Re: Women wearing pants

Lewis Reich (
Wed, 1 Jan 1997 01:21:28 -500

On 29 Dec 96 at 13:33, Tanya Scott wrote:
> To ask why pants aren't considered modest, which was my question,
> is not the same thing as saying that "it's no big deal to show your
> body." The point is that wearing certain tailored pants (I'm not
> talking about hip hugging jeans) is not showing your body. Many
> frum women wear pants that don't show their form at all.
> ... many Pakistani women wear "pants" that don't show much of a
> split anyway because it's covered somewhat by a sari. Is the
> prohibition on showing a split rabbinic ruling or custom?

I think that there are two components here: there is the principle
of tzniut(modesty), and there is the question of what in a particular
community constitutes modest dress. The latter is not the same in
different cultures, and this is, I think, recognized to some extent
in the halakhah.

Lewis Reich