Hi, I was just your typical 19 year old Seminary girl in South Jersey (if you don't know where I mean, you are probably on the wrong blog). We all have nisoynos, challenges, and experiences, both positive and negative. Here is where I have decided to share some of them.

Location: Lakewood, New Jersey, United States

Friday, August 18, 2006

Fashion in the Frum World

How is everyone’s summer going . I had one or two great post-ideas but my friendstalked me out of it ( you know who you are ).
So I finally decided to go with a request from another very close friend of mine. Shopping in frum clothing stores.
Some of the stores I have been to in Lakewood and NY have these rather annoying signs about hemlines and other “Tznius guidelines” . Hello, I went to BY and Seminary. I don’t need it shoved in my face every time I go shopping for clothing.
A lot of these stores have cramped dressing room areas, pushy sales-help, exorbitant prices and very few amenities. As a result I would much rather a very relaxing trip to the mall or shop online.
Some dept. stores have nice coffee lounges , nice décor, appealing and extemporary service. And the prices are still better than the outrageous prices in the little hole-in-the-wall basement stores in Boro Park and elsewhere. But unfortunately, there is lil variety of modest outfits in these dept. stores, as it is a radically immodest world.
A good part of the blame is our own fault. I remember a few years back a lady who was a world renowned fashion executive and became a baalas tshuva came to speak in Lakewood . Now she lives in Yerushalyim in a small apt and does little jobs in a home-based business. it’s a shame because of a woman of her abilities and talent could make a tremendous Kiddush Hashem. A friend of mine asked her why she wouldn’t want to spearhead a campaign to market a fashionable, tasteful Tznius line of lady’s outfits for today’s frum women, and snidely replied that all the women here manage to dress very elegantly. In my humble opinion that is very short-sighted.
On a positive note, lately I have discovered a lot of nice outfits on many frum Tzniusdik websites.


Blogger Y.Y. said...

you have to pay more because the heimishe store owners made the effort of choosing the modest clothing for you

8/19/2006 11:12 PM  
Blogger ms. shtark said...

you also end up having the same clothes as everyone else but really if you shop in the mall, u still all end up with the same clothes so either way u're done in. nebich

8/19/2006 11:50 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

SG - Hmm, you could be a millionaire. Just open a better, cheaper, just-as-tznius store in Lakewood, and your husband will be able to learn forever!

8/20/2006 5:05 PM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

I think the ideal solution would be for Heimishe girls who wish to be seezn in stylish yet modest clothing,to learn how to make their own clothng:)

8/21/2006 6:37 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Welcome back finally a new post. There are some great stores in Bklyn. Ever try Talking Fashion, Hooked on Fashion, Junee or Brendas? I love those stores I recently started shopping there.

8/21/2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

JOsh, you'll be broke
Ask anyone in the Retail Business no=one makes a killing
Maybe its because everyone waits to "take adavtage" of the sales end of season
maybe its because the frum market is small and the BASIC overhead is high
Maybe its because they have to THROW OUT half the clothes they make because it OUT OF FASHION after six months

But Semgirl is right Macy's and Lord and taylor here have great stuff for cheap and after a quick trip to the dressmaker/seamstress voila a tznius outfit

8/21/2006 10:52 AM  
Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

Welcome back

8/21/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger jewish philosopher said...

Semgirl, you obviously need some fashion guidance from a patriarch. Please send me photos of you modeling some recent outfits.

8/21/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger FrumGirl said...

I dont find the shopping experience to be so bad in Flatbush and Boro Park. I think if you have a sweet but no nonsense attitude the saleladies will respect you.

However, I do most of my shopping in NYC. My taste is slightly more trendy than what is offered in Brooklyn.

Its up to you SG... and dont take this personally as a criticism.... its up to you whether to harbor that negativity or let it go and just enjoy what life has to offer!

8/21/2006 9:32 PM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

I think I have to agree with frumgirl here. I like shopping, no matter where it is. If you chin up and just look through anything that annoys you, you'll feel a lot better about everything you do. (yes even shopping in bp) I mean not like you're in williamsburg. Think positive hun!

8/21/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Dont worry FG...I had writers block so I just went an idea my friend asked me to do..

I love shopping in Manhattan..

8/22/2006 12:01 AM  
Blogger Michael Spilzinger said...

Look what just popped into my inbox from Aish Promotions

8/22/2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger Scraps said...

Ugh, I never shop in frummy stores, they're all ridiculously overpriced. I grew up someplace where there weren't any frummy stores to shop in, so I learned how to shop well in regular stores, catalogs, and online. The only clothes I have that I bought in frum stores are the ones I bought in Israel, and at least there the frum stores are cheap!

8/22/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

My gosh, I just clicked on that site michael posted, and you couldn't get me to wear any of that

8/22/2006 4:19 PM  
Blogger Reasonably Nuts Frummy said...

Pragmatician, you are so right.
I actually do a lot of sewing myself. At the begning of the summer I made myself six different tiered casual skirts. the kind you buy in the frum stores for like $50 a piece. It took me approxomitely four hours and cost $40 total because I know what I'm doing. Try that in a frum store! And even if you tell me you could find them in the mall, it would take way, way, way longer and still more then $40. Learning to sew well is one of those basic things that I think should've been one of the fundamental and more important courses in BY H.S.. It is a lot more useful in the kollel lifestyle that most of the rambams I've tried to memorize.

