This Is What Iranian Women Looked Like In The 1970s

After the 1979 revolution, as Iran became a conservative Islamic country, women were ordered to dress ‘modestly’, which by law required covering the hair and exposed skin. To this day, many women have attempted to push the boundaries of what is considered ‘acceptable’, but the rules were and still are strictly enforced by the religious police.

A series of photos taken way back in the 1970s shows how women in Tehran expressed themselves before the revolution.

Many wore short dresses, skirts and high heels, while others chose to dress modestly with loose coats and scarves covering all but their faces. Such clothing would be unthinkable today under the current law where all females — from children to grandmothers — have to be covered from head to toe in public.

In the 1970s, Iran’s capital was a metropolis with an array of fashion options and women competed with each other for the most stylish look. With the coming of the Islamic revolution, such outfits were no longer acceptable, however.

Tehran’s wealthy elite also once enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, jet-setting between their homes in the capital and beach resorts which were popular holiday destinations.

The Iranian capital was also a thriving hub for artists, musicians and other bohemians. But after the revolution these liberal ways of life came to an abrupt end as religious leaders sought to stamp out Western influences.

You might be surprised to learn that these stunning pictures of glamorous women are from Iran.

These images are from old magazines from before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, when Iran was a secular country on the path to modernisation.

Pre-1979 Iran was secular, Western-oriented, and liberal.

Women’s fashion was modern and Western but with a classical Persian twist.

The story in Iran is very different today. But despite restrictions due to conservative dress code laws, women continue to dress stylishly.

Roman sandals anyone?

These models pose in Tehran’s Golestan Palace.


If you found this article interesting, make sure you check out 19 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Iran.