By: Mir M.Hosseini
During a session on December, 12, 1928, Majlis approved a bill according to which all civil servants who did not have a uniform were obliged to wear a cap, pants and a shirt. Iranians thus had to give up their traditional long attires and wear European style clothes. Clerics were exempt from this rule.
There was a penalty of 1-5 Tomans for those who did not obey the law. This provision created a fund at municipality that made it possible to supply for those who could not possibly afford new clothes. The goal was to create some sense of unity among citizens while eliminating old style clothes that prevented people from performing their jobs.
The law however lacked some vision and did not succeed because:
- Iranians in different parts of Iran chose their clothes according to their climate and traditions which would not easily adopt to the rule.
- Long costumes represented Islamic way of thinking that practically covered body parts which was essential for women and was the sign of some sort of social respect for the elderly.
Nevertheless, Reza Shah who had Ataturk's model in mind did not give up and enforced the law to the extent that he became a hated figure among Shiite clerics and Islamic conservatives who naturally opposed modernization by force.