How Much Below the Knee Should a Skirt be?
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- This topic has 120 replies, 50 voices, and was last updated 8 years, 1 month ago by Geula.
March 23, 2012 3:13 pm at 3:13 pm #602626
How far below the knee should a skirt be? Obviously it can’t just cover the knees in a standing position, and must be lower than that in order that the knees always be covered in all positions including sitting, stairs, cars, etc. How much below the knee is required to insure the knees are always covered in all positions?March 23, 2012 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #1059806yentingyentaParticipant
“they” say 4 inches below the knee is sufficient. but it changes from person to person AND dif styles of skirts. straight skirt need to be drop longer, flary can sometimes be a drop shorter. taller people need longer skirts as well.
best bet, try on the skirt, sit, stand, and walk up stairs to see if its long enough
there really is no one answerMarch 23, 2012 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #1059807mytakeMember
You will probably get answers ranging from “According to so and so it’s ok as long as it hits just below the knee, everything else is a chumrah” to “4 inches. minimum”
My take: Try it out for yourself. See how many inches you need to ensure coverage in all positions.
Hatzlacha!March 23, 2012 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #1059808Avram in MDParticipant
How far below the knee should a skirt be?
At least 4 to 6 feet. Stilts are recommended to avoid having the skirt drag on the floor. 🙂
I hope this answer is serious enough for your serious question.March 23, 2012 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #1059809
It depends on how tall you are. And what kind of skirt it is. And whether your brain is in your head or in your knees.
(And what your assumptions of halacha are)March 23, 2012 3:50 pm at 3:50 pm #1059810chaimboruchMember
it depends if you want to get attention for yourself– if you dont mind getting attention then shorter… if you are annoyed when guys look at you– then have it fully covering your knees and a bit longer…March 23, 2012 4:11 pm at 4:11 pm #1059811apushatayidParticipant
men shouldnt wear skirts. of any length.March 23, 2012 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #1059812
PBA: Where does halacha leave legitimate room for assumptions, as it pertains to this issue?March 23, 2012 4:24 pm at 4:24 pm #1059813
PBA: Where does halacha leave legitimate room for assumptions, as it pertains to this issue?
I was referring to your assumptions as to what the halacha is.March 23, 2012 4:27 pm at 4:27 pm #1059814ItcheSrulikMember
An inch lower than it had to be last year.March 23, 2012 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #1059815
PBA: The point that the knee must be covered in all daily situations (sitting, walking, stairs, car, etc.) is what you are referring to as an assumption? If not, then what? If so, why would you refer to that as an assumption? What halachic opinion is otherwise that the knee and above can be exposed?
(If you are questioning whether the knee itself can be exposed per some minority opinion, then simply understand the question as to exposing above the knee, as a too short skirt will expose even above the knee.)March 23, 2012 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #1059816
Yes. That is what I am questioning.
I dunno nothing about these halachos. Since I don’t care much about them. I leave them to the girls.March 23, 2012 7:29 pm at 7:29 pm #1059817LogicianParticipant
PBA – you have to know when you can say devorim sheb’kedusha in front of a woman.March 23, 2012 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #1059818
that’s true. I solve it by never saying devarim shebikdusha in front of any women.March 23, 2012 9:57 pm at 9:57 pm #1059819YBC rocksMember
4 inches but if u have any questions call Rebbetzin cohen the wife of harav simcha bunim cohen shilta in lkwd she will guide u on all tzinus problem 732-370-8239March 24, 2012 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #1059820
According to the Mishna Berura (75:2)it is sufficient to cover the knee where it is customary to reveal the lower leg. The Chazon Ish disagrees and says that it must reach the foot. Presumably she has a tefach leeway (Shulchan Aruch Orech Chaim 75:1).March 25, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am #1059821
Its gotta be long enough to cover in any position, not just standing. And Avi, there is no tefach leeway.March 25, 2012 2:33 am at 2:33 am #1059822
Farrocks, are you a posek? Cite your source for the seifa (I have already seen the reisha in pesakim and it is a sevara).March 25, 2012 3:25 am at 3:25 am #1059823
How is it a sevara? What has to be covered, has to always be covered in any position.March 25, 2012 3:47 am at 3:47 am #1059824147Participant
Consult your local Rov.
This is what you pay your Shul membership for, to receive direction & guidance.March 25, 2012 5:25 am at 5:25 am #1059826
Farrocks, it is logical that if it has to be covered it has to be covered in any normal position. Thus, it is a sevara.March 25, 2012 5:40 am at 5:40 am #1059827
Farrocks, are you a posek? Cite your source for the seifa (I have already seen the reisha in pesakim and it is a sevara).
I will help farrocks out. See tur ad loc that the tefach heter does not apply to the ???. See taz 75:1 brings this lehalacha. See mishna berura 75:7 also brings this lehalacha.
Avi: Did you not look up the source you yourself cited, after finding it on some other website?March 25, 2012 7:42 am at 7:42 am #1059828Shticky GuyParticipant
Fact 1: The knee is an ervah.
Fact 2: An ervah must always be covered at all times.