8/22/2006 10:07 PM  
Blogger chav said...

reasonably nuts frummy,

you make more sense than semgirl, who's always bemoaning the lack of shiurim of said rambams for women.

yeah, those will get you far.

8/22/2006 11:09 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

RYF... I envy you, its a good skill to have, if you have the talent for it. In my HS they stressed computer courses, both programming as well as, software for the office. The philosophy being that you can make a lot more $$ in the time you are busy sewing.

8/22/2006 11:13 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

but if you can sew you can seriously cut down on expenses.

honestly i think they should teach it to the boys too. I'm really glad my perents taught me!

8/23/2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger Yetzer Tov said...

just wanted to say Hi again. My blog is back after a break, and the yetzerhara is stronger than ever. Hope to see you on it soon.
Yetzer Tov

8/24/2006 9:23 AM  
Blogger Eshet Chayil said...

SG, in bais yaakov they don't teach sewing? I know in my school we were taught, although I was never any good at it. Then again, I didn't go to Bais yaakov either. What high school was this?

8/27/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger bec said...

i've found a huge selection of great skirts at tj maxx and stores like it. most are moderately priced and the hemlines are where they should be. and on top of it, they do have a lot of trendy (as well as not-so-trendy) clothing.

8/29/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

tj max is awesome, i find so much great stuff there, and so cheap too! (i once got a like really expensive tie there for less than 15 dollars, it was sooo great!)

(if you can't tell it's one of my absolute favorite places to shop. once i saw an old style brass telescope there, that was neat!)

you can get all kinds of nice stuff there, my mother got some beautifull table linens there once too.

8/29/2006 9:09 PM  
Blogger RBR said...

Personally i don't do to much shopping in the "frum" stores, but i have made some great finds. I have also found that a lot of regualr stores at the malls often have tznius clothes, and if its a tiny tailoring job, no harms done.

8/30/2006 1:15 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Hi B... great to hear from you.. Im very happy for you. Hope your Shana Rishona is going great..

I totally agree. Go to Nordstroms or Lord and Taylor. They tend to be very conservative, and you can find lovely stuff and just stitch in a dickey or some fabric if the neckline is too low. Or wear a shell with it.

8/30/2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger Okee said...

hey! I'm such a fan of clothing, it's often sad, but I do happen to know that it's a good season for us frum folk, cause if a top isn't tznius, just layer it...but it might not be what the most aidel of aidel girls are looking for, and I guess that's how "frummy" stores make a just disregard my fashion tip as inaplicable!

the only thing that is not supplied, however, at your local banana republic, h and m, or bloomingdales, are tnius fancy dresses, like for weddings. And those cost a bundle of money in places like boro park and lakewood, so it makes me want to break out a sewing machine and have at it. (I learned how to sew in high school also -in addition to Rambam. So there.)

9/04/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

We must shop in different frum stores, since I am often shocked that a Jew has selected this to sell to frum women. I find I am more Tzniusdik with my Gap clothes in the end. Or even TARGET, gasp.

As for Fashion, OMG, I'd say at this point, that a woman in a V-neck and slacks is more Tzniusdik than 1/2 the "frum" women I see.

9/04/2006 10:41 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, I absolutely couldnt agree with you more. I always wonder why the average Shiksa house-wife in loose fitting slacks, sneaker, and a sweatshirt, tends to look more wholesome and modest, then any frum lady on my block or at any of the Simchas I attend.

9/05/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

SG- maybe because they were repressed in HS and now when they are the cool married girl they tend to break out........ but you know that

9/05/2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger thekvetcher said...

they might look hot but they are frigid as ice

9/08/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Kvetcher...there are no frigid women, just men who dont know how to get the engine running....

9/11/2006 7:52 AM  
Blogger workingema said...

The only reason I cannot stand buying 'Jewish' clothes, is the price... that really turns me off!
Come on!! 65.00 for a stupid skirt!
I can get a similar skirt through Chadwicks for half the price. I love shopping in malls for clothes- only problem is- I do not know how to put two pieces together to create one. But when it happens- it's worth the price, cuz it's still cheaper!
So jewish, i am....:) :)

9/13/2006 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did u check out

10/27/2006 1:25 AM  
Blogger mom to 3 said...

Hi, SemGirl. I have been reading blogs for a while and have realized there is a definate need for nice, fashionable tzniut clothing on the web. I am trying to find peeople who can help me answer some questions. I am wondering exactly what it is people are looking for. Denim? Shabbat clothes? Everyday running erands clothes, ...What about price points? I live in Brooklyn and have been to the stores you talk about. Some of their prices are outrageous! How much do you on average spend on your clothes? I am ready to set up shop but I just want to make sure I will carry what people are looking for. Anyone who can help with any info, I would greatly appreciate it.

4/17/2007 7:12 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Hi Mom to 3 this a very old post, and I kind of forgot about it, I cant really discuss it here. If you email me, my adress is in the profile, I can definitely give you some suggestions.

4/19/2007 3:37 PM  
Blogger Shoshi said...

Hi Sem girl. I posted a response to your post on my blog. Please read it. think about it and let me know what you think.

10/24/2007 8:20 AM  
Blogger Rabbi Lars Shalom said...

i'm a new future stalker

3/07/2010 9:12 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Wow Cool site! I really enjoy reading your posts. It's important to be modest but it's also important to look good to attract the right frum guy and keep his eyes of the shiksa's. Check out for other cool frum fashion.

5/12/2010 12:56 PM  

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