frustrated woman on phone

Modest Fashion Revealed: Tips and Facts You Need to Know

Written by: Annette Cohen



Time to read 7 min

I'm often asked what made me go into the business of modest fashion. The short answer is: I couldn't find trendy modest clothes that fit my body. I'd go to malls, and everything was either too revealing, too short, or too small. It was time for change. My husband who was already in the fashion space, was finally convinced to invest some of his time and money into a new adventure, namely modest fashion for women, basically, for me! 😇

So far this adventure has been quite amazing, but not without obstacles and bumps along the way, but that's for another time. Something a little uncomfortable happened last week that inspired me to get into the topic of the ins and outs on modest dressing. I was put in a position of having to defend my brand in a public forum, and although I believe it turned out ok, I think we should really discuss this important topic.


Want to know more? Let's go...

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • I am a woman who follows the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and although I am not perfect, I strive to be better each day

  • I will not tell you the halachas on modest fashion, you can ask your local Orthodox Rabbi your questions

  • This is a *no judgment* zone

*In an effort to not embarrass anyone, I have taken the liberty to  remove the real name from this conversation, and replaced it with the name "Barbara".*

If you shop at you know that there is a cute little chatbox you can click on where there is usually an agent on-hand ready and happy to assist you with sizing, customer service, and even styling your modest fashions. Our agents are trained to be friendly, helpful and respectful.

Being on the frontlines, as you can imagine, they deal with the 'good, the bad, and the ugly', and they are never phased because their job involves staying calm, cool and collected no matter what they are presented with.

So this conversation took place and it seems uneventful. I had no idea about it until I was notified about it through a post in a Facebook group (which you can see further down).

Although I never doubt my agents' professionalism, it was important for me to read it and see exactly what was said, so I requested the transcript of this conversation.

In my humble opinion, the Esteez agent did not say anything offensive or out of line.

Scroll down to see what was posted a few minutes after this correspondence...

a conversation between a customer service rep and a buyer

The Post that was posted as a "Caution to Others"

I took no offense to this post but felt that as the owner of the company, I couldn't ignore it. This was my reply...

"Hi! I am the owner of Esteez. I asked my agent for the transcript of that conversation so that I could see exactly what transpired. The agent didn't say anything wrong or inappropriate. She merely replied to your comment that stated "A truly modest skirt does NOT have slits", by saying that it depends who you ask. She is absolutely correct. Levels of modesty are not the same for everyone. For some a slit is not modest enough while for others, it's not an issue. Just like how for some the sleeve completely covering the elbow is truly modest while for others short sleeve would be ok. We cater to many different sects and religions. I'm sorry that a slit doesn't work for you. We sell other skirts without slits and those are probably the ones that would suit your needs better. Unfortunately we cannot satisfy everyone's needs all the time."

a facebook post

So why am I sharing this with you?

Even though the conversation ended up being a peaceful, friendly conversation, it was deleted. I am not exactly sure why or by whom, as there was no animosity (at least not on my part), and it was an important conversation to have. So let's discuss...

"To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them."

- Baron de Montesquieu

The True Meaning of Modesty

The concept of modesty embodies humility, integrity, and dignity. It's a practice that extends beyond attire to encompass speech, behavior, and character.

It transcends the length of a skirt or the coverage of a neckline. Personally, I adhere to wearing skirts/dresses below my knees and shirts that cover my elbows and neckline—a modest fashion choice that aligns with my beliefs and values.

While I firmly believe this path is right for every Jewish woman, I refrain from judging those who choose differently. Our attire is a reflection of personal choice, granted by Hashem's gift of free will. Each of us must navigate our own path.

a modest woman in a field of red roses

Fashion Tips for Modest Dressing

  • Fashion Tape: Fashion tape is a double-sided adhesive that helps you prevent any spontaneous wardrobe malfunctions. I use it mainly in the chest area of a button-down top to keep the buttons from popping open or peeping through.
  • "Tzniusifying": Many refer to this practice as "modifying" clothing, which involves altering an article of clothing to align with one's modesty standards. This could include sewing up an open neckline or slit, adjusting the fit of a dress by pinning it in the back to raise the neckline, or adding fabric to lengthen a short dress or skirt.

