I am personally a huge fan of bright colors, and usually wear nothing else (orange being my personal favorite). However, there are situations where I will think twice before donning an eye-catching sartorial hue. While I don’t believe that wearing red is inherently abhorrent and untznius, if the color of your clothing will cause others to look at you askance, you do run into a tznius dilemma. The bottom line is that if your clothes draw undue attention to your appearance, then they are not tzenua. For the most part, in today’s world, wearing red or any other bright color will not call more attention to oneself than wearing black or blue. However, to a certain extent, I believe that tznius can be relative. What I would wear to class is different than what I would wear on a visit to Meah Shearim (that’s an extreme example, but even in less extreme cases I would think twice). There are places where wearing red will make people stare, and if people stare, that is not tzenua. So while I don’t believe that wearing red is the equivalent of wearing a tight-fitting tank top (which indisputably calls attention to your body, no matter where you are), I do believe in following the minhag hamakom and not causing yourself to stand out. And if the minhag hamakom is too difficult to keep—then perhaps that makom is not the place for you.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
A Red-Hot Topic
The color red has been much under discussion recently. Yediot Achronot reports that the latest in the charedi war for tznius includes not only a ban of any red garments, but a call for women to purchase clothing only from a list of 30 approved stores. In reaction, Hot Chanie defends RaggedyMom’s red hair, and RaggedyMom discusses being a redhead. Never having been one myself, I can’t weigh in on the topic (though I’ve been an admirer of red hair ever since I read Anne of Green Gables in 3rd grade), but I will give my own take on the controversial issue of whether a frum girl should even think of wearing red.