Contrary to popular belief, the word means “modesty,” not modest. It always annoys me when people say a dress is “so tznius”, even though I used to do it myself all the time! Anyway, I have so much to write on the topic, that maybe I should dedicate a whole blog to it. So excuse me if I ramble on about it quite a bit!
It was hard deciding what my first tznius post would be about. Eventually, I’ve decided to write about Jewish identity. Namely- one of the main reasons why I dress in a tzenua way.
To start off with, the other reasons are; a) because it’s an important Jewish value, b) because I think it looks better, and c) so people respect me. Now for my main reason.
The main reason why I observe the laws of Tznius is so that when I see other Yidden, they recognise that I am a fellow Jew. This wasn’t why I started dressing in a tzniusdik way. It didn’t even occur to me at first. I did it because I felt it was the right thing to do. But after a few months of modest dressing, I realised that this was the biggest bonus of all. That moment when you see another pious Jewish woman, meet her eye, and smile? Priceless. You can admire her beautiful shaytel, she can admire your tzenua A-line skirt, and the pair of you can share a beautiful moment of unity. Trust me, it’s happened to me before! There’s nothing quite like that moment of sisterhood when you bump into other Charedi ladies trying to find tzenua clothes in the same store as you!
Though it’s not always quite as dramatic or beautiful, there’s always something there. A quick glance- even without a nod or smile- from another Chossid, and your clothes immediately prove you’re “one of them”. Never mind unity and sisterhood, that recognition is enough! And so, that’s why I love to wear tzenua, Jewish clothes when I go out. Not trousers or short skirts, but skirts which cover my knees, modest tops, and stockings. Try it just once, and you’ll realise what I mean. That is the power of tznius- bringing Jews together.