A chādor (CHAW-door) is an outer garment or open cloak worn by some women in Iran, Iraq, and some other countries under the Persianate cultural sphere, as well as predominantly Shia areas in public spaces or outdoors. A chador is a full-body-length semicircle of fabric that is open down the front. This cloth is tossed over the woman’s or girl’s head and she holds it closed in the front. The chador has no hand openings, or any buttons, clasps, etc., but rather, it is held closed by her hands or tucked under the wearer’s arms.
Before the 1978–1979 Iranian Revolution, black chadors were reserved for funerals and periods of mourning. Colorful, patterned fabrics were the norm for everyday wear. Currently, the majority of Iranian women who wear the chador use the black version outside, and reserve light-colored chadors for indoor use.