Thursday, May 05, 2011

When fashion meets Chareidim

Not so long ago the Vizhnitzer Rebbi banned his students from wearing anything but plain plastic framed glasses.

The rabbi called on students wearing modern metal glasses to remove them and move to anti-modern plastic glasses. Rabbi Hager also spoke out against yeshiva students wearing contact lenses.

According to a Hasidism source, metrosexual men and students of the modern Lithuanian yeshivot were the only ones wearing contact lenses.

"This is the reason why the rabbi called on the students not to wear them. We are well aware of the statement made by the former Vizhnitz rebbe, who said we must wear the exact opposite of what is worn in Paris."

I don't know why it is always Paris that dictates the fashion for Hasidim. What happens if hip people in New York start wearing things? Are Hasidim supposed to wear the opposite?

That may cause problems. Because the trend-setters (and the modern LIthuanians for that matter) have started wearing black hats.

SPOTTING a Borsalino, a black wide-brimmed felt fedora, in the traditionally Jewish section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is no strange thing. What was surprising was the wearer: Theophilus London, a hip-hop artist from Trinidad. “This one is from the Jewish store,” Mr. London said, motioning toward southern Williamsburg, where the haredi still outnumber the hipsters.

Does that mean that Hasidim, anxious to avoid being trendy and following their golden rule of always doing the opposite of what happens in Paris, will not have to start wearing turbans on their heads? Or a fez? Or perhaps they'll simply turn their hats around so that the bow is on the other side - that way people will not mistake them for Theophilus London. - Oh wait! They've already done that!

Vizhnitzer Chassidim are uniquely dressed in that they are the only group − besides Stropkov − who wears their hat bow on the right side, not left, which makes it appear backwards compared to similar hats.

If they would switc their hats around again someone may mistake them for a New Square Hasid! In my opinion it is better that they stick to imitating Theophilus London and his team of hipsters!


  1. In Toronto before Pessach, I noticed that narrow-brim Fadoras have become vary popular, in a variety of colours - including dark grey and black. At the time I commented that this is one trend that would never take off in Israel amongst "modern" kids because of the association here with black-fedoras.

    To my surprise I was proven wrong. Many kids in Modi'in are now weraing Fedoras, my kids even tried telling me that "This" was a fedora - the things that the Harredim wear isn't a Fedora, the brim is too wide.

  2. Anonymous11:53 pm

    People define themselves by being distinguished from others. Punks, mods, skinheads, hasidim. Social Psychology 101.