Long skirts and dresses, covering ankles and feet was the standard of the women's fashion before on the dawn of the 20th century when the Beyt Yaakov movement began (actually earlier, but that's not the point).

Currently (I live in Jerusalem and work with a couple of Haredi seminars there.) "knee-high" skirts are de-facto standard of the Ultra-Haredi women both in the Litvaks and Hassidishers communities:


When and by approval of what Rabbis, did knee-high skirts become the standard of Beyt Yaakov graduates and teachers? In other words, when Haredi women were allowed to show their calves (with stockings of course)?

(I'm not arguing about how long exactly - just below, long below etc.)

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    This question would be more compelling if it included as much evidence as you have of the previous and current skirt standards in Beyt Yaakov. Is it your own anecdotal observation of one institution? Analysis of clothing company sales data? Interviews with Beyt Yaakov students of yore and today?
    – Isaac Moses
    Oct 5, 2018 at 14:19
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    why "(with stockings of course)"? Oct 5, 2018 at 14:37
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    that is, my question is about the "of course". how do you know that they "of course" prescribe to the logic you describe? Oct 5, 2018 at 14:47
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    @Al wouldn't it be the same way nobody wears long robes and scarves like they did in the rambam time and place? Das Yehudit is always changing and doesn't need approval of any rabbis. A minhag is what people choose it to be.
    – Orion
    Oct 5, 2018 at 15:14
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    @josh surely you of all people aren't wedded to the mishna berura as a posek and are aware of what shok meant to chazal. why not just agree with the chareidim on this one? theres plenty of other good stuff to argue on.
    – Double AA
    Oct 5, 2018 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


In terms of when, we can point at least to the 1940's era. Here is an image from the 1940s of Beis Yaakov girls. The article discussing it details how, in later printings, using Photoshop, sleeves are lengthened, necklines raised, and knee-length hems extended a four+ inches. Beis Yaakov 1940

It is not clear which posekim they are relying upon. However, the following is from the Jewish Observer in March 1973, with a typewriting task for Bais Yaakov girls: enter image description here

Note that it condemns specifically miniskirts, saying that "there is absolutely no question that a skirt that ends above the knee is against a fundamental Jewish law". This would track well with the position of Rav Moshe Feinstein, following the Mishna Berura, that the shok which is deemed "erva" is the thigh.

  • Everyone agrees the thigh is Ervah. The question is just if the calf is also Ervah.
    – Double AA
    Oct 14, 2018 at 20:10
  • the question is, when the Gemara deemed a shok erva, which shok were they talking about? Which is what I wrote, no? Oct 14, 2018 at 21:54
  • @josh that's a question. It's not the only relevant question nor is it particularly interesting as 1) there isn't much doubt about which body part the amoraim referred to as shok, 2) you can't, as you are trying, prove from someone covering the thigh what they think about what the shok is, since everyone thinks thighs should be covered. All your quote shows is skirts that only reveal calves are debatable (at least in the Acharonim) which tracks well with every Jewish authority ever, no matter what you think about the shok.
    – Double AA
    Oct 14, 2018 at 22:00
  • sure. you are convinced of this. regardless, neither of the two comments on this seems relevant to my answer, which targeted the "when" and a little bit "who". both seem more like a non sequitur taking issue with the position itself. Oct 14, 2018 at 22:03
  • It is not relevant? I wrote "following the Mishna Berura, that the shok which is deemed "erva" is the thigh", to which you wrote "Everyone agrees the thigh is Ervah. The question is just if the calf is also Ervah". I was clarifying, rather restating, my sentence, which for some reason you seem to be taking issue with?? Oct 14, 2018 at 22:05

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