Chumrot in women’s clothing – Help decide!
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- This topic has 18 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 5 months ago by batHH.
September 28, 2017 7:46 am at 7:46 am #1371610
Shalom aleichem, I am a convert living in a small diaspora community in which the frum circle is tiny and very diverse (but totaling only a few families) so there are not too many frum women to copy. We have haredim, modern orthodox and chabadniks.
Among the frum women, most of them wear 1) various patterns and colours, 2) nail polish, even red 3) only 3 of them wear tichels, others all wigs 4) a few wear stockings 5) many would wear shiny statement jewelry etc…
I am the only woman who frequents my haredi shul, and somehow I have come to feel comfortable wearing 1) stockings if my skirt is not ankle length 2) no nail polish 3) smart casual style on a daily basis (I work in a profession that is consistent with this) 4) simple color blocking with subtle elegant cutting, rarely wearing patterns (black/white + pink/blue etc.) 5) small jewelry 6) subtle makeup 7) no heels etc… For not just tzniut but also very practical reasons. First of all I am not available for shidduchim because I am still converting so I don’t find the need to attract a potential shidduch at the moment, and second, I feel happy dressing more “black and white” because people notice you less, and third, I save a lot of time for reading Torah books and sleeping instead of matching all sorts of colors and patterns.
It has come to my attention that I am the only one in my community dressing like this. There were still guys that got interested in me even when I dress like this, so given that I don’t want to date during my conversion I don’t think I am going to liberalise” my style any time soon. But in the long run, I wonder if I am doing the right thing dressing the way I am – smart casual, elegant but simple and subtle styles. If you put me next to a lady dressing just as frum but with colours and more makeup and jewelry and cute trendy styles, I definitely look “too haredi” as my friend put it, and that’s where I get confused – am I doing something good for me?
So, may I ask: do you guys think single women who take on chumrot on dress style (for the sake of tzniut and convenience) are going overboard in an unhealthy way? In the long run, would that put off potentially good shidduchim of talmidei chachamim who just happen to not like a “too haredi” style?
I truly would appreciate your honest opinion or story-sharing, because as a convert I don’t have my own family as a reference point.September 28, 2017 9:06 am at 9:06 am #1372613
There’s no such thing as too Hareidi. The more, the better.
And there’s no justification to dress to attract when in the public street even when one is in shidduchim.September 28, 2017 10:46 am at 10:46 am #1372699feivelParticipant
if you’re doing this because you wish to please Hashem, then you are doing a most wonderful thing. be strong.September 28, 2017 10:46 am at 10:46 am #1372666ChanieEParticipant
BatHH – you sound very grounded and in touch with yourself. The point of dressing for shidduchim is to find the man who is right for you. Obviously you want to present the best “you” (clean and neat, not dirty and sloppy, for example) but you still have to be yourself. If your style is low key, that’s going to be something that your soul mate appreciates. If you dress in a more flashy style you may grab someone’s attention, but its more likely to be the wrong someone because if you’re not flashy, you don’t want a husband who is looking for flashy.September 28, 2017 10:59 am at 10:59 am #1372742
Thanks so much for the encouragement guys, I guess it’s just Amalek trying to discourage me as he always does 🙂September 28, 2017 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #1372760
As a man I cannot advice on the details of your questions, but I can give general advice:
a) Do not appear to be different than people of your community. You don’t have to be The most trendy etc. but as long as you don’t stick out as being “different” you are fine.
b) As being in a conversion “process” – do NOT take upon any Chumros – start with basic basic Halacha only, and slowly but surely you can start adopting Chumros. E.g. You don’t have to wear the most striking nail polish but you should/could wear some. Later on, if you feel it’s not modest enough, you can start wearing only clear or no etc . (note, this is just as an example – I am no expert on these topics)
c) The most important – Be aware that Joseph is on the extreme side, before listening to him! LOL
May you have lots of Hatzlacha on your journey and a G’mar Chasimah Tova!September 28, 2017 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1372787kollel_wifeParticipant
Please stick to your convictions – your standards of tznius are commendable. There are some chareidi ladies that are too flashy. Although we try to put our best foot forward when dating, you don’t want to try to be someone that you’re not. If you aren’t comfortable with large jewelry or a lot of makeup, (which I agree with by the way), then don’t dress that way to bring shidduchim your way. You wouldn’t want your potential mate to do the same. Eg if you want someone with a white shirt and black hat you wouldn’t want him to wear that only to impress. (If he wants to wear because he strives for that, that’s different). Colors, when not bold – like hot pink, can be refined and tznius. But if you don’t have the time for that, when dressing for work – don’t worry about it. Much hatzlocho to you in your journey.September 28, 2017 3:53 pm at 3:53 pm #1372983apushatayidParticipant
a chumra is something you decide to take on in your avodas hashem. that is something you have to determine with the help of your teacher/mentor/rebbe etc…September 28, 2017 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #1373774Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
I know you asked for guys’ opinions, but here’s a girl’s opinion:
I can’t tell for sure without seeing you, but from your description, it sounds fine to me. While it’s true that sometimes people have to be careful about going to extremes, it doesn’t sound like that’s what’s going on here.
Being extreme in terms of dress would involve being so concerned about tznius that you don’t look nice. Or it could involve dressing in a way that you are not comfortable with and don’t feel is “you”.
I don’t have the impression that either of those things are going on here. It sounds to me like you are very put-together – maybe even more than most people – and like you are dressing in a way that you are comfortable with.
It also doesn’t sound like you are doing anything extreme. The things you are doing may be somewhat unusual in your community but most of them are pretty standard in most Chareidi communities that I have been in. Most Chareidi women I know wear stockings and don’t wear nail polish, tons of jewelry, or high heels. The amount of makeup varies – I find that there is somewhat of a range of what’s considered acceptable.
