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I'm a Jewish fashionista living in New York and I write this blog to try to deliver modest fashion to all women, everywhere. This blog is all about Less Is More. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @vinniecocoa and on instagram @the.oak! CONTACT & INQUIRIES:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pay It (Fashion) Forward

I want to tell you a very sad story (don't worry, it has a happy ending). When my mother was younger she had a collection of original Diane von Furstenberg dresses. Not expecting Ms. DVF to go very far, she gave them all away, completely neglecting the fact that one day she might have a daughter who would have loved to be the proud owners of these vintage one-of-a-kinds. (Don't tell my mom that I called anything she owned 'vintage'; that would be like saying "Mom, you're old".)

You may be shedding a tear for my loss right now, so I will give you a minute to mourn while I tell you the point of my story. Had my mother been a prophetess, she would have known to keep those dresses to secure future fashion gold for her fashionista daughter. Alas, while she is amazing, my mother gave those dresses away to the salvation army. While I was not able to reap the benefits of those dresses, it means someone else did. This, my friends is something called Tzedakah.

When it comes to clothing, I have a very hard time parting with things. When I buy something, I usually keep it for years, and not because I think it will be a brand name one day, but because a) I never know if I will like it in the future b) if it's too small, I think maybe I will fit into it if I lose five pounds or c) if it's too big, I think maybe it would look cute if I ever get pregnant one day (I know you think it too. Don't judge me). Parting with your clothing, though, is key in keeping up with trends and making sure your closet is up-to-date. Giving away clothing is not only a fast way to make sure your wardrobe is current, but it is one of the easiest ways to give back to other people. 

Every three months, I go through my drawers to find clothes that don't fit, don't look good, are out of style, or are just not for me anymore; I pack them in plastic bags and call a local Yeshiva to come collect the clothing to donate to others who may not be able to afford new clothing for whatever reason. Who knew fashion could be so altruistic? Don't be afraid to give away clothing--there will always be more to buy.

There are a bunch of ways that you can recycle clothing and give to other people. One fun way is to get a bunch of your girlfriends together and hold a clothing-swap. Here's how it works: Go through your closet and find stuff you are willing to give away or part with. Then call up a bunch of your girlfriends and tell them to do the same thing. Pick a house amongst you and your friends where you will bring all the clothing, at which point you will all go through each others' clothes to see what you would want, and trade them like boys trade baseball cards. All the left over clothing that doesn't get snatched up goes to charity. Fun, no? Throw in a few cosmos, a viewing of The Notebook, and pull out the Girl Talk board game and you have yourself a party! (Not to mention, in this economy it's a great way for you to get some new clothes without having to spend a dime.)

 I guess my mom's story isn't so sad after all, because giving to tzedakah is truly a wonderful thing...even when it's designer. Try calling local Yeshivot or click here to find a Salvation Army near you. Impart your keen fashion sense on the less fortunate and feel good about yourself. After all, true fashion is as much about looking and feeling good on the inside as you do on the outside.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Dick Tracy Always Wore A Trench. So Can You.

The Trench Coat. Timeless. Classic. Pretty. Practical. Functional. Perfect.

I know I may have killed it a bit on the adjectives there, but the trench coat is an article of clothing of Smithsonian proportions. Not only will the trench coat never go out of style, but there are very few ways in which this piece can be butchered beyond recognition, which is what makes it so essential. It's the perfect coat for work, shul, or walking down the street, and naturally--it's tzniut (as most outerwear is, of course).

First, if you don't have a trench coat, it's ok...I forgive you. So does Hashem, but just to be sure, make sure you do the whole Tashlich thing on Rosh Hashana, ok? I only have so much clout with the big guy, and nothing says 'forgive me' like throwing bread into a body of natural water.

If you do have a trench coat, then you know what I'm talking about. There are very few elements that change on a classic trench. I'm betting you turn to your trench coat every Fall and Spring like a security blanket, and for that I commend you.

What you want to pay attention to with trench varieties:

The first is length; there are shorter trenches and longer trenches, and whichever you choose is totally up to you. Consider your height and weight when choosing a length, though. If you are on the shorter or stouter side, you may want to choose a shorter length trench--too much material might leave you swimming in your coat, and then you'll look ridiculous. Looking ridiculous defeats the purpose of a trench coat, so be mindful. Taller and thinner girls can pull of the longer trench a bit better, but ideally you want your trench to fall right below that fabulous behind of yours to right above your knee.

