Category Archives: tzniut/modesty

More “Beauty” Reflections

(This is just a train of thought, a stream of consciousness….follow along as I wend and weft my way)

When I get dressed up, made up, put on the fancy hair and the 4 inch heels – who do I do it for? Do I do it for my husband? Do I do it for myself? Do I do it for the baalei simcha (hosts) if I’m going to a wedding? Do I do it so that I don’t embarrass myself / my KoD / my children and therefore do not ruin my sons’ shidduch chances?

I would say each of those statements (other than the shidduch chances) plays a part. My husband loves me when I look drop dead gorgeous (just like I love to see him in a suit) and loves me after I have been throwing up all weekend long with the flu and look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards, twice. I don’t need to look my best for him to continue to love me. He doesn’t love me more when I put in more effort to my appearance. However, if I gave up trying to look good the minute that  wedding ring was firmly on my finger, what would that have said?

I love to dress up occasionally. Not every day. But when I spend the best part of a week in pajamas denim skirts and tees and bandannas (working from home is great), sometimes it is nice to clean up, and make an effort. When the make up goes on, the hair and the heels and the nice clothes – I feel better. I feel more confident. I feel more beautiful. I feel good. I look in the mirror and I am happy with what I see. (Mostly. I am female, after all, and I do tend to see imperfections all over the place).

I have a quirky sense of style. Most of you don’t know that. I have toned it down a lot, for various reasons. One of them was that I moved to a new place and I wanted to fit in. Ugh, just writing that makes me feel like I sold out. But it is all part of the puzzle. We all want to fit in, yet we all want to be unique.

G-d gave me this body, this face, this life. I am blessed – after four kids I still have a trim figure. Yes, a plastic surgeon could lift things and put them back to where they used to be, do some botox, a nip and a tuck here and there but this is who I am.

Make-up enhances that which we have been given. Nothing wrong with getting eyebrows shaped, hair straightened, teeth bleached, and learning how to apply make up properly. We all need the boost that we get from knowing that we are looking our best. Not society’s judgement of best, but OUR best.

Advocating for plastic surgery to fix that which G-d gave us – how dare we second guess Him? How dare we tell Him that our daughter would look better with a smaller nose, with her ears pinned back, with smaller / bigger breasts? G-d created us ALL in His image – when did He go for plastic surgery? Where in the Torah does it permit elective surgery?

In fact, it’s a discussion if one is halachically permitted to go for such procedures. If it’s a physical need, like a deviated septum, there’s no question. Emotionally, from what I remember (and I am no rabbi so don’t quote me) if the distress is large enough to impact a person’s life if they don’t have the nose job / ear pin / cosmetic procedure then it’s possibly permitted. But to just do it because the shadchan says?

Every time my kids have had to have surgery (and there have been three surgeries that I recall) for PHYSICAL necessity I discussed it back and forth with the doctors to make sure the risks of doing it were worth the outcome. But, how can you compare a necessary appendectomy with an elective nose job? You can – they are both surgery with risks associated with anesthesia. Neither should be entered into without careful consideration.

You know, it’s days after I read Ms Halberstam’s original article and I am still boiling mad. Girls are already made to feel that anything over a size 4 is not good enough, and if this kind of ridiculous pressure is increased on girls to be a certain way – there won’t be any mothers for our grandchildren, or wives for our sons. Anorexia is already a problem. How many girls are we going to lose under the knife?

My grandfather, may he rest in peace, used to complain to me about my size while I was growing up. In Hebrew he’d say “there’s nothing to hold on to”. No man would want me unless I had more meat on my bones. Oh how times have changed. It just makes me so sad.

I can only influence my four boys the right way – what about everyone else out there? Will my boys look for a slim woman because their mother is tall and slim? Or will they look for character and soul over physicality? I just pray they make the right choice for them.

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Frummified

Today I tweeted that I was off  to get myself frummified as I had a high school interview to attend with my son. I was asked, if I have to dress a certain way, why would I want my son to attend such a school. (Let’s ignore the fact that I was still in my pjs and fluffy slippers. Not interview clothes by a long shot).

My answer was that I would do anything necessary to get my child into the school that is the perfect fit for him (or as close to perfect), even if it means wearing tin foil on my head.

Does it hurt to be respectful of the standards of dress when going for a visit? Do I want to bring attention to myself when walking in to a high school of all boys, nary a female in sight? Just the fact that I am female and in their school will bring enough attention, I don’t want any more than that. I am there to have them interview my son, to see whether their school fits his needs and our wants. It’s not called being a sell-out.

