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Ask the rabbi Family and Society Modesty in Dress

Tight-fitting pants for woman

Rabbi Jonathan Blass26 Cheshvan 5763
1519
Question
Is it allowable -- and is it advisable -- for a woman to wear pants when doing something that might be more dangerous in a skirt, such as skiing or scuba-diving? The question is not about wearing pants under a long, loose skirt, but only the pants (without the skirt). The ski pants are loose, and not particularly form-fitting; the scuba wetsuit is rather tight and very form-fitting. There are two aspects to the question, as well -- (1) can/should the woman wear such an outfit and (2) can/should I (a man) go skiing/diving in a group with women dressed in that manner. Would (2) be any different if I was married; what if the was the woman wearing the outfit was my wife? I will, of course, be discussing the issue with my rav, but wanted to hear other opinions.
Answer
Tight-fitting pants are immodest dress for a woman and therefore you should not deliberately go to a place where you know women will be dressed in this way. When you are married, your wife should not dress in this way in the presence of other men. The opinion of your Rav on these questions is binding; it is not just a basis for discussion and comparison.
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