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Firstly, please forgive me if my question seems impertinent or offensive - it is genuinely meant to be neither. I live in a an area that traditionally had a fairly high Jewish population (although that seems to be not so much the case any more) and work in London, where I often see visibly identifiable Jewish men. Many of the men wear trousers which don't reach their shoes - they seem to be quite deliberately worn short. One Jewish man who uses the same railway station as me wears trousers that come only to be tight below his knees and some kind of stockings below that.

My question is: why are the trousers worn so short? Is there a religious reason for this or is it cultural?

As I am at pains to point out, this is asked with all respect - I just don't feel able to approach a stranger in the street and ask as that might be taken as confrontational when I wish no such thing.

I have tried to find the answer using Google but I suspect I lack the relevant terminology, as I cannot seem to get anywhere.

Thank you.

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@sabbahillel is correct - "That is cultural". From this site:

In the past, long pants were considered modernity, so many Hasidim pants are not long, but come up to half a foot, bound at the knee. Once all Hasidim dressed this way and it was part of Hasidic clothing. Today, the Hasidic sects of Belz, Toldos Aaron, Toldos Avrom Yitzchok dress this way. Gur Hassidim pants come up to only three quarters of a foot. A clear indication of Gur Hasidic clothingb that they stuff their pants into socks - Yiddish it's called "Huizen Zaaken", ie, pants socks.

Read more: http://www.orthodox-jews.com/orthodox-jewish-clothing.html#ixzz4SdfFFcvs

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