Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Leather Debate

OK, so here goes my issue for the day...well, it's actually been an off/on issue for the past few weeks but today I decided to post.
So, by now y'all know me-the single, Bais Yaakov-type girl, heimishe/Hungarian background, frum, with it, worldly, etc. I don't hide who I am, I wear jean skirts, I go skating, play ball, ride bikes, participate in sports, watch tv, use the internet, listen to the radio, goes to shiurim, goes to Shul, says the daily perek shira, the Shabbos Shir Hashirim, etc.
So, here's the deal-I saw this really nice jacket at a store I frequently shop at. The jacket was totally me, in every sense. It was funky, stylish, frilly but not-to-girly, short, but not-to-short, and a light beige/pink color. It had little 'cut outs' all along the bottom frill of the jacket, and the sleeves had the same. The only issue was that the jacket was.....leather.
So normally, I get it, leather is 'prust', it's like biker-type, or worse, think punker-leather collars with spikes, handcuffs, etc.
But this jacket looked 'aidel' in comparison. It looked cute, it didn't look like 'OMG-did you see what SOS was wearing......I can't believe SHE is wearing leather....I didn't think she was at THAT level.....I thought she was soo much more Frum than that....'
I felt guilty even THINKING about buying it. So I tried it on, of course, they didn't have it in my size (min hashamayim-right?) and I figured I would think about it and I can always go to another store to get it.
I spoke to my friend Ruchie about it and she had the reaction as per the above. Now, Ruchie is totally normal and openminded and knows me well. I tried to describe the jacket-but she couldn't get the 'black leather' look out of her mind. At the same time, since we both went to Bais Yaakov school, I asked her why we felt this way about it-it wasn't something particularly discussed in school. Yet, we were always taught not to judge a book by its cover, but when dating, or even as we get older, we tend to judge people by their looks, their attire, their style. So the way you dress sorta shows your personality. If you wear a skirt above your knee and short sleeves, it sorta tells people about your religious level. If you wear your tzitzis out for all to see, that shows people you are at a certain level as well.
So what does it mean if you wear leather?
To be honest, my mom wears a leather jacket (no, not the biker kind!) and no one ever said anything to me, nor have I thought anything wrong with it. I'm just wondering why I feel this way. What's the deal with leather?


  1. Nothing wrong with leather. So many people I know wear leather, both guys and girls.

  2. Mammelah, I am heimish, Hungarian, graduate of BY, etc, etc. I own (hang one, I have to count them up) about 6 leather jackets and 3 leather skirts. I may even be forgetting one or two.

    Of course, because I wear them I may be prejudiced, but a good chunk of my shul has the same background and everyone, whether they be young or old, wears leather, whether it be skirt or jacket.

    And, while I may think judgmental thoughts about others when I see their style of dress, in the end that is MY problem, not theirs. I am not supposed to be making snap judgments about others; I am sure people make such conclusions about me and I wouldn't appreciate being classified as something without people even knowing me.

    No one has the "right" religion or outlook.

  3. I'm with Princess Lea on this one. A biker leather jacket looks like biker jacket - blacks, lots of straps, visible zippers, maybe even some spikes here and there if you want to get really stereotypical. But a fashionable, reasonably cut and designed leather jacket is a nice whether for men or women. Certainly pink doesn't scream biker chick.

  4. I went to BY - outta town BY- but still
    went to really BY seminary stayed shana bet..i have a leather jacket. I think its cool. i love it and wear it all the time. I tend not to care what "they will say" rather how do i feel about it, do i like it? if the answer is yes ad its not against halacha..nothing wrong with it

    there is nothing inherently evil about leather.

  5. Princess: luv u (ps I ALSO have leather skirts, but ok, they're beige suede, so I tend not to think of them as 'leather')
    Shades: ur right
    aminsp: I KNOW there is nothing wrong, and don't really CARE about what people say/think, I'm just wondering why I, personally, FEEL a bit 'against' by wearing a leather jacket...