Covering our naked bodies has been around since Eden. But walking out the door each day to face today’s world, we’re doing more than mere modesty requires. For many women privileged to have such choices, how we choose to present ourselves is, sweepingly, about identity.
What do smart women say about fashion now? Four writers share the soundtrack running through their heads when they put themselves together in the morning: Getting Dressed, by Sonia Isard; No Thanks for the Liberation, by Rokhl Kafrissen; Standing Out, by Letty Cottin Pogrebin; and My Coach Bag, by Yona Zeldis McDonough.
A New Kind of Shiva: The Clothing Give-Away
by Jane Matlaw, as told to Susan Schnur
Another in the Lilith series on rituals Judaism forgot to provide for us, so we’re doing it ourselves. Matlaw remembers-and honors-her late mother by doing what her mom did best: dressing others so they looked terrific. How mom’s taste lives on after her.
Rabbi Julie, Take One
by Julie Pelc
A 26-year-old rabbinical student faces the facts. She’s young. She’s inexperienced. She can’t figure out how to dress the part. But she’s gotta be the Rabbi (that’s with a capital “R”) anyway.
You Are What You Wear
by Sarah Wildman
Check your labels! Almost a century after the notorious Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire brought to light the dismal reality of sweatshops, we’re still wearing clothing made under inhumane conditions-only we often don’t realize why.
Imelda and Me
by Irene Frisch
After 3 Holocaust years in hiding in Poland, a spunky child survives and thrives, her pain transformed into one little fetish: shoes. Responding: Julie Heifetz, high school theater arts teacher and Holocaust author.
The Bat Mitzvah Dress
by Nechama Liss-Levinson
A mother and daughter come to understand that part of this rite of passage is a WHOLE exceptional day together. A solution in search of a problem.
Our Foremothers’ Furs
by Susan Schnur, Sara Nuss-Galles, Karen Prager, Liz Cutler, Deborah Solomon and
UH-OH! What to do when you inherit Grandma’s fox wrap?!? A sampling of memories triggered by hand-me-down furs; a life lesson on finding a happy home for a fur coat you can’t stand to keep; and an artisan who will make a teddy bear for the baby out of Bubbe’s mink (you gotta read it to believe it).