Orthodox Dress Gets Sexy (4-Minute Video)

Orthodox Dress Gets Sexy (4-Minute Video)

2 Lubavitch sisters run sales for “sexy tsnius” clothing. I’m not sure what to make of this… What do you think, JewishMOM? Can clothing be tsnius if it is also “sexy”?



Image courtesy of Flickr.com user Kamal Hammid


  1. Oh dear. Rabbi Falk! Stat!

  2. No. Tzanua clothing can be elegant, beautiful, regal, fashionable, interesting. A Jewish woman can and should feel confident and beautiful. But the word sexy means outwardly sexually attractive and that’s the definition of NOT tzanua. “Blurring the lines”? “Pushing the limits”? That’s mamash not in the spirit of tznius, and indeed, not in the spirit of halacha or yirat shamayim.

    I don’t appreciate these messages I hear from a lot of kiruv movements: “you can be Jewish and STILL be cool”, or “you can dress tzanua and STILL be sexy”, or “you can go to the mikvah and feel like you are in a spa!” As if the really important value is being cool or sexy or comfortable, and you don’t have to compromise those “important” values by being Jewish or tzanua or observing halacha. I think this is a major problem with the modern orthodoxy of today. That modern values come before Torah. Where Torah doesn’t fit nicely with modern sensitivities, like women’s rights or gay marriage, it is either ignored, belittled, excused away or outright denounced. How could it be that the Torah says something that is against my modern values?! Guess what? Hashem didn’t ask us how we felt about it before He told us what to do. Some mitzvot are much easier to relate to than others, and that’s an avodah. Some mitzvot are really hard, like handing over our sons to get cut when they are eight days old. But as His people we are obligated to do His will whether we like it or not. It’s part of the package, and it is our willingness to compromise for Him and make our will His, that makes it a relationship; a healthy, functional and growth-inducing relationship. Just like I don’t do whatever I “relate to” in my relationship with my husband. We compromise for each other and sometimes we have to grit our teeth. That’s the beauty of a relationship.

    Done ranting now. *crawls back into cave*

    • I’m guessing from your post you are FFB. When a person discovers mitzvot for the first time its like eating your favorite cake or dish. You want more and more and more. Now you have entered the frum world and have molded your self to be like everyone else around you. Now for some, its great for others they might feel that they have lost a sense of self. For those that feel this way they incorporate styles from their “past” life and see how they can apply them to their new life. Sexy is an easy word to relate to. Not meaning that these women who opened the shop in CH are encouraging women to flaunt what they have but to just know they got it. I’m not sure if you are aware of the tzinus problems that go on with the younger generation. Its hard to not try and fit in with the world around you. However if a girl/ women can get that feeling or look without going out of the bounds of tzinus what does it matter what type of wording they use.

  3. Name withheld

    I am making this anymous becasue I am Lubavitch and I think this video is horrific. Please do not look at this to represent all Lubavitch women and most are inflamed with this video. It is a hillul Lubavitch and it takes away fro. The good we are trying to do. You caj be funky , sleek , put together, nicely dressed whatever, but sexy tznius give me a break. Thats like being sober-drunk

  4. I agree with the previous. I am appalled by this video. It’s a chilul Crown Heights, a Chilul Lubavitch. I am unhappy to see it featured here on your site and wish you remove it. I think that by displaying it here, it’s in the category of lashon hara: true and derogatory.

  5. I have to assume that the interviewer kind of framed and pushed the sexy thing. It wasn’t the main message of the interviewees or the boutique. But seriously, our sexual identity is not supposed to be determined by the outside world.

    And yay Daniela, I agree with everything you wrote.

    • I have a feeling that my friend chaya is right on here (as usual). I think there’s a good chance that the interviewer was pushing the “tsnius sexy” thing (because sex is what sells newspapers and not tsnius clothing) and featured the well-intentioned store owners’ comments out of context. I have had my comments printed out of context, and it’s incredibly easy to totally distort what people say. Does anyone know these store owners? Maybe they would like to comment as well…

  6. I can’t understand how the word sexy became an accepted part of our standard lexicon at all. Just hearing the word makes me cringe. And hearing it come out of frum people’s mouths even more so. This is not because I am uncomfortable with sexuality but because this important entity is so private and discreet and ONLY relevant between man and wife. When my (frum) boss told me (a kollel wife) he wanted a certain write up to be exciting and sexy I nearly quit. Call me super-sensitive but I think that its just because we are super exposed.
    This clothing is no different to any other wannabe,prevalent, missing the point styles of clothing which theoretically fit into the Tznius parameters but are far from it. The description being sexy is a further step down.

  7. ugh oysh help yikes gagggggggggggggg
    I am a Lubavitcher and this embarrasses and saddens me beyond words
    the woman in glasses and a head scarf said some smart things but she herself was wearing a neckline that was three or four inches below what is allowed by shulchan aruch, so she has zero credibility

    that would be like giving a lecture on how to check eggs for bloodspots whilst munching on a cheese burger

    I noticed that besides the pritzus there is also a lot of IGNORANCE. the two owners do not know what the halacha is. they think it’s mostly gray areas where it’s ok to express your individuality.

    oh help, this is so upsetting!

    • Re- Rishe Deitsch

      Someone who wears a neckline three or four inches below “what is allowed by the Shulchan Aruch” has “zero credibility”?!”

      Oy Vey indeed.

