“You really ought to take pictures of those women’s outfits,” said my husband. He was talking about the baggy pants of the religious women up at Nachal Hashofet during chol hamoed (the intermediate days of the Sukkot holiday). One reason most rabbis don’t allow pants because they show the separation of the leg from above the knee. The pants pictured (mostly) hide the shape of the legs until the knee, yet allowed the women to enter the nearby spring without their skirts riding up.
I showed these pictures to commenter Yosefa, who informed me that they are called “harem pants.” So Israeli religious women from Bat Ayin didn’t invent them. Bat Ayin is a community in Gush Etzion known for its “hippy” styles.
Last week I stopped in at several of the religious stores to search for some of these pants. One store, actually called Bat Ayin, had a few, but not as baggy, and in tweedy materials for the fall. The saleswoman said they are called “aladdin.” I asked if she had any lightweight ones, for hiking, and she said she would order one. So far she hasn’t gotten back to me. I wanted one for a hike through the Majarassa stream near the Kinneret, which we did this past Friday.
In a different store, I was told that aladdin refers only to the very baggy styles, not the more fitted ones pictured below. The dark one by Rama, from last year’s collection, went for half-price at NIS 200. The light one, at the Evelina store and of much lower quality, cost NIS 250.
The pants at Evelina also didn’t have a care label, which is against the law here in Israel.
In the interest of blog research, I tried on the Evelina pants. I found the pants much more restrictive than a wide skirt. I felt like I was wearing a diaper.
When I asked my daughter if they are allowed to wear aladdinim [pl.] in her high school, she said that the issue came up about two years ago (where have I been??). The girls may not wear them, even on school trips. It’s a slippery slope toward wearing pants, I guess.
At Majarassa, with a group from my husband’s company, the women all wore conventional skirts.
And we’ll have to talk about the elaborate scarf ties that perching a large amount of hair (?) on top of one’s head, as pictured in the upper left, another time.
Here’s a link (Hebrew) for getting the “turban” look.
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