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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776
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Victorian Styles – The Comeback


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Are you totally bored of today’s uniform dress – that of a shell and pencil skirt? These wardrobe staples have carried you through the past few years’ whether the style was short, low-cut, sleeveless and/or sparkly. These basics faithfully converted any low- cut dress or top into modest attire fit for a formal environment.

Well, it’s finally time to bid them farewell, for “everything old is new again.” The sober, long sleeved, high-necked and ankle-grazing long has seized the fashion world. Last fall the runways were already chock full of unusually modest styles and cold geometric silhouettes.

The lace styles, remembered as a romantic material from Victorian times took on a whole new form as it re-entered the fashion scene. Lace pieces have been cut to look dark and matronly – even Prada’s lace dresses look dour, thus dubbed “Goth Grandma.” However those of you who are into the whole lace look, but don’t want to look like your great-grandma shouldn’t worry! There are plenty of fresh new ways to spin on old ideas – with bold colors, and unique cuts.

The maxi dress, epitome of old fashion was quite a shocker. Now only a short while later, the midi is the hottest item on the market! The midi is mid-calf length, which for religious women is a big relief, as it makes buying fashionable and trendy clothing easier and fun.

Economists have long used the skirt length theory to predict the direction of the stock market. They claim that in flush times, women’s fashions are boosted and so mini-skirts come into style. However, when the stock market is going south, the hemlines go down too. These longer styles certainly fit with our current depressing economy.

Fashonistas everywhere are wearing full-skirted dresses that hit perfectly mid-calf. Which is quite ironic, because for so many decades women fought to make wearing pants an acceptable social alternative to uncomfortable dresses! And now, only 70 years later these old-fashioned dresses are considered hot fashion.

The elbow and knee covering fashions have made shopping a far more enjoyable experience for a variety of religious sects. Mainstream chains like H& M, Banana Republic and Bloomingdales have become options for Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Mormons, who follow a strict code of modesty. All of this lends to a win-win situation for the shopper and store owner.

I remember the first time I found a modest looking skirt and blouse in Bloomingdales. I was so surprised to find something that I, a religious Jew could wear without alterations! I thought it was a fluke, not realizing it was part of a hot new trend.

So, next you’re in Macy’s, H&M, Bergdorf Goodmans, Gap, etc. and see outfits that your grandmother would approve of-stop! You’re not hallucinating and no one will look at you strangely, because they’re what’s in and happening these days! Remember the trendiest treasures will be found in grandma’s closet for “not only does history repeat itself, but so does fashion!”

Tzipori Weinberger

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