      There are a number of halachic opinions as to whether the collar bone (and the amount of area below it) is required to be covered but regardless-
      Not the sort of message I’d like to take with me into the new year…
      Shana Tova

  8. Chana Schoenberg

    I am sicken after watching this, more like embarassed; there is a lump in my chest the size of a watermelon, I am pained. Daughters of Jerusalem how misguided we have become–I am no nerd, I too do not go for the likes of black and brown polyester of Bnei Brak and/or Boro Park. Yet I have found elegant “out of the box” beautfiul clothing by DKNY, Eileen Fisher, Tori Birch and more..and it isn’t what I saw on this video-rather I have seen clothes of these designers, which are modest and elegant,refined with a beautiful cut and line, muted and jeweled toned colors complete with unique jewelry, attractive accesories, not sultry, nor cloying.
    This video is a travesty, sexy tzinus-oh what an outlandish oxymoron that is; Either I am too thin skinned or they are too thick skinned and if that is the case, I pray to G-d that my spiritual skin does not grow so jaded and insensitive to the conscionable and unpretentious standards of the Glory of King’s daughter whose sustained beauty shines and glows within

  9. Terrible. “sexy” is not a word we use and it should never define how we dress publicly as Jewish women. My eyes did a double-take when I saw the word on your blog!

  10. I think they’re mixing up feeling sexy with feeling self confident. It’s a bit sad, really.

  11. Oh, please remove this video!

    As a Lubavitcher who prides herself on Tznius dress and mannerisms, I am acutely embarrassed.

    Please, do not think this is accepted in our circles.

    The Rebbe often quoted Tehillim – Kol Kevudah Bas Melech Pinimah

  12. Shameful.
    And what’s a ‘chilul lubavitch’ ( when did THAT enter the Jewish lexicon?!) ?
    It’s a chilul HASHEM. We are all in this together!

    • bikores.blogspot.com

      It’s in the Chabad lexicon and as you can figure out, it means that which shames the community, the movement. Although all Jews are interconnected, we have many groups among us and it is sad and frustrating and a desecration of that group’s values when members of a group publicly flout those values.

    • Hear, hear!

  13. OK so after I had my mouth-frothing moment, I did some thinking. I really have to work on this!

    I think the saddest thing for me in that report was seeing an innocent women getting closer to Judaism being led down a treacherous path ….

    In reality, tsnius is a very individual journey for every woman, which ideally should be guided by halachic rules and the rulings of gedolim, yes: but within that, it is truly personal and we can’t know how far someone has come on their journey just by looking at them on the street. I myself have cleaned out my wardrobe more than three times throughout my journey to modesty…. and it’s never too late, either.

    My experience through all this has been that the only way I’ve really been able to grow in modesty is when I’ve looked in the mirror, and really listened to the little voice in my heart that said: you know you can do better. That’s the voice that saves me many times in similar shops, just around the corner from Mea Shearim!

    • I used to teach at an all-girls high school before I started having kids. Every other word out of their mouth seemed to be “sexy”. I took great pains to try to get them to think about what they are really saying by choosing to use this word (as a cheap substitution for beautiful). One year, I even had them read parts of “Return to Modesty” by Wendy Shalit, to try to expand their narrow secular thinking.

      I think the most beautiful women I have seen are Orthodox Jewish women, and a big part of it is their/your modesty.

      I am orthodox Catholic (modesty-yes, birth control-no). And my question for you ladies is; where do you girls shop?! Orthodox Catholics tend to look either really frumpy or ‘not quite modest, but trying to be’. I am sad to say I fall into the latter category at the moment. I have had the desire for many years now to ‘grow in modesty’. Because I have little kids, I have little time and money to shop.

      I have many Catholic friends who would echo this. We really admire you all. After watching “Arranged” I secretly wished I was an Orthodox Jew. (Of course if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ…)

      Suggestions on where to shop?

  14. On the second viewing of this video, I realize that much of our disapproval of this video stems from the journalist’s take on it. I noticed some things that I had assumed on first viewing were not necessarily so. For example, the shop owners are not Lubavitch. (It never said so in the video. The narration said that they grew up Orthodox.) I think the shop is located in a Lubavitch community.

    While I agree that “tznius/ sexy” does not exist (or they are two words that should not be used together), again, whenever the term “sexy” was used in this video,I get the feeling that the women we see and hear using that term were prompted by the interviewer. They kept trying to steer the topic back to modesty, feeling attractive and self confident

    • bikores.blogspot.com

      The article that accompanied the video in the “Forward” says, “The sisters, who grew up in Sydney, Australia, are daughters of a Chabad rabbi.”

  15. Hi ladies,

    http://Modestanytime.com makes custom-sewn, very tzanua and refined clothing for women and girls. They are sewn according to your custom measurements so that you will get the best fit that is kosher.


  16. just to clarify it clearly states on halacha about a isha sota that if by chance she was suspected of cheating on her husband she had to be in a state of nakedness which meant she would have to let her hair down. the shulchan aruch sais a womans hair must not be longer than her shoulders. and a woman who has her hair down is considered in a state of nakedness.men are extremely attracted to hair and when a woman thinks she is looking pretty and good only for herself let her not be fooled all the men think so too. and tznius is modesty.. which means sexy is an oxymoron. dont try to blend halacha , thats where reform and conservative come from. its sad so sad… halacha is extremely specific in every single aspect. so have another look

    (comment of Oct 4, 2011)
    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

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