The second element that changes most on a trench coat is pocket placement. Not all trenches have pockets, but for those that do, it makes a difference. Like with length, you wanna pay attention to your body proportions. If there are big, bulky, horizontal pockets, it's best if you are taller and leaner. Angled pockets on the front of a trench are much more slimming and are the perfect for those who feel like their lunch hasn't digested...from two years ago. I know--I've been there.

Another thing you may want to keep in mind is belt placement. Ideally, the belt should be tied on the waist, NOT the hips; cinching at the waist is crucial in achieving the quintessential trench look, so if you have found a trench you love, but the belt is all wrong, then take it to your tailor and have them adjust the belt loops.

Finally, we come to color. Nothing says classic trench like a beige or camel colored coat. I understand the variety that comes with incorporating darker colors or even more bold colors with a trench, and that is totally, one-hundred percent OK. If you feel like going that route, amen, sista! But if you are looking for the classic route, go for the beige. It will last you forever, and will always make you look like a million bucks.

Try these classics. Remember you are investing in a long term piece of clothing, so be selective in which trench you choose, and remember to love it.

This Calvin Klein is on sale. RUN to this. Now. Click here to buy!

If you are looking for something darker, this Michael Kors (also on sale!) is great. It's shorter and has pockets, but it's classic. (P.S. Shocker--it comes in beige too. Keep this in mind if you want to wear your trench in the Spring). Buy me here! 

If you like color, then click here to buy this number from DKNY. Yet again, I deliver you a sale item piece, AND it's machine washable. You are so very welcome.

As we transition into fall and all the chagim, the weather can be unpredictable; having a trench on hand is like having the emergency kit in your car with the flare gun, the jumpers, the flashlight, and the tool kit...essential. Consider your trench your Essential-Fall-Wardrobe-Emergency-Tool-Kit, only this tool-kit has all the 'flair' you need without out pulling out the big guns. (Oy, that was a really bad pun, wasn't it?)

FYI, Inspector Gadget wore a trench coat too...if that's not classic, I don't know what is. *This message will self destruct.* Just kidding. Go, go gadget, go and get yourself a trench coat.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Modest Hollywood

Ice Queen

OK, granted Olivia Palermo's not the warmest person in the world, but there is no doubting the girl can dress. I'm even convinced she's part frum. OK, probably not, but we can all take a fashion cue or two from this frozen fashionista; the only thing modest about Olivia in these photos are her clothes. Let that be her one redeeming quality.

Olivia Palermo, I salute you...even though I really kind of hate you. Stop ragging on Erin and Whitney, k?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Save Thee Money

As promised, here is a coupon. You can use this at any Gap umbrella store. Now go on with your bad self, and buy whatever your heart desires. Except booty shorts. Please don't buy booty shorts, because those will NEVER be worth your while.

Click on the link below to get the coupon. 5% of what you spend will go the charity I chose, The World Wildlife Fund (because I love animals). So, try and feel a little less guilty when you're spending this money because you could be saving a Panda's life. Score.

"Enjoy 30% off from August 26-29 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy and we'll donate 5% of what you spend to a non-profit."


Hot Town, Summer In The City

It never ceases to amaze me just how much I love summer. The fact that New York is a 4 season city only makes me love it more. After all, absence makes the heart grow do below-zero temperatures and earmuffs (but I'm not complaining).

You know what else I love? Summer clothing. Often despised by frummies everywhere, summer is viewed as the dreaded time where you have to wear long-sleeves and layers (ahem, kiki-rikis) even though the core of the earth took up residence in your armpits.Well, lucky for you, you have me! Now, I know summer is on it's way out, but is all the more reason you should be exhausting your summer wardrobe.

I am here to tell you that summer should NEVER be taken for granted, not even if you are sweating. First and foremost, there are two beautiful words in the English language that, when put together, send a chill down my spine--air conditioning. Know it. Use it. Love it.

Now that you're all cooled down, let's venture into appropriate frum summer clothing, especially for the office. Remember, we wanna keep things light and simple, so try to pair a nice, thin summer dress with a cute, lightweight cardigan. A nice wedge would definitely complete the outfit, but if you're feeling more "office-y", a camel-colored heel would work better. Try this look from The Loft.

If you prefer separates, try to keep the layers as light as possible. Or, forget layers, and try to find some shirts that meet the tzniut requirements. If you're ok with showing a little elbow, this shirt from LuLus would look great tucked into a black pencil skirt, and the muted purple will look great with most, if not all skin tones.
Click here if this caught your fancy.
If you are looking for something with a bit more coverage, this cute ruffled button-down is the perfect summer top.
Buy me!

