Modest Kosher Fit
Clothing can be made in a variety of fit – close-fitting, fitting, semi-fitted, loose-fitting, and very loose fitting. These wearing ease are determined by the clothing industry.
The following three major clothing pattern designers, Vogue, McCall and Butterick, share identical wearing ease specifications.
|Misses’ Ease Allowances|
|Bust Area||Hip Area|
|Silhouette||Dresses, Blouses, Shirts, Tops, Vests||Jackets||Coats||Skirts, Pants, Shorts, Culottes|
|Lined or Unlined|
|Close Fitting||0 – 2 7 ⁄ 8 “||not applicable||0 – 1 7/8″|
|Fitted||3 – 4″||3 3/4 – 4 1/4″||5 1/4 – 6 3/4″||2 – 3″|
|Semi-Fitted||4 1/8 – 5″||4 3/8 – 5 3/4″||6 7/8 – 8″||3 1/8 – 4″|
|Loose Fitting||5 1/8 – 8″||5 7/8 – 10″||8 1/8 – 12″||4 1/8 – 6″|
|Very Loose Fitting||over 8″||over 10″||over 12″||over 6″|
To be kosher, skirts have to have at least 4″ of ease at the widest part of the hips. Anything beyond that is mehadrin.
Tight Fit Is Also Immodest Many people think immodest dress relates only to an insufficiently covered body. But a tight fit is also immodest, even when the body is fully covered. This applies to men as well as women. Many do not realize that tight clothing draws attention to the anatomy, which distracts from the purpose of education, business, leadership, or worship. Adequate ease in the fit of our clothes allows the viewer’s attention to go to the other person’s face for more effective communication.
So here are some guidelines to help determine if clothing is modest or not from non-Jewish sources:Is it tight fitting? If so, err on the side of caution and consider it immodest!
Tight Clothing : Modesty not only means covering skin, but also covering curves. Men are just as interested in tight clothing that shows off every line of your body as they are in clothes that reveal those curvaceous body parts. Your clothes are too tight if you can’t pinch them, move around comfortably in them, or put them on easily.
The phrase “clothed yet naked” was interpreted as meaning that they wear short clothes which do not cover that which should be covered of the ‘awrah. It was also interpreted as meaning that they wear light clothes that do not prevent others from seeing the woman’s skin underneath. And it was interpreted as meaning that they wear tight clothes, so that they are covered and cannot be seen, but their bodily charms can be seen.
On this basis, it is not permitted for a woman to wear these tight clothes, except in front of the one before whom she is permitted to show her ‘awrah, who is the husband – for there is no ‘awrah between husband and wife…
Besides our modest blouses, dresses, skirts, slips and maternity wear, ModestAnytime.com is also offering modest tees and shells 1 as modest and refined alternatives to the plague of tight-fitting Lycra-Spandex-Elastane “shells” that you see everywhere.
1 Visit KosherPatterns.com for a growing inventory of modest patterns with a kosher fit.
Refer to our Halacha section for what is considered kosher.