Growing up I loved to create little outfits for my dolls. It was fun to make things for them to wear. As I have traveled the world, it’s fascinating to see how different people dress. As the world becomes smaller, thanks to global media, the major differences aren’t as noticeable, but there still is a subtle difference.
I purchased an art mannequin from Amazon – he/she is perfect for future country units as I can dress it up with whatever clothing I pick. At a mere 13″ tall, many doll clothing can fit as well, so giving me options for future units.
For Israel, I found that the ultra-orthodox style was interesting, especially as they often stick to black and white colors and the striking color combination was fun to work with.
From my research, I found that the Hasidic/ultra-Orthodox communities focus on very modest clothing. For women, the clothing must not accentuate their figures. All clothing comes up to the neck with skirts covering the knees and often down to the ankle. Married women wear head coverings. Almost all the clothing is black, brown, grey and dark blue, unless they are in a festival or celebration. Shoes are almost always flats in subdued colors and always include stockings that cover the leg.
Ultra-Orthodox men mostly wear black coats, jackets and pants with white, button down, cotton shirts. They also cover their heads and wear dark shoes. A tallit is a fringed garment traditionally worn by religious Jews, and is often worn over or under their clothing. This head-covering is often referred to as a prayer shawl and is worn on adult males only, often from marriage onward.
I made the robe from black cotton fabric after tracing a simple design around the mannequin and sewing it together. I tied it with a small piece of black ribbon.
I made my tallit from white fabric and gave it black detail lines at the end with a sharpie. I also frayed the edges to give it a fringed appearance.
To hold the head covering in place I used two hair-ties from my oldest’s collection – they fit perfectly!
To complete the look I made a small Torah out of toothpicks with beads glued on the ends and paper rolled around it.
My preschooler and I discussed how different clothing can signify culture, religion, climate, personal style, careers, historical figures and can vary drastically even within a country. It’s also important to not assume anything about people simply based on their clothing, and to take time to understand why people dress the way that they do – sometimes there is an interesting reason and other times it’s just to express the unique soul they are. 🙂