Warning: Men should stop reading this right about now.
So you're in Jerusalem, the holy city. And you want to be holy, and dress modestly. But you don't want to look holy. You want to look good.
Never fear. I'm a secret Shopaholic. And arriving home loaded with shopping bags tonight, I suddenly felt like sharing my accrued wisdom with the world. This is going to be an exceedingly shallow post. 100% Chitzoniyus and Gashmiyut. My only defence is that a girl in Shidduchim has got to be well dressed!
I'm not so into shopping at Frum stores. Something about the idea of being dressed exactly the same as every girl in Bnai Brak and Sanhedria Murchevet gives me the shivers.
But if you're aiming for a Frum-yet-classy look for a Simcha, where you want Tante Baila to approve of you and suggest a fine Bochur for a Shidduch, then check out One-of-a-Kind (Location: Go down Rechov Haturim, which is off Malchei Yisroel, and then turn either left or right, I don't remember. It's on a small street that runs parallel to Malchei Yisroel)
And for an – I-may-be-an-old-maid-but-I-can-still-be-the-best-dressed-girl-at-this-wedding, look, there's a Frum designer called Shoshi Yogodayov. She's a bit-over-the-top, but much more original and glamorous than anything else you'll find in the Meah Shearim. The prices are crazy, wait for the end-of-season sales.
(Location: Go up the stairs of a building next to Noam Hafakot on Malchei Yisroel)
Zara is the basic staple of most 'Yerushalmi' girl's wardbrobes. (Yerushalmi doesn't mean Chasidic from the Meah Shearim, but rather Boro-Park wannabes.) To go with the head bump comes the Zara pencil Skirt. Arab women also love Zara, so shoppers are guaranteed to have their heads covered one way or another.
(Location: Malcha Mall. There's one scheduled to open in Mamilla soon, and then 'there won't be a reason to go to the mall anymore.')
Mango also has a good skirt selection, their short ones are usually too short, but they have some long ones too. And I like their sweaters and tops.
Hold on a second, what about the Gap? Gap is a huge disappointment to all of us Israelis who were counting the days till it opened. American fashion simply does not work in Israel. Take the 'boyfriend shirt' – no secular Israeli is going to wear a huge baggy plaid button down shirt- that's what religious people wear! And no religious girl is going to wear it, because it's too baggy even for her, and besides, it only looks good over jeans, with half the buttons undone. The store is usually half empty, people flick through the racks and leave empty handed, the cash registers are desolate.
(Location: Mamilla, in the indoor building.)
I popped into Mekimi once when I was waiting in Center1, and emerged an hour later with three skirts. They are specially for the religious public, but manage to stay fun and colorful.
(Location: Center1, Mamilla.)
Most Israeli chains cater for the non religious public, which let's just say is a lot less conservative than your average Frum girl. Also their prices are almost as high as Zara/Mango, but the quality usually isn't as good. But some places worth trying are:
Lord Kitch – they used to sell just T-shirts, then got so popular with the religious crowd who flocked there for their high necked 3/4 sleeved ones, that they branched into a whole range of clothing.
(Location: Malcha, Mamilla, two stores in town.)
Golf- Not that much to say about it. It's pretty Blah, but sometimes has pretty stuff.(Location: Tachana Mercazit, town (top of Ben Yehuda), Malcha)
Fox – Itsy bitsy handfuls of fabric in summer, but they stock cute sweaters in winter.
Local designer stores are Jerusalem's best kept secret. Start off at Betzalel street, and walk down towards King George street, you'll pass a couple of rows of them. Some are more expensive than others. I love the fact that their stuff is pretty unique, yet avoids the typical Israeli-Designer style of vast gray sacks with colored patches randomly sewn on, and asymmetrical hems.
My favorite store is Chumi, on Betzalel 10. They have a collection of Tznius clothes from a bunch of Israeli designers, and have an impressive selection. What sucks is they almost never have sales.
Also I recently discovered Naama Betzalel. Her style is the classic 40s-50s look. There's a store on King George, near Hamashbir, and a "Odafim" store opposite, where they stock leftovers from the last seasons at half the price. That's where the skirt I bought tonight is from :-)
So that's it for tonight. Any questions? Any tips? Places to add?
And yeah I realise this blog post totally ignores the fact that 90% of my readers are located in the States, and not in Jerusalem. Save this list for when you make Aliyah.
4 days ago