Sunday, July 23, 2006

Speaking of patrols, score one for the Tznuit Squad, perhaps?

Once upon a time, women’s fashion was much more rigid and dictatorial than it is now. In the bad old days, we women wore the designated skirt length of the year, or else, lest we stand out like sore thumbs from four blocks away. Even at Lincoln Square Synagogue, an Orthodox shul, where I used to “shul-hop” occasionally when I lived in Manhattan in the 1970’s, the women didn’t dare wear skirts longer than halfway down the knee during the previous round of the mini-skirt’s popularity, less their modesty make them blatantly conspicuous, as long-skirted Orthodox women from certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn were, at the time.

I was no different from the rest. There were even some skirts in my wardrobe that I designated “too short for shul” and tried, as much as possible, to avoid wearing to synagogue.

Times have changed. Women’s fashion is far more flexible at the moment. (I hope it stays that way.) A woman can now wear skirts ranging in length from a “bandaid” so short that it barely covers her butt—not even when I was in my twenties did I ever wear anything that short!—to a “sidewalk sweeper,” and no one will bat an eye.

And I’ve changed. For openers, I’m considerably older than I was during the previous era of the mini-skirt’s popularity. I’m also considerably more zaftig. In plain English, that means that I’m no longer thin enough to “have the legs” for wearing mini-skirts.

For closers, I’m also less comfortable with the whole idea of mini-skirts. Does that make me a hypocrite, since I wore mini-skirts myself when I was younger and still had the figure for them? Maybe.

What I can say for certain is that, over the course of the last couple of years or so, I’ve become increasing uncomfortable with the idea of trooping around in really short clothing. And that includes shorts.

How convenient that capri pants (formerly known as pedal pushers) and crop(ped) pants have become so popular this year. I’d been planning to tell friends at a barbecue two weeks ago that I’d simply concluded that no one wanted to see a 57-year-old woman’s knobby knees, but realized that it wasn’t necessary for me to explain why I was wearing my pants folded up to just below the knees when I noticed that half my old buddies were wearing pants of roughly the same length.

It’s now been over two weeks since I received the crop pants that I ordered and stopped wearing shorts. Thus far, I’ve managed to wear pants rolled up to just below the knee even on a couple of scorching-hot days of over 95 degrees Fahrenheit/35 degrees Celsius. Fortunately, my own neighborhood has not suffered any of the power outages typical of New York City in the summer—yet. Whether I’d be able to maintain my current experiment in tznuit (modesty) if it were 95 degrees inside, I don’t know. Stay tuned.


Blogger Maya Resnikoff said...

I don't know- I haven't worn shorts in several years now, and didn't have much trouble when I stopped wearing them: I just started wearing more loose skirts and sun-dresses. I really think there isn't much of a difference in terms of air circulation on the legs, especially while walking. And I'm in my 20s, so...

Sun Jul 23, 10:46:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Debka-Notion, given the fact that I'll no longer thin enough to be able to wear skirts without stockings--I'll let the ladies fill in the blanks on that one--shorts are the only things I can wear that keep my legs cool. So, essentially, I'm giving up "air conditioning" for modesty. Oh, well--with luck, I'll get used to it, eventually.

Mon Jul 24, 11:45:00 PM 2006  

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