Remember, white is quintessential summer and is totally office appropriate when done correctly. Just make sure you wear a slip! A white skirt is très chic when paired with a darker or neutral top. If you're too nervous about the white (which I totally understand), try going for a more floral look, but remember to incorporate color!

Here are a few more totally tzniut looks you may want to check out:
J. Crew White Pencil Skirt On Sale!
Ann Taylor Floral Skirt and Cardigan Not on sale, but still pretty!
Adorable Kate Spade Cardigan Definitely not on sale, but fun to dream about!
Tory Burch Dress Be daring in this, just don't blame me when the bill comes.

Summer is about fun, flirting and flings, so try and make work fun! Oh, and feel free to flirt with the cute guy in the cubicle next to you, just DON'T have a fling with him, k? Unless he's rich. And Jewish. If he is rich and Jewish, then you can have a fling with him. Happy Summer, ladies.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Onesies--They're Not Just For Kids Anymore

The last time I ever expected having to button a shirt between my legs, I did not picture it being at 25 years-old. I really thought the extent of my onesie-wearing days were over. Gee, I bet you didn't really want to know all that, huh? Allow me to elaborate.

For those of you who are not familiar with children's-wear, a onesie is a bodysuit that goes over the baby's head like a shirt, but then buttons by the diaper area. Suffice it to say I no longer wear diapers, but sadly I am still buttoning bodysuits at 25. I guess my mother's little girl isn't all grown-up quite yet.

Nah, I kid. The truth is, it's all because of the button-down shirt. Button-down shirts are the bane of my existence, especially now that I am in an office setting. There is nothing more annoying than tucking in a freshly ironed button-down shirt, only to sit down and have it untuck itself; then you have to fidget with it, and keep tucking it in, and you end up all messy. Sloppy is not OK (once again, I feel the need to bring up Kesha. Just saying).

Enter the button-down onesie (insert dramatic music here).

Never in my life have I found an item that is such a complete solution to a pestering problem. The button-down onesie should win the Nobel Peace Prize for solving issues of all woman-kind, it's that good. And, it's tzniut*. Win!
(* Buttons may need to be added for those who prefer higher neck coverage, although a camisole underneath is not against the rules)

Basically, as seen below, the button-down onesie is a button down shirt that hits at the hips; starting from the hips down however, you have plain white cotton material that meet with clasps to form a bodysuit. If you listen closely, there are angels singing some where in the background, because now when you sit down, your shirt won't ride up, and you won't be constantly adjusting your shirt and skirt. The best part is, no one ever has to know! (Unless you're having some sort of affair with your boss, in which case NOT KOSHER! No one else should be unbuttoning your onesie but you, if you know what I mean?)

Click here to purchase. It comes in black too. (Ridiculously gorgeous model not included)

Now, while I am well aware we don't all look like my friend* Alesandra Ambrosia over here, there is no denying the powers this shirt yields. Plus, the professional appearance alone just screams 'promotion'! I think, if we incorporate a little more button-down and a little less 'blah shirt', the office will be a much happier place. Not to mention, this totally transitions into a Shabbat top.  Now you can wear that cute skirt for the chagim with a nice, crisp, non-untucked button-down shirt.
(*I'm not really friends with Alesandra, but if anyone knows her, feel free to introduce me to to her.)

I say, bring out the inner child in you, and embrace that onesie! I also say, bring out the inner Alesandra in you, because the next best thing to being a pampered baby is being a pampered supermodel.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Bringing Sexy Back

OK, so I'm not really bringing sexy back, but there are a few items that I would like to bring back from the fashion vault of "Oh. No. She. Didn't." (head movements and all). I think there are some truly quality pieces that have gone down the wrong path in fashion past, and your resident frum fashionista is here to bring them back to you.

Every time I tell you I am bringing sexy back, know that it's probably an item that was once deemed completely and totally unsexy, and only through my powers of internet prawess will I be able to let this item shine again, like Kesha's face unwashed (you know, because she is so greasy and all).

First on the agenda--Glasses Necklaces (those are the little holders you attach to your eyeglasses so that you can hang your glasses around your neck). I know these little suckers have been deemed 'geezer-couture' for the past 30 years, but I find myself totally obsessed with the more updated and hipper versions of these glasses accessories. They are built in jewelry that you can wear in a totally newer way than just putting a necklace on.

