Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tznua Bridal Fashion

In honor of our sixth secular anniversary today, today's posting is about tznua wedding dresses.

I know of two manufacturers that will regularly make tznua wedding dresses that look like the dress was designed to be tznua -- because the dress was designed to be tznua. They are Casablanca Bridal and Jasmine Bridal.

Casablanca Bridal is the manufacturer that is closest to my heart. My wedding dress was made by Casablanca. I loved my dress, and its retail price, at about $1,000, was reasonable by wedding dress standards. The back of my dress is below.

The positives with Casablanca Bridal are:
   (1) They ship tznua dresses as samples to many of their vendors. I was able to try on three tznua Casablanca dresses in the Baltimore area when I was getting married.
   (2) They never discontinue a style and can manufacture any style to your specifications, including neckline height and sleeve length. If given enough measurements, they can also make a dress that, in theory, you won't have to alter after it arrives.
   (3) They offer rush shipping, for a fee.

The negative with Casablanca Bridal is that you won't know exactly what your dress will look like until it arrives unless you can find it as a tznua sample in a store. They do not provide sketches.

Jasmine Bridal gowns run closer to $2,000. I never found a tznua Jasmine Bridal gown when I was dress shopping, so I do not know how many tznua samples they make. They do offer sketches of what the tznua version of gowns will look like on their website, which is a great feature. And, they offer rush shipping options. I know of at least one bride who ordered a tznua Jasmine Bridal gown and she was very happy with her dress.

The best part of ordering a wedding gown through either of these manufacturers is that your gown will not look thrown together in anyway. Your dress's designs will continue to the neckline and onto the sleeves. There will be no "strapless dress line" across your chest. The dresses will truly be designed to wear tznua.

Chanukah sameach again to all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tznua Bridesmaid Fashion

Chanukah sameach to all and happy 6th anniversary to my husband and me! When we got married six years ago, it was very difficult to go to a bridal store and find any dress that was tznua without some serious alterations. So my wonderful bridesmaids all loved Watters Style 9423 2-piece bridesmaid dress. If you have three months to wait for delivery, it comes in a wide range of colors and any skirt length can be ordered.  If you don't have three months to wait, this dress is also available for "quick delivery" in five colors, including "meadow," shown in the picture below. I don't know how quickly "quick delivery" ships, but I'm sure it's faster than three months.

This dress can be further customized. My maid-of-honor ordered it with extra material in order to make a scarf for covering her hair. She used the extra material and a narrow, silver, crocheted scarf to create a gorgeous head covering. The dress is technically a v-neck, but the lapels easily fold to make it tznua, as my maid of honor also did. And the skirt is actually a-line. You'd need to alter it to make it mermaid as shown in the picture. Since the dress is two pieces, the top can be worn with a different skirt and the skirt can be worn with a different top so it doesn't look "bridesmaidy" after one's a bridesmaid.

This dress is also available in white, so it could even be worn as a bridal dress. And, since the dress is two pieces, the top could be reworn with other skirts to other functions!

This dress probably currently retails for about $300. My bridesmaids paid $260 minus 10% six years ago.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Serious Savings Alert at Lands' End!

Those of you who have seen me in the past few weeks have learned that I have totally become a huge fan of Lands' End. Their clothing is classic, doesn't go out of style, and can fit a wide range of sizes and body types. Plus, most of their clothing is machine washable (including their jackets) because spending $4 - $10 on a dry cleaning bill every time you wear makes any "bargain" really expensive really quickly.

I especially love their cardigans. Until tomorrow, you can get the cardigan in most colors for $9. Just use code "Holly" and Pin "1540" and you'll receive 40% off your Lands' End purchase, plus free shipping when you spend $50. These sweaters are down to $15 (an amazing buy, given that I started buying them at $25 and thought I was getting a bargain), and applying a 40% discount brings them down to $9. This sweater is available in regular, petite, and plus sizes. Please note that the plus sizes cost $12, instead of $9, but that's still cheaper than most casual cotton long-sleeve shirts. Here is a picture of the cardigan in the color "Pink Begonia."

