Two years ago I was arrested for wearing leggings. I was walking in Vanak Square in Tehran, wearing a pair of black leggings and a long green manteau [Editor’s note: coat-like outer garment]. A female member of the ‘morality police’ came up to me and asked me why I was wearing leggings. I asked her if they were forbidden and she said: “Yes, we issued a statement: they’re banned!”
I called my boyfriend and he brought of pair of trousers to me. I was about to put them on when the police woman started yelling: “We have to take photos of you wearing the leggings!” . They took photos of me wearing them at every angle, and only released me a few hours later after I signed a form promising I would never wear them again.
Just yesterday I saw the morality police in Vanak Square, arresting women wearing leggings and taking them away in vans. I was sitting on the bus and I took my headscarf off right in front of them, just to annoy them, because I knew they weren’t going to follow the bus.
A regular pair of leggings costs twenty to forty thousand tomans [est. 5-10€], whereas a pair of jeans costs at least 100,000 tomans. Many women prefer owning five pairs of leggings instead of just one pair of jeans.
The morality police were more lax just after the election, but they’re making up for lost time now by cracking down hard. And leggings are so popular now, so wearing them has become the latest crime.