And yes, I toned down my flair. I wore purple instead of pink, I covered all the elbows and knees and collarbones.

An aside: while we were waiting for the interview at least 15 boys from the school came over to my son, shook his hand, said Shalom Aleichem, and shared their names. They made him feel welcome when he isn’t even part of the school yet. That scored the school major points in my book.

WWYD – Gym Peeping Tom

From a reader:

Hadassah!  At the kosher gym this morning I saw a VERY chassidic man (long payos, chassidish hat and coat) open the door a crack to peek at the women doing a women’s only Pilates classes. Most of these women are Orthodox and or Chassidic too. He just didn’t sneak a peak he stayed there watching them.  Some of the women, because it’s a women’s only class in a closed room with no windows, uncover their hair and wear tee shirts and clothes they would not allow a man to see them in ever. Which is why they go to the kosher gym!!!

What should I have done?

Sign me “Wanting to smack the Yoilie”….

OK, what would I have done? I would have walked over to the door and slammed it in his face. Hard. Or asked the instructor to have the man removed.

What would YOU have done?

Project Frumway

You guys know that I am all about modest fashions, and explaining that frum does not have to mean frumpy.

NCSY is having a great competition called Project Frumway. This is their blurb about this fantastic opportunity:

NCSY’s Project Frumway is a unique charitable fashion show and fashion design competition intended for women of all ages. The program is created and run by both yeshiva and public high school girls and promotes positive body image, fashionable modesty, self-confidence, and self-esteem. This program allows women to learn about the importance of tzniut, while creating a fun and glamorous atmosphere in which to learn about it. This community-wide event also invites high school girls to compete in a fashion design challenge in which they put their design skills to the test to create the most fashionable, tzanua outfit. The winner’s design is created by a Jewish clothing designer in the New York area and is featured on the Project Frumway catwalk. The program and challenge show women of all ages that they can dress with Torah values in modern times, without having to compromise either one.

I love that they are all about promoting positive body image, fashionable modesty and self esteem – these are so important, especially to young women in this day and age where thin is supposedly in.

If you know someone who would be interested have them check out NCSY’s Project Frumway Page that has all the details of how to enter on it.

I am thinking of entering myself…. But drawing and designing is not my strong point. Well, we already know what colour my outfit would be….

Good Luck to all – I hope to be there at the fashion show!!

Modesty – for the entire family?

From the mailbox:

Dear HSM

I was at a Canadian indoor water park and saw a number of frum families where dads and sons were shirtless and in shorts frolicking while mom and daughters were in long sleeves, ankle length skirts, etc roasting and just wading their feet with shoes on.  Shouldn’t modesty be for the entire family?  The one family where the girls got wet, they were toddlers and fully dressed down to thick tights.

A Reader

I fully agree with you that modesty should apply to everyone in the family. This scenario is one I have come across myself a few times too. I cannot adequately explain what appears to be a double standard here – perhaps one of my learned readers can.

Modest Dressing – 5

Soft Look for Shabbat

Today I am modeling my look for a casual Shabbat outfit. Sometimes I do get dressed up to the nines to go to shul, but sometimes I opt for a softer look. This look that I am demonstrating here can also work well if I have a speaking engagement. After all, I am wearing my signature colour.

Cardigan Detailing

As you all know I love pink. Especially baby pink, and this sweater / cardigan just oozes pinkness. It’s so feminine and classy, flirty without being over the top. The flowers just add softness. The sleeves are an interesting length, but they do cover the elbows which I am very happy about. I am wear a pale pink shell underneath for warmth, and for modesty – to make sure I am covered if there are gaps between the cardigan buttons. I got mine through MavenMall.com – more on them down below. It was under thirty dollars, which in my opinion is an excellent price!! I know I would not feel out of place wearing this to shul on Shabbat.

I have several black skirts in various different lengths – this one is a particular favourite of mine. I bought it a few years ago at Old Navy when I was heavier, and I liked it so much I have had it altered twice after losing weight. It’s not shown here, but it has a cummerbund-like waist – so if I tuck a shirt in, it looks very elegant.

Here I am wearing thick black tights, but this could look dressier with sheer hose. In the winter my legs get cold and I wear the thick tights.

Shoes

My shoes – I got these on sale in Montreal at Winners and they were not expensive. I don’t remember exactly how much, but I know I won’t have paid over $50 for them. They are Marc Fisher and give me a four inch boost whenever I wear them.