Fact 3: The lengths quoted like 4cm are advisory lengths for insuring Fact 2 (that the knee remains covered in all positions at all times).
Fact 4: Unfortunately, too many knees ARE exposed in the sitting position, sometimes with the wearer constantly tugging in vain at the bottom of the skirt as if it were made of a stretchy material in a hopeless struggle to keep the knee covered when men are near.
Fact 5: Just as women cannot understand a man’s yetzer hora, a man does not understand the yetzer hora of a woman so we cannot criticize but must nevertheless make sure that halacha is always upheld, especially in our own homes where the man must bear ultimate responsibility.March 25, 2012 8:34 am at 8:34 am #1059829EY MomParticipant
It is correct that the knee has to be covered in any position – standing, sitting with/without knees crossed, walking, going up stairs, etc. Best bet (other than trying the skirt on and doing all those things and having your mother/sister/a friend watch to make sure your knees are covered): Measure the distance between the bottom of your knee and your ankle. Make sure the skirt hits halfway between and you’ll be fine.
If you want to buy skirts without trying them on in the store, so measure from your waistline to that half-point, write down the measurement and then take a tape measure to the store – if the skirt matches that measure from the waistline down, it should be fine. Hatzlachah!March 25, 2012 8:36 am at 8:36 am #1059830EY MomParticipant
Oh, and as for the tefach issue – for those who hold that way, it means that a man may say devarim shebikdushah in front of a woman if up to a tefach is showing. It has nothing to do with the parameters of tznius that women are obligated to keep.March 25, 2012 9:17 am at 9:17 am #1059831
Popa, give me some credit. I have learned this subject before and I looked in an edition of the Mishna Berura that has the Chazon Ish’s comments. As for you taking the ball from Farrocks , this is true regarding the Mishna Berura’s opinion but what about the Chazon Ish’s opinion?March 25, 2012 1:23 pm at 1:23 pm #1059832
The Chazon Ish’s position is that she needs to cover all the way to the ankles. The tefach is only for hair, and according to Rav Moshe a b’dieved.March 25, 2012 1:44 pm at 1:44 pm #1059833
You are correct, I only jumped on you because we have a history. Although, the halacha you asked is cited in the mishna berura 5 sif koton’s after the one you cited.
I have never learned these halachos, except while running through the mishna berura about 10 years ago.March 25, 2012 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #1059834Menachem MelamedParticipant
Do yourself a big favor. If you want to know practical halocha get yourselves a Rav. Anyone who does not have a Rav (women should have a rebbetzin too) is looking for trouble. Do not allow your daughters to marry a young man that does not have a Rav/Rosh HaYeshiva. Even if you are qualified to research halocha in the source seforim, you must have a Rav.March 25, 2012 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1059835
Who said otherwise? Unless your point is that halacha shouldn’t be discussed among laymen and no halacha discussions should take place.March 25, 2012 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #1059836
If someone is oiver these halachas, her aveira is bein adam l’chaveiro, as much as it is bein adam l’makom, as unlike most other aveiros here she is causing many others to sin simply by them seeing her.March 25, 2012 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #1059837Menachem MelamedParticipant
To avhaben –
My concern is not about those people who discuss halocha for the purpose of asking sheilos in a more knowlegeable manner, and for those who desire to increase their Torah understanding. My concern is for people who use Internet forums in place of a Rav. Even when all information is quoted accurately, p’sak from the Internet is prone to error. Practical halocha depends on numerous variables. Gedolei Yisroel often advise people to ask a local Rav (who may not be on their own level) – as familiarity with the details and circumstances of a sheila is very important.March 25, 2012 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1059839
EY and Avhaben, the Shulchan Aruch says (OC 75:1) that a tefach in a place that it is the way of women to cover is erva. The Rema brings down that there are those who say that less than a tefach by a woman not his wife is erva. The Mishna Berura says (seif katan 7)some say that the upper leg is erva even less than a tefach even his wife (the Chazon Ish seems to be meikal on these points).What these yesh omrims mean in a practical situation is for a rav to decide.
