The Jewish people have spanned every corner of the earth for thousands of years, yet Jewish clothing for women has, in essence, not changed very drastically. While there are small details which may differ from community to community, traditional women's Jewish clothing tends to include sleeves that cover the elbows, shirts that cover the collarbone, skirts that cover the knees and clothing that is not too tight-fitting.
Skirts are worn by Orthodox Jewish women because pants are considered to show the female form in an inappropriate way, as well as the fact that there is an explicit verse against cross-dressing in the Torah. There are rabbis who are lenient on this issue, however.
Tights or socks are also sometimes worn by Orthodox Jewish women, depending on the community they live in. There are also those who avoid bright or eye-catching colors, especially the color red and skirts with slits. Some women will only wear closed-toe shoes, but other women have no problem wearing sandals. In some places, acceptable clothing for Orthodox Jewish women would be shirts with shorter sleeves, and sometimes the collarbone need not be not totally covered.
Jewish Clothing for Women to be unique
There is a biblical law that commands the Jewish people to be a separate among the nations, thus is it also forbidden to wear clothing that imitates gentile fashion too closely. This is not meant to be a mark against the gentiles, in fact, it is written in the Talmud that "If someone says that the Gentiles have knowledge, believe it, because it is true." (Midrash Eichah Rabbah, 2:13) It is simply a matter of being obligated to avoid fads and trends that tend to come up in the world.
Orthodox women who are married are bound by Biblical law to cover their hair, with either a hat, snood, scarf or wig. It is considered a great thing for a married Jewish woman to dress up for her husband, thus jewelry and cosmetics can be a staple in a woman's repertoire.
Traditional Jewish clothing for Women has not changed through the years because its foundation, the Torah and Jewish law, has not changed in all this time.
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