Necklace

My necklace is from the Phillipines – I have no clue if it’s a cheap or expensive piece, but I love its classic elegance.

Giveaway of a Shopping Spree to MavenMall coming up very soon!!

This post is sponsored by MavenMall – MavenMall is a new online mall that contains the world’s largest selection of clothing and accessories for Jewish Women and Children. It has all the top brands, at the best prices but only the styles you want to see. With 6,000+ styles of skirts, tops, dresses, sweaters, coats, head-coverings, hosiery, maternity, plus-size and more, for weekday and Shabbos, for women and children, MavenMall makes shopping fast and easy. Besides the coupon page which is updated daily, MavenMall also offers lots of giveaways and incentives for email subscribers and Facebook fans.
MavenMall is brand new, just one month old, but it has already grown to be the world’s most popular shopping site and community for religious Jewish women. With the biggest sales of the year just around the corner, now is a great time to shop smart and save big on MavenMall.

If you wish to sponsor a future column of Modest Dressing please contact me at inthepinkblog at gmail dot com.

Modest Dressing – 4

Today I am modeling my dress down look. This was written yesterday, on Sunday, and I had stuff to do inside the house, and ran a few errands. I live in my denim skirts. I have a few, but my two current favourites are the ankle length one I am wearing here, and a black denim one, that is also long and straight.

When I am dressed down, I generally won’t wear a sheitel (wig), unless I feel it’s necessary – like if I am going to a shiur or something. I always try to match my tichel (headscarf) to what I am wearing. I do like to match. Sometimes I over-match, but that’s just me. I am not very good with patterns, so I generally shy away from them.

The beauty of an outfit such as this, is that I can do a quick change and dress it up if I need to. Throw on a wig, swap out the blue top for a fitted jacket, put my lenses in, add a little more make up, and it’s a whole nother look.

Tichel

Tichel – $7.00 from DoubleHeaderUSA .The tichel is lovely – the pattern is a little different from the usual Israeli style tichel and is beautiful, especially for this time of year with the leaves falling from the trees. I love the size too – folded over into a triangle it still covers all my hair and leaves plenty of room.

Glasses from ZenniOptical  $12.95 (it’s hard to tell but they are black with hot pink).

Necklace

Necklace from DoubleHeaderUSA. I love this necklace – it’s a long strand of blue and black glittery beads, and so versatile. Here I have knotted it at chest level, but it could look more dressy as a three strand choker.

White long sleeve tee shirt from Old Navy Kids -$6.99 on sale 2 years ago

Blue wrap top – $11.99, JACOB 3 years ago

Bangles

Bangles from DoubleHeaderUSA. The bracelets / bangles in blue and black complement the necklace very well – but unfortunately are way too big for my skinny little wrists. Perhaps I should wear them above the elbow as cuffs?

Long denim skirt – $79.99, Ruthie’s (This is much more than I would usually spend on a denim skirt, however, I know I will get years of use out of it and it fits me well. I am as comfy in it as I would be in a pair of jeans).

Pretty Booties

Mid-calf denim boots – beaded and embroidered,  $39.99 Winners 3 winters ago.  Ah!! I love these boots. Totally impractical for winter and snow, but perfect for this time of year. They come up to mid calf, so I generally wear them under a very long skirt as I don’t want my legs to look stumpy. They are whimsical and classic and always elicit comments wherever I go.

Today’s Modest Dressing post is sponsored by DoubleHeaderUSA. From Pre-Tied Bandanas and Snoods to the latest fashion tightsDoubleHeader has got you covered from head to toe. With Kiki Riki and Linda Leal shells and comfortable pencil skirts, you can look your best and still be modest. Fully stocked with enough headbandsbelts and jewelry to keep you looking fashionable no matter what the occasion. And if you’re looking for gifts, the personalized, plush baby blankets make for the perfect gift. Free shipping brings it to your door, guilt-free.

Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for two pretied bandannas from DoubleHeaderUSA.

If your clothing company wishes to sponsor a future column of Modest Dressing, please email me at InThePinkBlog at Gmail dot com.

Modest Dressing – 3

I have been doing Physical Therapy to help with my back pain. I was concerned about what I should be wearing – and whether I could expect to keep my modesty while doing the various exercises that the PT needs me to do to strengthen my back.

Ready for PT Torture

After asking for advice from friends, this is the outfit that makes sense to me, while not looking frumpy. You can work out and be tzanuah (modest) at the same time. Wearing a long skirt, even with sweatpants underneath, is not safe – the skirt can get caught on the machines.

