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Trends for modern Iranian Manteau (multi-part series)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Iranian Kurdish woman

Those who know me and have been reading my blog since it began back in 2009 at its original URL HERE, know that I have a deep appreciation for traditional and cultural forms of hijab and that I have familial ties to Iran and Persian culture hence my frequent Iran-related postings. While perhaps “Cultural Hijab” might not always be perfectly in line with what from a religious viewpoint would constitute proper hijab, never the less they are often beautiful and quite often more modest than what many Muslims wear nowadays.

Anyway, I come from a family with a strong arts background and although I did not choose the Arts for myself as I did not want to struggle like I saw my family struggle, I still have always had an “artists soul” and grew up around looms and charcoal and watercolors, so the current trend in the Iranian “manteau” fashion industry towards a very simplified, loose and casual style which often has elements from traditional Persian culture incorporated really warms my soul.

Ergo, I am going to do a short series highlighting these new designs and hope to inspire those of you who weave, embroider or sew to perhaps add a bit of an ethnic element to your everyday style.

Pre-Revolution: I wont go much into the historical evolution of covering and de-covering in Iran but lets just say before the Revolution in the 1970’s,  tribal and rural women wore their traditional attire which varied and still varies by location, village, tribe and ethnicity, the urban women from religious families (scholarly families) dressed in either a westernized-yet more modest style or wore a chador and the westernized urban women often wore much the same as women in London or France, some were more modest about it, others not so much.


Revolution – post-Revolution: Around the Revolution time women took up wearing rain coats which I can assume were chosen based on their availability and square kerchifs of some sort, some also sewed various types of scarves…this is very broad and general but I just wanted to do a quick overview so bare with me. Some also adopted wearing the traditional chador as well. There seemed to be a strive to design a type of outfit for women which was considered “Islamic” but totally different from the types of covering worn by tribes or villages. Hence “Hejab-e Eslami” was borne.


This rather simplified and “heavy” style was the norm until the mid-1990’s. Its quite frankly the type of “hijab” I remember as a teenager. To me “wearing hijab” meant wearing something in the Iranian style… a square scarf pinned at the chin with ends pinned some way and a midi-or longer overcoat type garment.  For most covering Muslim women the
Iranian “Hejab-e Eslami” influenced their clothing style as well and many Muslim majority countries adopted covering forms which were based off of this style. The “Tesettur” style in Turkey started similarly as did styles elsewhere.

Anyway in the late-90’s things began to change and many women started to wear manteau which were ridiculously short or extremely skin-tight in an effort to forge a personal look which they felt was more in line with Western fashion and the times Ive been Iran it became increasinly more difficulty each time I would go to find manteau which I found ideal-midi or longer, loose and modest.

Instead everything was;

2004scarfdownschoolgirlsand since then manteau became shorter and tighter while retaining its coat-like style.

But over the past few years Ive noticed a gradual change to a softer, looser look which often incorporates elements of traditional Persian culture or embroidery from a regional tribal group.

These designs will be show cased further…





1 Comment

  1. Pls come back, Umm Ibrahim. We miss you!

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