fact that it opens in the front. They like dat shit closed. 

In fact they don't like it so much that I could potentially get stopped by the Gasht-e Arshad (essentially the moral police) and asked to change. According to my friends who have gotten stopped, this is actually a lot less terrifying than it may seem. Also they're not as accessible as one might think, as my 2 months in Iran was spent solely desperately searching for the Gasht. With no avail. (I did other less-important things too in these 2 months like research and stuff but yeah).
Of course, I don't want to erase the people who have had horrible experiences caught up with the Gasht-e Arshad, largely, this is not the norm.

At least Iranian police don't have shoot-to-kill tactics or militarized training, as they do in the USA.
(related reading: 4 Things You Need to Know about Police, Militarization, and Islamophobia)

+ Especially paring this open-front manteau with a crop top was like screaming for the Gasht to come find you, because if you're going to be a punk and wear an open-front manteau your shirt will at least need to cover your crotch. 
Let's say mine was a tad bit short.

Typically, women wear longer shirts to makeup for keeping a manteau open. Not that it makes a different legally whether you wear a short or longer shirt with an open manteau, as the manteau should be closed either way, it does lower your risk of getting stopped. 

In any regard, while this #ootd is ill-advised as it breaks various unspoken fashion and written legal codes, it's still super important to note here that I still felt comfortable enough to prance around in front of a camera in an alley at sunset. 
So pretty damn comfortable. 


Iranian fashion, moral police, iran dress code, manteau iran, iran streetstyle, hijab fashion, hijab streetstyle
Iranian fashion, moral police, iran dress code, manteau iran, iran streetstyle, hijab fashion, hijab streetstyle
Iranian fashion, moral police, iran dress code, manteau iran, iran streetstyle, hijab fashion, hijab streetstyle


Photography: Ali Mohagheghi | Location: University of Tehran, Iran | Scarf: Iran | Boots: c/o Zappos | Purse: c/o Macys | Top, Pants: Zara | Cardigan: Bershka

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