I am commanding everybody to go out and buy some optic necklaces (as they are known in the optical world). If you are brave enough, go into your grandmother's sock drawer and pull out some of her more antique-y looking ones and shake what your grandma gave ya! (Unless it's at senior-citizen aerobics, in which case, keep that shaking to yourself.)

These are functional and pretty at the same time. Here are a few options from Corrinne McCormack (sold at Lord and Taylor).


So, I hope this was sexy enough for you. Here's hoping you don't get called 'four-eyes'...eeek! Flashbacks to third grade. Cue to exit. Ta-ta for now.


Modest Hollywood

The Unusual Suspect

We all know Sharon Stone is one actress who is not known for her covering up, but see how she takes a more modest approach while out in Beverly Hills with her son. Granted, she is one or two buttons short of a shul outfit, but she would fit in just fine at any Yeshiva PTA in this outfit. P.S. Love the pearls. Ab fab, darling. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fashion Craving

Forget pints of ice cream and chocolate bars, ladies! Fashion Craving is when I let you in on my non-PMS cravings for absolute fashion amazing-ness. Feel free to join in on these guilt-free cravings (till the bill comes, at least). 

These are completely adorable, totally work appropriate, and that heel looks tame enough to manage the day. These are the perfect Fall bootie, and I WANT. 

Coach, Aliza Bootie, $188
Click here if you want to buy these beauties for yourself. 

I know, I know--I'm such an inspiration. Thank me later when you are getting massive amounts of compliments on these stellar lovelies.

Just don't forget to say a bracha every time you indulge, because G-d is watching...and so its that cute guy on the corner. Amen.


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Oops! I hope you're not embarrassed, but you just walked in on me having a love affair with blazers! Don't be shy, it could have been worse... it could have been a love affair with granny-panties and that would have just been awkward.

In all seriousness, I think the comeback of this menswear-for-women staple is a God-send. Literally, I think God may have given Moses the ten commandments and then threw in the women's blazer for half off. (Hey, men can appreciate a good sale when they see one too.)

Luckily for women everywhere, clothiers have finally learned to cut for a woman's body; no longer are the shoulder pads of 80's fame an issue, and since hair volume of the 90's has tamed considerably since the turn of the millennium, a chic blazer in any neutral is the perfect cherry on top of any outfit that won't make you look bulky. Not only is it the quintessential cover-all for work, but this once professionals-only piece is now happily a weekend-wearing essential as well.

See how Reese Witherspoon takes a casual looking outfit and adds a blazer for an ultimate cute and casual look. Switch up that mini for a knee-length skirt, and there you have a perfect Monday morning work outfit; hollywood tested, frummie approved.

For those of you not ready to take on the blazer quite yet, there are other options. Fear not. Many cardigans are cut into the blazer shape without the restricting feeling of a full-on jacket. Even as the summer is heading out, feel free to put on a summer dress with a nice, neutral colored blazer, this way you're not wearing too many heavy pieces at once. Point is, you should have fun with blazers! They come in all shapes, colors and sizes, so take liberties with how you wear them and when you wear them.

This black Gap blazer is classic and wallet friendly.

This blazer from J. Crew is also great; it would look wonderful with a black pencil skirt for work, and transition nicely to the weekend with a summer dress underneath.

In any case, I hope you weren't too offended by my little tryst you walked in on. Fortunately for me though, I think this love affair with blazers will be lasting quite a while, so just remember to knock first next time, k?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taste the Rainbow...Or At Least Wear It

Some of you may have heard of this thing called the rainbow. It's this transparent strip that arches in the sky after a heavy rain and it is filled with the most natural, beautiful colors in the world. What is color, you ask? Oh good question! Color is this wonderful thing that is NOT black.

Believe it or not, frummies, there are other colors out there besides black. I know, I will give you a second to process this mind-blowing, earth-shattering discovery. Yes, it's crazy to think that maybe you can don some other articles of clothing that won't leave goths waiting for the back-orders to arrive.

P.S. Color is not pritzut!

I understand that black is slimming on everyone and that it is much easier to wake up in the morning and put on a black shirt and black skirt and call it a day. But ladies, break free. God created the WHOLE rainbow, not just the black clouds that precede it, so don't be afraid to use it!

No doubt you should have a few black staples: a black pencil skirt, a black sweater, a black blazer, and a black cardigan. Past that, try expanding your horizons! Take risks without actually having to take risks; in other words...just wear red! Even if it's red scarf, or a yellow cardigan, or a blue skirt--ahh, I can see your eyes lighting up through the computer screen. You want to go buy a yellow cardigan right now, don't you? I know, my powers of persuasion are unparalleled!