I am wearing a bandanna on my head that I have had for many years, it cost me a dollar.

Pink layering long sleeve tee was from Old Navy 4 years ago. It’s quite sheer, so you cannot wear it without a camisole underneath or something on top. I think I paid $9.99 on sale.

The black short sleeve tee is also Old Navy – kids section $7.99. I bought their XL (or size 14) as the neckline works better when wearing it under a sweater or something. I buy lots of my underneath tees at the kids section.

Skirt was $19.99 at Lollipop in Montreal. I actually bought it for my step daughter but it didn’t fit her well, so I tried it on, and kept it.

Leggings were $9.99 at Walmart. It isn’t clear on the picture, but they have the logo of the Montreal Canadiens (hockey team) on them.

Socks were $2.99, and the sneakers are a recent buy at Costco – $29.99.

Under $85!!

…and the best part? I think the PT is helping.

If your clothing company wishes to sponsor a future column of Modest Dressing, please email me at InThePinkBlog at Gmail dot com.

Modest Dressing – 2

Ok, this really is not going to be a daily feature, but I had to get dressed up again today to go to a bris in Far Rockaway, so I figured I would share with you.

All dressed for the bris

I love this outfit – it’s fun and flirty, yet modest. The black skirt is a staple – I only have about half a bazillion in my closet, but this is my favourite. The zipper goes the entire length of the skirt – can zip it all the way, or leave it open a few inches if you are so inclined. It is knee length and lycra and totally washable.

Skirt detailing

The white long sleeve tee is just your basic white shell that you can pick up anywhere. The purple top is cut on the bias – I am not sure how well the photo shows it. I love the flower detailing at the top. It’s loose and comfy and not constricting. However, because it is slightly A-line I do notice some women looking to see if there is a preggo belly protruding underneath. I wore stockings again today – the bris was in a shul, and I refuse to go barelegged to shul, even though I don’t care about being bare legged outside of it. It’s a respect thing.

detailing on the top

I was worried about how the other women would be dressed. Shouldn’t have been. However, note to self, the next time I attend a function in Far Rockaway at shul, wear a humongous hat to match my suit. Seems to be the way to dress out there.

So here is my costing (it’s approximate).

Shoes

White Shell: Ruthie’s of Monsey (they really need to get online) about $20
Purple Top : Ruthie’s, on sale, $30
Black Skirt: Winners in Montreal, on sale, $19.99
Black Ballet Flats: Walmart, $14.99

Total under $100 once more.

I think my next modest dressing post will be what I wear on a dress down day….

I want you to note though, that I am not big into accessories. I have three pairs of earrings – gold hoops, diamond hoops and small pearl earrings. I wear the gold hoops during the week and the other two are Shabbat earrings. I almost always wear my necklace with the Hebrew letter HAY (for Hadassah) on it. My great uncle o.b.m made it for me by hand for my batmitzvah, and I have worn it daily ever since. I do change it when I get dressed for a wedding-  then I wear pearls.

If you own / run a clothing company and wish to sponsor a future edition of Modest Dressing, please email me at InThePinkBlog at gmail dot com. Thanks

Modest Dressing

Taking a page out of Chaviva’s book who took it out of her friend’s book….I figured I would do a fashion piece, see what you people think of the feature and decide if it will be a regular occurrence or not.

Modestly Dressed

So, today we have a school interview, and I need to make sure all the bits and pieces that need to be covered are indeed covered. I am wearing the panty hose and closed toe shoes and have a wig on my head and minimal makeup. Basically – not trying to be “in your face” – going for a demure look…. Not quite sure I get there.

So let’s start:

Sheitel: Kiki

Sunglasses: Rabbis Harley and Davidson

Shell (slinky black teeshirt that cannot be worn on its own as it is too tight) – I bought it some place in Flatbush, 2 years ago, to go under a simcha dress that had a low neckline.

Suit: I bought it online at Junees.com and I love it. You can dress it up, dress it down…

The detailing on the jacket

detailing on the skirt

Shoes: Walmart’s finest, 3 years ago.

I love these shoes

This outfit (other than the wig) cost less than $100 to put together. The suit was $69, shell $15 and the shoes $9.99.

I love this outfit and would love to have something similar in a different colour, but have not been able to find one…

If you own / run a clothing company and wish to sponsor a future edition of Modest Dressing, please email me at InThePinkBlog at gmail dot com. Thanks