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5 Countries With The Strictest Dress Codes

5 Countries With The Strictest Dress Codes

Around the world, dress codes vary significantly, reflecting cultural norms, religious beliefs, and legal requirements. In some countries, strict dress codes are enforced, affecting both citizens and visitors. These dress codes often stem from deeply rooted cultural or religious traditions and can carry serious consequences for non-compliance. Let’s explore some countries known for their strict dress codes.

1. Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, dress codes are heavily influenced by Islamic law. Women are required to wear an abaya, a long, flowing black robe, and are expected to cover their hair with a hijab. Men must also dress modestly, typically in long pants and shirts that cover their shoulders. Non-compliance with these dress codes can result in fines, deportation, or other legal consequences​​.

2. Iran

Iran imposes strict dress codes based on Islamic principles. Women must wear a headscarf and a manteau, which is a type of long, loose-fitting outer garment. They must also cover their hair in public. While there are some exceptions for tourists, modest and respectful attire is expected, especially at religious sites and in conservative areas​​.

3. North Korea

North Korea enforces dress codes that prohibit clothing considered too Western or revealing. The government regulates clothing styles and even haircuts, with restrictions on long hair for men and trousers for women. The dress code aligns with the country’s overall approach to controlling various aspects of citizens’ lives​​​​.

4. France

Although not as strict as in some other countries, France has laws governing certain types of clothing in public. For instance, face coverings are banned in public spaces. This law, which includes items like niqabs and burqas, was implemented in 2011 and has been a subject of debate in terms of its impact on personal freedoms​​.

5. Sudan

In Sudan, dress codes are influenced by interpretations of Islamic Sharia law. Sudanese women can face arrest for dressing in a way that is considered indecent or not in accordance with public order. This often includes wearing trousers or clothing that is deemed inappropriate by local standards​​.


Dress codes are a complex issue, often intertwining with cultural, religious, and legal factors. In countries with strict dress codes, it is crucial for both residents and visitors to be aware of and comply with local regulations to avoid potential penalties. While dress codes vary greatly around the world, understanding and respecting these differences is key to appreciating the diversity of global cultures.

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