In Which British Royalty Reminds Me Of High School

I went to an Orthodox Jewish high school with a strict dress code. Long skirts, high necked shirts, sleeves to your elbow, and a somewhat flexible policy about writing on shirts. Boys had to wear collared shirts. The idea was to preserve modesty, but we lady-students saw the dress code as a challenge, not a safety rail. What does it really mean that a skirt has to go below your knees? Where does a knee really end? When you say my shirt needs to fall no lower than two finger widths below my clavicle, whose finger widths are we using? Because some people have very wide fingers, rabbi.

Anyway, I was thinking about my wily ways with the dress code this morning when I watched the royal wedding (yes, I got up at 5:45am to watch the second hour of programming. Judge away but it was deliciously fun). The dress code for the church was “uniform, morning coat or lounge suit” for men, and it’s apparently implicit that in a church in England women must cover their shoulders and their heads. And just like my friends and me in high school, the guests at the wedding had some really interesting interpretations of the dress code. The hats particularly were¬† impressive. And by impressive, I mean weird. Very weird.

(The married lady teachers at my high school wore hats, and there were three basic kinds–the lampshade hat, the snood, the hippie hat.)

View a gallery of the wedding hats here. But here are the two that win my Ida Crown Jewish Academy Prize for creative interpretation of the word “hat”:


Discover More

Can Modesty Be A Feminist Choice?

By the time I finally bought my first bikini, I was sixteen years old. As a chubby kid who had ...

An Open Letter to My Bais Yaakov Education

To My Bais Yaakov Education, I thought I knew what I was getting into when I made the jump from ...

Dressing the Part

So a few weeks ago I stumbled across this weird video. It’s a fashion show from the ’80s, a Jean-Paul ...