I understand that it is awkward to stick out, but I’m not sure what’s wrong with looking too chareidi. In any case, it doesn’t sound to me like you are doing anything unhealthy or extreme, if you are comfortable with the way you dress.
The question you should be asking yourself is: Are you asking these questions because YOU are uncomfortable with the way you dress or because you are worried about what others think?September 28, 2017 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #1373812
Thank you for the brilliant points raised.
Gaon, I’ve actually tried putting on some mint green nail polish after being shomer and I was grossed off myself. I used to like red polish etc but now not at all, I guess applying what everyone said I should pick out chumrot that I genuinely feel comfortable about and stick to those.
And yes Lilmod I am asking mostly due to worrying about what others think of me. Not a very leshem shamayim starting point I guess.
Gmar chatimah tovah to all!
Have an easy and meaningful fast.September 29, 2017 9:38 am at 9:38 am #1373955apushatayidParticipant
“due to worrying about what others think of me.”
What matters is what hashem thinks of you and your actions.September 29, 2017 9:56 am at 9:56 am #1373966Takes2-2tangoParticipant
When you get up to shamayim one day , god will not ask you whether u were charedi or not. Just do what hashem wants and you’ll be fine . Charedi is a made up concept. Hitler ymach shmo didnt care if u wore black, White or purple because a jew is a jew. Just remember extremism is anti tora.September 29, 2017 10:05 am at 10:05 am #1373977
Orthodox is also a made up concept. They won’t ask upstairs whether you were Orthodox.September 29, 2017 10:14 am at 10:14 am #1373984akupermaParticipant
You are confusing “style” with “halacha”, though a strong halachic argument can be made for dressing to conform to the community you associate with. If you view Hareidi clothing over time, you realize they evolve just like all fashions but largely independently of what the local population does .September 29, 2017 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #1374048Takes2-2tangoParticipant
Joseph thanx for strengthening my point . Reason i mentioned charadi and not orthodox os because charedi was the key word being usef. But your right , orthodox as a prefix to y yiddish kiet wont help u after 120 when its just lip service. Do what hashem wants from you period. Longer shmoneh esrays because you have to compete with thr guy behind u is worthless to god. You might as well daven regular and do something constructive in thay extra shuckling time.October 1, 2017 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #1376240yid18Participant
I commend you for all that you are doing. It’s not easy to take on all the mitzvos. The ladies said it all very well.
I wish to add regarding polish. Many frum women wear light pink. It looks good but not flashy. Nevertheless,
polish has it’s own laws. If a small amount is missing on your nail, you cannot wash for bread. Also, your dressing sounds just fine. You want to attract the guy that will match to you. Very often, married women tend to dress differently e.g. less simple, than single girls so don’t compare yourself to the marrieds.
I wish you hatzlacha rabbah.October 1, 2017 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #1376255shimenParticipant
de eibishter WILL take the 4 parts of jewish law and will ask if you adhered to itOctober 1, 2017 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #1376267
“Very often, married women tend to dress differently e.g. less simple, than single girls”
Why is that?October 1, 2017 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1376306yid18Participant
Joseph, Single girls want to like fine and not too showy. This is the right way. Once they are married, they have a husband, they are safe. If it’s ok with the husband, they can dress better, more make-up etc. This is OK.October 1, 2017 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1376314
“LeShem shamayim” is a life long achievement, we all have selfish reasons, that is human nature. Some have more and some less. There are only a few that can claim they mean purely 100 LeShem shamayim. The starting point s always shlo LeShem shamayim, as the Talmud states, you should learn Shlo leshmah and later on you will reach the level of lishmah.October 1, 2017 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm #1376315
Asides a practical reason, I figure there is a difference within halacha prespective as well to be more machmir once you’re married, as at that point the woman becomes a deOraisa.
Whereas, a single carries no biblical issur of Lo sosuru..October 1, 2017 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm #1376342
Yid18: GAON is correct. A married woman, as an eishes ish, has even more restrictions. She shouldn’t be going outside more showy than an unmarried girl. In the home, for her husband, of course its different. But outside in public and away from home she must always be much more modest.October 2, 2017 3:38 pm at 3:38 pm #1377471Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
batHH – there is nothing wrong with caring about what others think. That is the way Hashem made us, and it is normal and probably a good thing to some extent. I think that it is healthy to realize that others’ opinions matter to you, and I did not mean to mean to imply otherwise, and I’m really sorry if I made it sound like it’s bad that you care what other people think.
The whole idea of dressing a certain way (no matter how someone dresses) is based on caring what others think, since the way you dress is the way you present yourself to the world.
My point was that if you are comfortable with your manner of dress and the message you are projecting is the one you want to project, and dressing otherwise would not be YOU and would be projecting yourself as something that you are not and you are just feeling peer pressure to change, then you should stay the way you are because I think you will be happier that way.
It’s hard to explain the difference (especially since I don’t know if there always is a clear-cut difference), but I hope you understand what I mean.October 3, 2017 6:29 am at 6:29 am #1377692SadigurarebbeParticipant
batHH: you are doing great and are on the right path in your avodas hashem. You should be an inspiration to all the other ladies.October 4, 2017 2:58 am at 2:58 am #1378458
You all are amazing, thank you for helping me gain some clarity.
The yetzer hara likes to blur things up when you do the right thing 🙂
yid18 – thanks for pointing out about the married vs unmarried difference. That was very useful info that I didn’t know about. In any case, I also would prefer my husband wanting me to dress the way I do outside, and only dress flashy inside home if that’s what he would like. The Talmud on Abba Hilkiah’s wife dressing up to him coming home really speaks to my heart.
GAON – very helpful Torah insights. Shkoiyach.
A blessed and happy Sukkoth to everyone! A gut kvittel!!
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