Orthodox Women and Black Skirts


Are black skirts the uniform of orthodox women? Is there any particular reason why so many orthodox women wear black skirts and not skirts of any color or combination of colors?

My daughter who became orthodox owns more than 20 identical long polyester black skirts. It is literally her entire wardrobe and she wears nothing else ever. Her tops vary, but it’s always the same long black skirt every single day. She just has older and newer ones in varying conditions for different occasions. She admitted to me it is the exact same skirt she bought many times, and she showed me where she gets them. And they are very cheap, even as she can afford better. She wears them just as much to weddings and while canoeing. She wears them to work and to work out. Seems like she is far from alone. Whenever I am around the orthodox community, I see so many women wearing long black skirts.



  1. I do appreciate why you may think that the Orthodox Community has cornered the “black skirt market.” It is true that within the Orthodox Community it may seem as if black is the color “de-rigueur,” and, in a certain way, it is. Black is considered to be a color that is not so noticeable, and therefore more modest than other “louder” colors. But, having said that, there is no obligation for an Orthodox woman to wear only black skirts. Yet, perhaps your daughter has chosen to do so because of the modesty factor but also because it means that there is no need to agonize over which skirt to wear!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. I know my daughter’s reasoning behind it. I just don’t understand the community at large, whether it is a religious requirement or just a convenience.

    For her, it is because they are cheap (and comfortable). She gets them from a place where they run as low as $5 each and they are very replaceable. And for that little, she thinks she can pass them off as something nice. She is not super strict about modesty. She wears short sleeve and V-neck tops, unlike many other orthodox women.

    She took me to the store where she gets them during last week and I actually bought two of them for myself, and I wore one to Rosh Hashanah services. And I admit I fell in love with them because they are so comfortable and match almost everything. I feel I could wear them every day and I will probably buy more. And I am not much of a skirt person.