  • Layering: Layering is key to achieving modesty with immodest pieces. Pair a sleeveless top with a cardigan, blazer, or lightweight jacket to cover arms and maintain a stylish look. You could also try wearing a layering top under a sleeveless dress, or a blazer over it.
  • Loose pieces: For certain individuals, wearing a snug skirt that accentuates the backside is deemed inappropriate. A simple solution is to opt for a longer, loose-fitting top like a tunic or a high-low style, effectively concealing that area.
Truth About Jewish Owned Brands

There is a misconception about Jewish owned businesses regarding what they can and can't sell in the modest fashion space. I have heard the following phrase so many times it could make my head spin: "It's a frum owner and they should only sell tznius clothing."

Regardless of my opinion of whether or not that statement is true, I ask you: Who holds the authority to define what is tznius? While basic guidelines on modest fashion applies universally to all Jews—covering knees, elbows, and necklines—interpretations vary. Some prefer skirts just below the knee, while others seek longer lengths. Slits, even modest ones, provoke diverse opinions.

As a religious Jew, and fashion designer I strive to offer a variety of different options to accommodate as many modest women as possible regardless of religion.

It is also important to mention that our clientele extends beyond the Jewish community. However, my responsibility as a Jew remains paramount; thus, I refrain from selling items like pants or mini-skirts, upholding my religious duty.

a plus size woman wearing a pink Esteez dress

Does the achrayus (responsibility) lay only on shop owners?

Lets's break that down a bit...

Shoppers often place all the responsibility on shop owners, which I believe is unfair. I view it as a partnership. As a brand owner, I’m committed to providing styles that meet your needs. In return, please support mine and other Jewish brands by shopping at their stores, recommending them to your friends, and being mindful of their parnassa (livelihood). Let's build each other up, not tear each other down.

In a perfect shopper's world, the experience would entail: shops offering only clothing meeting your tznius standards, the ability to order multiple sizes with the intention to return all but one, around the clock customer service, free shipping, returns, and exchanges, and no time limit for returns.

Let's pause for a moment to remember that every Jewish-owned business is run by individuals much like yourself. These are people navigating the challenges of our world, striving to succeed amidst the chaos.

Through my years in this industry, I've observed many common misuses of the system. Consider this scenario: buying multiple items in various sizes with the intent to return all but one. This practice directly impacts the financial stability of the shop owner. While one individual may purchase four of the same items (multiple sizes), the subsequent returns decrease available stock for other shoppers, potentially driving them to seek alternatives elsewhere.

While there are numerous instances of system abuse, I'll conclude with this reflection: Speaking lashon hara (evil speech) holds as much weight in Torah as adhering to modest dress. I've often seen shoppers criticize Jewish-owned small businesses in public forums to vent their frustrations over unmet expectations. It's unlikely they'd appreciate similar treatment from shop owners who also frequent these public forums. Sadly, such abuses are all too common, highlighting the need for awareness and ethical conduct in our interactions.

"Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."

- Abraham Lincoln

Broc-Cauli Cheese Puffs


  • 1 bag frozen broccoli/cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp whipped cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • handful French's fried onions
  • 2 handfuls shredded cheese
  • 1 cup almond flour or bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp soup mix
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper


Boil the frozen broccoli and cauliflower in 6 cups of water. Drain and put into a mixing bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Do not mash so that you still have some veggie lumps in the mix. 

Scoop out the mix into a muffin pan, with muffin cups/tins to make it easier to take out of the tray, and easier to serve.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.


broccoli cauliflower puffs in a muffin tin


The world of modest fashion is rich with cultural significance and diverse expressions, offering much more than meets the eye. Jewish-owned brands, in particular, have played a pivotal role blending tradition with trendy style to cater to a wide audience. Working together as a community, and supporting one another we will always find success. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Til' the next time,

Annette xo

a happy pretty lady smiling

The Author: Annette Cohen

Meet Annette, the creative force behind the modest fashion brand Esteez. With a passion for fashion and a keen eye for style, Annette curates a vibrant online space dedicated to celebrating modestwear and timeless elegance. Through her Instagram account @esteezonine, she shares her love for versatile fashion, food, and lifestyle offering inspiration and insights into living a life of both modesty and individuality. Join Annette on her journey as she explores the intersection of fashion, faith, and personal expression in her blog.

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