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This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer:

The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - nakedness. (B'rachos (24a) in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak). The arm must be covered at least to the elbow and the leg must be covered at least to the knee.

[...]

Rabbi Getsel Ellinson (Woman and the Mitzvot: Volume 2) - Pg. 186, note 37, writes that it is probably okay to pray as long as there's less than a tefach uncovered above the elbows and knee. However, it is certainly absolutely forbidden to pray in the presence of a woman whose skirt does not cover past the knees when she is sitting down, because the skirt will not cover ervah.

My question is as follows: if opaque stockings (tights) are worn under a skirt, may the skirt then be any length? Would a skirt that hits more than a tefach above the knee be acceptable in this case (presuming that the skirt falls within the bounds of aidelkeit and concern for the local standards)?

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You're going to get very different answers based on hashkafa here. –  Charles Koppelman Mar 14 '13 at 16:24
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Don't the last two sentences of the block quotation contradict one another? Am I missing something here? –  msh210 Mar 14 '13 at 16:28
    
@msh210 Yes, except possibly in light of the stockings issue. For example, a skirt could be a tefach above the knee as long as the upper legs are covered (i.e. by stockings) when she is sitting down...maybe? But good point. –  SAH Mar 14 '13 at 16:59
    
@CharlesKoppelman yes, I imagine so. I guess I'm most interested in a strictly halachic answer. Obviously people have strong opinions about how far it is necessary to go beyond that, and no choice of dress will please everybody. –  SAH Mar 14 '13 at 17:01

2 Answers 2

Well I suppose you ask how that compares to just wearing pants altogether.

IIUC Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (and I haven't seen this inside) felt that in addition to "thigh", the "split of the legs" should also be covered, therefore pants were inadequate. So ask me how far down a skirt has to go to cover "the split of the legs"... I don't know.

The other issue would be if something is covered, but the clothing is too tight. Not in the spirit of tzniut, but hard to argue from a traditional definition of ervah per se.

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I'd very much like to see that RMF inside if you can track it down –  Double AA Jun 19 at 4:57

There is still a problem of hirur(improper thoughts) see Igros Moshe EH 4:100:6 where he mentions this issue.

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See meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/76. –  msh210 Mar 14 '13 at 17:19
    
I'm pretty sure this type of response was excluded by the OP. –  Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 17:21
    
@msh210 thats what the tshuvah says its not a long tshuvah. –  sam Mar 14 '13 at 17:25
    
@DoubleAA I am not sure how my answer did not answer the question. –  sam Mar 14 '13 at 17:26
    
@sam "(presuming that the skirt falls within the bounds of aidelkeit and concern for the local standards)" and from comments: " I guess I'm most interested in a strictly halachic answer. Obviously people have strong opinions about how far it is necessary to go beyond that, and no choice of dress will please everybody." –  Double AA Mar 14 '13 at 17:29

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