Evolution of Islamic Dress

Evolution of Islamic Dress

These photographs show the evolution of different kinds of hijab for women. Across these images, one gets a good sense of how women’s dressing evolved under the Islamic Republic.

Under the Shah’s regime, many women were bare-headed. Older women might wear chadoor (literally a ‘tent’; the long semi-circular piece of fabric in which women envelop themselves) outside; it provides anonymity – see if you can find me

International Women’s day was one of the last when women could still be bare-headed; the decree toward covering came in March 1979. From then on, many waves of islamified coverings have been developed. In some photographs, women are wearing gloves, never required. Some wear a roo-sari (literally “on the head”, a scarf) only while some wear a roo-sari under their chadoor.

Traditional women did and still do wear chadoor. A chadoor is a semi-circle of material that is anchored on the head and gathered around the body, with no buttons or zips to hold it in place so sometimes womenhold it in place with their teeth.  Often underneath the chadoor is a roosari (literally a head-covering; a scarf) but sometimes women only wear a roosari.

After the revolution, some women started to wear a maghnayeh, a fitted head-covering that partially covered the chin.

A new Islamic fashion industry has developed in Iran.