If you want to make it simple, you can even buy a solid color dress in a subtle color like this one from Banana Republic, and it's 100% tzniut (it even comes in turquoise!):
Click here if I have inspired you to incorporate this adorableness into your wardrobe.

Color should be embraced, not shunned. You might find that different colors do wonders for your complexion, but that's a whole blog unto itself. Color has even been proven to make you smile more, and lord knows, we could use more smiling people in this world. Besides, wouldn't it be nice to walk into the office every morning and see a brightly dressed, composed and chic employee as opposed to another girl That includes variations of black, like charcoal and dark gray. Just saying.

Surprise yourself, ladies. Take the plunge and incorporate some technicolor into that monotonous wardrobe of yours...there just might be a pot of gold on the other side of that rainbow.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Modest Hollywood

Check out Julia Roberts at the Eat Pray Love Premier in Tokyo. The Pretty Woman opted for a modest floral  dress that would suit women of all sizes and fit in perfectly at any shul  for Shabbat or chagim. (She should have steamed it first though! Next time, Jules.)

Dress: Dries Van Noten

Heal Me. I mean, Heel Me

 I still remember going for my first pair of "heels" when I was 12 years-old. Let me set the scene for you:

Bat Mitzvah Season is in full swing!  I need cute shoes.
The Store: Payless Shoe Source
Credit Card Holder: Mom
Size of Heel I Want: 2 1/2 Inches
Size of Heel My Mom Wants: "A sensible shoe for dancing, sweetheart."
Ultimate Decider of Shoe Purchase: Mom

Needless to say, I walked out of that store with an 'adorable', age-appropriate pair of black patent leather Mary-Janes that barely qualified as a flat, let alone a heel, but oh well. (Oh ya, and I got a pair of sneakers that light up when you walk. I know, I was so cool.)

Fast forward about 13 years, and I am sitting in an office with 3 1/2 inchers on my feet, and I feel like sometimes I put JLo to shame. I mean, we all know the diva can take a pretty picture on the red carpet with her heels, but can she go up and down six flights of stairs to deliver deadlines? I don't think so.

Now, you might be asking yourself,  "What is a Jewish girl doing in heels outside of shul?!". I know, the risque factor alone just screams 'but are you sure she's frum?!'. 
It's a well known "rule" that unless you are wearing a ballet flat, you are venturing into either "fancy/wedding" territory, or you are just not a frummie. The ballet flat is a staple in every frum Jewish girl's closet. Some have more ballet flats then they do bras, which is really crazy when you think about it.  I am here to shatter that stereotype. Wearing a sensible heel to work is not against the rules, girls! Just make sure they are work appropriate and they are comfortable enough to withstand your nine-to-five lifestyle. 

Take these, for example. A classic black pump that you can't go wrong with. Subtle, simple and clean, they will match almost anything you own and give you the professional height you are looking for (pun intended).

Michael by Michael Kors Harness Pump.
(P.S. I have these. I wear them everyday. They rock.)

Wedges totally count as a heel, by the way. These are adorable (and bonus on the extra support and comfort):
Should you feel the need to indulge in these, click here.

So, to all my ballet flat-wearing Jewesses, I challenge you to break free from of those flats. I totally understand the comfort level that comes with a cute Tory Burch "Reva" ballerina flat, but let's face it; wearing flats  is a statement of your religiosity: "Look! I'm wearing flats! I'm frum, now let me marry your son!" We can all spot a frummie by how non-existent her heel is. I challenge you to go into that corner of your closet relegated for "High Holy Days ONLY" and pull out that killer pair of heels and wear them to work. Or even around your house. If you feel you must start with kitten heel, I completely understand; sometimes baby steps are necessary in cases like these...especially if you're going to do it in heels.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Think I Coach, I Think I Coach

For those who know me, you know my affinity for all things Coach. For those who don't know me... well, now you know.

Now, I am by no means a brand-name-whore (I know, that wasn't really kosher), but I bathe in that "C" pattern like it's my job.

Note: If it looks like Coach and smells like might not be Coach, ladies, so just be careful when you are trolling Chinatown, k?

If there is anything I love more than Coach, it's a SALE. I recently ventured to a 'holy' place of sorts called Woodbury Commons. When not praying to the Western Wall, all prayers (and paychecks) point directly north toward Central Valley, NY, home to the greatest shopping outlets on the east coast. Not two days prior to this excursion did I receive my first paycheck; being that summer is on it's way out, I figured what better way to put that money to use than to catch an end-of-season sale on already ridiculously marked-down items.