Popa, if you mean that I have a history of looking up things on websites and then checking them I plead guilty. What is wrong with that? Do you think that anyone remembers where exactly where every source is found even if he knows that they exist? That is why Hashem gave us search engines.March 25, 2012 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #1059840
The shittas of less than a tefach coincide with the same shittas saying she must cover the leg all the way to the ankles?March 26, 2012 3:28 am at 3:28 am #1059841cinderellaParticipant
Your knee has to always be covered. Period. I do’t agree with the whole 4 inches thing because people make it out to be a halacha. Which it’s not. (As far as I know)
It’s really different for every person. For example, someone mentioned above that as long as the hem hits halfway between your knee and your ankle, you’re fine. That would never work for me. So just cover your knees at all times and you’ll be fine. I really don’t know why people really measure 4 inches.March 26, 2012 5:34 am at 5:34 am #1059842
Four inches is exaggerated. According to Rav Chaim Naeh a tefach is 8 centimeters. According to the Chazon Ish it is 9.6.This works out to either 3.15 or 3.78 inches. Some round the Chazon Ish’s measure to 10 centimeters, which is 3.94 inches.Thus, four inches is erva according to all opinions. As it is very difficult to be exacting it is probabaly best to round down to three inches.March 26, 2012 6:22 am at 6:22 am #1059843YitzhakbMember
It depends on the community of which the girl/lady is a member. Religious girls in the settlements wear their skirts down to the ankles, though it has risen a bit recently. American charedim wear their skirts just below their knees. (This seems to be the group under discussion). Bet Yaakov girls wear their skirts half way between their knees and their ankles. It is nor related to halacha rather to sociological norms.March 26, 2012 6:23 am at 6:23 am #1059844NechomahParticipant
The 4in (10 cm) comes from how much your skirt will move up your leg when you sit down compared to when you are standing up so that your knees will still be covered. Try it out. Put on a skirt that comes to 2-3 cm below your knee when you’re standing and see what happens when you sit down. Compare it to a longer skirt. This all varies whether the skirt is flared or straight, but you can get a better picture. So if you hold that your knee has to be covered at all times, then maybe you should consider this halacha.March 26, 2012 8:50 am at 8:50 am #1059845
Avi: We are talking about measuring 4 inches below the knee. Not for a tefach, but to make sure the knee is covered even when sitting.March 26, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am #1059848Sam2Participant
Rabbi Falk mentions the 4 inches, but it really can’t be more than an Eitzah Tovah as it has no basis in Halachah. Just make sure that the knee (or the area above the knee, as having the knee itself uncovered is a legitimate Shittah Halachah Lema’aseh, unlike a Tefach above the knee which is not) is always covered.March 26, 2012 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #1059849
It has to be a certain amount below the knee, whether it’s 4″, 3″, or 6″ – whatever is needed keep the knee and above covered when sitting or walking or getting in a car. The 4″ is a rule of thumb for most girls that is taught in the vast majority of Litvish and Chasidish Beis Yaakov’s, since it works for for most and you need to give a fixed number or otherwise many people won’t know how much longer it should be.March 26, 2012 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #1059850soliekMember
Ok. Seriously. This has to stop. Yes, there are halachos concerning tznius but be a bit realistic for a second. The truth is that tznius depends on the person and how they feel on the inside. If a person feels modest, if a person feels that they are above parading themselves before the world as a physical object, then they wilkl naturally dress more modestly. If not, if they feel that they have nothing but their body and their looks and beauty, then they will find a way to make even the longest skirt incredibly provocative.
This isn’t just true of jews…as shocking as this may seem, modesty isn’t an exclusively Jewish or even religious concept. Take a look around you, and you’ll begin to notice. If you have to ask how long your skirt HAS to be, then you either don’t care, or have something else to work on before the question even becomes relevant.March 26, 2012 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #1059851mewhoParticipant
as you get older the skirt should be longer . the reason for this is that the legs lose their tone unless you do exercise.
who wants to see someone with saggy , baggy legs?March 26, 2012 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #1059852YW Moderator-42Moderator
Soleik, whether or not a girl feels it on the inside doesn’t change the halacha. The whole point of this thread seems to be for those who do not fully feel it on the inside and therefore need a Rav or Rebbetzin to tell them how long it should be. It might not be l’shma but at least it is l’halacha.March 26, 2012 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #1059853far eastMember
i think what soleik is trying to say is that as long as it covers basic halachic requirements, it doesn t matter how long or short the skirt is…the main thing should be that you shouldnt want to parade yourself around in order to attract attention to yourselfMarch 26, 2012 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1059854soliekMember
I was referring more to the constant argument and discussion of the topic on this forum…not this thread specifically. Ultimately though you’re right.March 26, 2012 7:34 pm at 7:34 pm #1059855apushatayidParticipant
I think SolieK is basicly saying, if the question is relevant one has a long way to go. 12 inches below the knee can also violate the very same tznius mandate. It is more than the number of inches, but the proper attitude towards dress. With the proper attitude, the number of inches becomes an irrelevant question.March 26, 2012 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #1059856antikfiraParticipant
Seems to me that l’halacha would be a pretty empty, dull existence without a deep appreciation and incorporation of l’shma. But it’s clear that scores of people tend to be satisfied, or at least settle, for living l’halacha without bothering to build their l’shma first, which makes the l’halacha infinitely more meaningful and significant.March 26, 2012 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #1059857mytakeMember
I take offense to your post because I am not the type of girl who dresses to attact attention and I still struggle very very much with Tznius. The fact is that having an appreciation for modesty, doesn’t mean my dress conforms to the standards of halacha.March 26, 2012 9:15 pm at 9:15 pm #1059858antikfiraParticipant
mytake, I take that to mean you would agree with my premise, and you are one of the (superior) minority who wishes to express her compliance to halacha with that which you feel as an essential part of living a Torah life as part of the bigger picture. You wish that, if halacha mandates x or y, that you could gain an understanding and sensitivity for that which the halacha wishes to achieve.
Congratulations to you, I applaud your non-compliance to the mainstream robotic way of living, in the face of a desire for reality. If only there were more like you.
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