What does fashion mean? More and more, we see a focus on models rather than clothing.

 

(thetehrantimes.tumblr.com)

Seen in Tehran: Mixed Prints. (thetehrantimes.tumblr.com)

We find style in the arch of a model’s bare back and elegance in thigh gaps. We strive to achieve fashion through our bodies, not our clothes. But style does not always come hand in hand with sexuality.

 

In the capital city of Iran, one of the most restrictive countries in the world, women are finding ways to be fashion pioneers, all while being fully clothed.

 

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a religious theocracy that requires all citizens to oblige by Muslim dress codes in public. For women, this means long pants, modest overcoats, and headscarves are to be worn at all times.

 

Today, new generations of Iranians do not let this hold them back from finding ways to express themselves in modern and trendy ways. They layer colorful scarves and sweaters with patterned shirts and pants. The latest watches, handbags, and sunglasses are abounding: brands like Ray Ban, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Zara, and Fendi are just as common in Tehran as they are in New York City.

 

(thetehrantimes.tumblr.com)

Seen in Tehran: Bold colors. (thetehrantimes.tumblr.com)

These women dress in a way that is not only respectable — effortlessly combining modesty with fashion — but inspiring as well. Even secular Western fashionistas find themselves enamored with their pairings, pinning images of outfits for future use on Pinterest. The style of these Middle Eastern women is not just “good for a Muslim girl,” it is downright good.

 

Though they face social oppression daily, Iranian women still find the joy in dressing up as if each day were a special occasion. As women, they are fighting for social reform equality, and justice. As global citizens, they are rising up as respected leaders in education, science, and the arts. Iranian women are smart, determined, and innovative and being fashionable on top of it all sure doesn’t hurt. If we must dress for the job we want, these women are most definitely dressing for success.

What do you think about Iranian style? Share your thoughts with us below or tweet me @LydiaYekalam