First stop: Coach. Duh.
I picked up this little cutie, the Coach Sailor Stripe Sweater,  with gold button trail detail on the back.
(I got it in the blue, but totally loving the red!)

Not only is this 100% tzniut, but it was 75% off it's retail price, and it's 150% adorable. Oh, and did I mention it's 100% cashmere for only $50? 

Cute, check. 
Affordable, check. 
Modest, check.  
Work appropriate, check. 
Need a Jewish Working Girl ask for more? 

(FYI, here's Naomi Watts wearing it. I bet she didn't get it for $50. Sucker.)

It's really a lot easier than you think to find some ready-to-wear clothing to work that doesn't involve wearing a white long-sleeved shirt underneath. Don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of it myself; but no doubt the layering gets annoying, so I am trying to liberate frummies everywhere into making at least one day a week into a "no-kiki-riki" zone. Switch her jeans for a cute skirt, and pair a cute shirt (or tank) with a blazer like Naomi Watts did here, and you will look simply fab. I promise.

From Old Navy to Yves Saint Laurent, find your own store to love unconditionally, so that shopping will be fun, not a chore. And remember, when all else fails you, cashmere won't.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Jewish Working Girl

Hello world! Or whoever is reading this. So, I have decided to cave in... I have started a blog. I pondered for a while what it was I would write about for the world to read, and it only came to me as I started working three weeks ago.

As quite obviously noted in the title of this blog, I am a proud religious (frum) Jew of the modern orthodox variety.

For all of you not in the know, the Hebrew term "Aron  HaKodesh", which literally translates to "Holy Closet",  was the Ark of the Covenant which was stored in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem. Now, not to compare my puny little closet to a holy, Tabernacle-wielding, divine entity; I'm just trying to incorporate my own little Jewish holiness into my everyday wardrobe selection. I know, sounds "divine"!

Being a religious orthodox Jewish woman in the working world could be extremely challenging. Being a religious orthodox Jewish woman in the fashion world could be even more challenging, and I dare say my own Mount Everest. The Jewish dress code stresses modesty. Modesty, or as it is referred to in the Jewish community tzniut (ts-nee-oot), is a prevalent concept in most religions, therefore a matter of fashion contention for women the world over...literally. How many times have I wanted to just buy that cute Marc Jacobs dress, but it was sleeveless, or too short, or showed too much cleavage.

Looking professional in a secular position of employment doesn't leave a lot of room for jean skirts and the ubiquitous "kiki-riki" three quarter sleeve shirts that serve us "frummies" (religious) so loyally.
I have always embraced my religion, but the strict clothing guidelines that are dictated among the women in the community aren't always fashion friendly.

The basic norms of the guidelines are as follows:
  • Skirts that hit the knee or below.
  • Sleeves that reach at least the elbow.
  • Collars that hide your collarbone.
  • No extremely tight or form fitting clothing.
(And that doesn't include the implicit, unwritten rules!) I can't claim to be loyal to the collarbone stringency, but I more or less do my best to uphold the rest of these criteria. You can see why we Jewesses have an issue here? Don't mistake me, I certainly feel the clothing parameters with which I have to work with are of my own choice and I do not resent them in any way; if I want to go to work in slacks and a tank top, no one would stop me. I choose to wear what I do because it makes me happy, it makes me feel special, and most of all, makes me feel proud to be a part of such a wonderful (albeit sometimes restricting) community.

When I started my first job a few weeks ago, I wondered how I was going to dress to work; would I be the typical Jewish-girl and pull out my school-like wardrobe of black skirts, a short-sleeved shirt over a long sleeved one, and flats? Or would I pull out my more professional looking pieces, slip on a pair of heels, and as Tim Gunn of Project Runway fame so aptly encourages, "make it work"? Wondering what I chose? I decided to go for the latter, and you should know I rock the hell out of a blazer. Going to work each day in my professional (while still frum!) clothing really allows me to be a part of my company and my religion at the same time. I don't have to let the religion dictate what I should wear, rather just how I  wear it. Best of both worlds, my friends.

Three weeks into the job and I go into a co-worker's office to ask her a question about some spreadsheet I was working on; "You look really cute today, by the way. You always wear the nicest clothes to work." Thanks, I respond to her, and then turn on my Michael Kors heel and walk out of her office, my question answered and my convictions affirmed.

Modest Fashion Network