Bloggers on Tzniut/Modesty/Jewish Women’s Dress

Last week I posted some comments about tzniut, and tagged some observant female bloggers with questions. Quite a few responded with a wide variety of opinions and experiences. Here are the ones I have seen so far:

Sephardi Lady at Orthonomics: She points out that whether or not one wears a sheitel (wig) and what type may have more to do with one’s “social standing” in the community more because of economics and less because of observance. She also provokes an interesting discussion in the comments section about frum girls and athletics.

She tagged Out of Town, who hadn’t posted in a while:

I think a lot of the ladies in my community would dress a little differently if they were taught otherwise. There are a lot of baalei tshuva here, who became baalei tshuva here, and don’t know any other community. I wouldn’t say they should be instructed to keep a yeshivish version of tzius, but a little longer sleeves wouldn’t hurt either. I makes me a little uncomfortable being around frum women in tank tops, b/c I think they are uncomfortable with me seeing them….

If I understand correctly, in her non-New York community (for those unfamiliar with the term “out-of-town”), there is actually more social pressure to dress less “modestly.” So not everyone in the Orthodox community is headed to the right so quickly. . .

As Frumhouse began to dress more modestly, she was warned that she should not begin covering her hair unless she was sure she was ready, because if she ever decided to stop people might assume that she stopped being observant entirely. That’s something that never occurred to me, and I’m sure the women I know who stopped covering their hair didn’t leave observance. Her blog has quickly earned quite a few readers with her lighthearted style. Unfortunately, recent health problems may force her to cut back and we wish her a refuah shlemah.

In my community, I haven’t found huge differences in observance between the middle-of-the-road Orthodox women who do and don’t cover their hair. In fact, I am constantly surprised by what some women choose to be careful about, or not.

Raanana Ramblings writes how while unwilling to wear skirts or cover her hair for one potential husband, she came halfway around the world for “the right one”! Unlike in my community, mothers in Raanana can come in pants to pick up their kids from the religious school. Dress standards for picking up kids from school is a big issue everywhere, I think.

Trilcat‘s husband did ask her to do a bit more than she had planned, and she still struggles with it a year into the marriage. In a follow-up post, she writes about her unusual religious background as the daughter of an army chaplain.

Safranit also recently made some changes to her dress. Check out what the “kiruv queens” said to her.

Raggedy Mom makes a statement about fashion (and definitely not a fashion statement, according to her):

I think that it’s sometimes easier to look ‘cute’ in pants for a casual look than a casual skirt-outfit. Or, rather, harder to look frumpy in the pants.

I agree with that one! Also, skirts calls more attention to your (non-stylish) shoes.

Pearlies of Wisdom answers the meme in the comments section of Raggedy Mom’s post. She also mentions the school pick-up issue, and how she often feels uncomfortable mixing with women who dress more strictly.
One more, this time from Lady Light.

My own answers.
Orieyenta has what to say too.

You may also enjoy:

Burkas: The New Fashion

Interview with a (Former) Kannai (Extremist)

Your Intrepid Reporter Discovers the Aladdin


  1. I wrote in the comments on my post, and I’ll repeat it here, that I really would understand if the school decided to make the moms wear skirts when we pick up our kids. The pants I wear are always tasteful and modest, but still, it is a religious school. I can already picture a number of moms who wouldn’t like it, though!
    Anyway, this was a really interesting meme, and it was a lot of fun reading all the different answers and viewpoints.

  2. Thanks for getting this going and thinking of these questions! I really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses. Like you, I tried to aim for diversity in who I asked, as it makes for more interesting reading to get some broad perspectives.
    Are you posting your own responses?

  3. Thanks for the questions and the links! I have enjoyed reading everyone’s answers.

  4. What a lot of fun.

  5. I find it interesting that most women said they feel comfortable with those dressed more leniently and that it’s a woman’s personal choice to dress a certain way. My experience of tzniut has been the opposite–I feel uncomfortable around those dressed more leniently.
    I connect to tzniut by seeing it as a way to do a mitzva that’s really not fun. I enjoy keeping Shabbat, so it feels like less of a big deal, but when I cover my hair despite knowing that I look better with hair uncovered, it’s an actual sacrifice for the sake of keeping Torah. Basically, the fact that it’s hard is what makes it easy, and what I dislike about it only makes me like it more :).

  6. dress tznius says

    Hey, people can look good and modest at the same time. Try a modest wedding gown and let me know how people respond to that. I welcome your comments on my tznius topics.

  7. I am a Christian woman who felt led to change the way I dressed about 10 years ago. I wear dresses only, which come to a few inches above my ankles. During the week I tend to wear denim jumpers with long sleeved turtlenecks in the winter and crew necks with sleeves just above my elbows in the summer.( The heat REALLY bothers me, so I haven’t yet come to shirts below the elbow or to the wrists in the Summer) I wear scarves that co-ordinate with my clothing when I am outside our home but take off my head coverings when I am home alone with my husband. Sometimes I am quite aware that I am dressing “differently” than the women around me, since I am not part of a religious community that has modest dress as a standard. Most of the time I am comfortable with how I look and don’t think about it too much. My husband wasn’t too sure how he felt about the changes when I first started to want to wear modest dress but he has become very convinced over the years that this is the way a good woman, who is trying to please the Lord, should dress. There have been many Christian women in recent years who have become convicted about modest dress, particularly amongst the “home-schooling” groups. I notice that I am treated very differently in public by both men and women since I started to dress in this way. So, I am committed to continuing with modest dress and the headcovering.