Let’s just make one thing clear; I am not a fashion blogger.
The last fashion magazine I skimmed was Teen Vogue. I was 16 and quite disturbed by what I was seeing. Avante Garde looked “ermagerd”, and grunge looked like clothes that Goodwill would reject.
In my opinion, not much has changed in the fashion world. People who call themselves “designers” are creating skimpy outfits with more holes than actual fabric, or are trying to push the limit of fashion to the point of sheer insanity.
Then again, those designers and those well-versed in fashion may think I’m a hot mess.
If you want to call me anything, call me a style blogger. I like taking pictures wearing stuff I like. Sometimes that will take the form of a designer bag paired with a thrift shop top, or a new pair of shoes with a dress that I’ve had since high school.
I work for an outreach organization. Every week, I go to public schools and run after-school clubs that discuss the Jewish holidays as well as different concepts in Judaism. At these clubs, I began receiving compliments from teens about the way I dress. “No way you’re Orthodox; you look so normal!” Apparently in the outside world, Orthodox dress means looking like an outdated shlump. I decided to make sure to always wear a “cool” outfit to every event, to make myself more approachable. It worked like a charm.
I began posting my outfits in hopes of breaking the “shlump” stereotype. Not only for the outside world, but for the Orthodox community as well. You CAN look cool and keep the laws of modesty at the same time; there is no need to cut corners!
All too often I see modest bloggers and Orthodox companies advertising clothing that isn’t quite in line with Orthodox-Jewish law. It’s incredibly frustrating. I feel that the modest fashion world frequently sends a negative message to frum girls and women who try to dress within the confines of Torah Law. It screams, “You can’t find clothing on the market that covers everything. If you want to look fashionable, you have to show your knees and/or elbows. No way you can cover your collarbone and look good. You want to be with the times, you gotta bend the rules”. You can’t bend what is rigid my friend, for it will break. It breaks my heart to see the Orthodox world just give up on even trying.
Don’t think that I’m Little Miss Perfect over here- I struggle with the laws of modesty almost on a daily basis. A skirt that rides up when I sit, a top that yanks down a bit lower than it should, it’s something that I work on constantly.
Every few years we get a burst of modest fashion. Midi skirts, high neck tops, dresses with sleeves, all good and wonderful-but then the fad ends and we are left with nothing. Luckily, this time the fad has not yet faded! There are so many companies out there that make skirts that are the perfect length, tops that cover but don’t choke, and dresses that require no layering whatsoever! Whether it’s a small boutique or a department store, you can find modest clothing everywhere!
Often I feature some of these finds on my Instagram account. Some items I find while in the store, some online, and some on Instagram itself. I also feature companies that make exclusively modest items of clothing that conform to the Torah laws of modesty in dress. Sometimes I find them, sometimes they find me, and sometimes they are recommended to me by my followers.
More than helping my followers keep the laws, my followers help me keep them. Sometimes a bit of pressure helps you progress. Knowing that people are looking, I take extra care to cover up. If something is too low, I throw a cropped shell under. If a skirt is too short, I give it away, or at least consider it. It is my followers that make me better in this difficult mitzvah.
Join me on my journey of modest fashion, or modest style rather. I don’t know much about fashion, but I do know what I like. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it too.