Another item worth noting is the Drapey Ponté Flare Skirt, available in regular, petite, and plus sizes. It is on sale for $15 for regular and petite, and $18 for plus. I haven't tried this item yet, but I ordered it in three different colors. Here's hoping it's as great when I get it as it is in the picture!

Finally, I also highly recommend the 3/4-Sleeve 1x1 Rib Boatneck Top, available in regular, petite, and plus sizes. This shirt is on sale for the unbeatable price of $6 for regular and petite sizes, and $9 for plus sizes. I bought it in every color in my size. While it is wider than the collarbone, reviewers have stated that the top can be sewn to cover bra straps at the least, and I think it could cover to the collar bone as well. I already own three of these shirts, and while I haven't worn them out yet, I have tried them on and I can honestly say they're great. The white isn't too see through, either.

Better yet, Lands' End provides a lifetime guarantee on all their items. If you ever have an issue it, no matter how many times you've already worn it or washed it, just send it back to them or bring it to a Sears store with a Lands' End department and they'll replace it free of charge. You cannot get a better return policy than that.

And, if you want to save even more money, Lands' End is offering 6% back in college savings if you place your order after clicking to their site through Upromise. You can get similar offers for Lands' End on the shopping rewards programs for many airlines and Amtrak. In fact, I recommend most of your online purchases by clicking through these sites because you can save extra money or earn free travel when you shop almost anywhere online. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't participate in any of these sites, but almost every other store does.

Tznua Swimsuit

I often get asked how I can go swimming when I cannot wear the swimsuits and bikinis that can be found in department stores. My answer: the $44 Water Magic dress by Junee!

Black Water Magic By Junee

I bought this several years ago in navy with light blue trim and I have used it a number of times at the beach. (It appears to only be available in black now.) It's very easy to swim in, but it's a little heavy getting out of the water. It also requires undergarments. A bikini or a one-piece bathing suit is a must with this swim dress because it is just a dress made out of swimsuit material. I also wear rowing capris on my legs in case the skirt goes up in the water. The capris I have to match come from the North Face, but the closest I can find online right now are these Water Capris from RailRiders.

Rachel Roy Fold Waist Dress

Here's the 43.5" long Rachel Roy Fold Waist Dress. As far as I can tell from the pictures, it seems to fit every rule of tznuit.

It's currently $240 + tax at Neiman Marcus, which is just over 50% off its retail price of $500. Only sizes 4 and 8 remain there. Alternatively, it's currently available for $300 on Rachel Roy's website in sizes 0 and 16. It appears Nordstrom used to sell it, but they're out of stock.


Welcome to Tznua Fashionista! My goal is to share some great tznua clothing finds with anyone who chooses to follow my blog, or to bookmark the styles for myself in one easy-to-find place. For anyone reading who doesn't know, the laws of tzniut are the laws of dress that observant Jewish women follow. The basic rules, as I follow them, are: (1) the collarbone must be covered, (2) the elbows must be covered, (3) knees must be covered when sitting and standing, and (4) women may only wear skirts. All fashions shown on this site will adhere to rules (2), (3), and (4). I wear boatneck styles, so I will be showing those, but the front and backs of the tops will never go below the collarbone even if the sides go beyond it. I believe that many of these tops can easily be sewn together at the sides without compromising the way they lay on the body to make them adhere to rule (1). However, the vast majority of clothing I will show here will adhere to rules (1), (2), (3), and (4).

I also do not like layers. Any clothing that requires a "tznua shell" underneath will not be listed on this site. Do not expect any V-neck dresses or tops that would require shells to be tznua. I do believe in wearing shells and slips when they cannot be seen, such as under cardigans to make sure no skin can be seen when buttons bunch or under thin skirts where underwear lines could show. I believe nothing is less tznua than an underwear line...

Now about what you will find here:

Dresses. I always find it difficult to find tznua dresses. I have made multi-year searches just to find tznua formal dresses. It's nearly impossible. If I can find a black tie dress to post here, I will believe I will have saved someone lots of time.

Maternity clothes. When I was pregnant with my son, I found it very difficult to find tznua clothing, so I was forced to dress in layers. It's not my style but I went with it because I didn't have a choice. If I find anything maternity that is not easy to find tznua, I'll post it here.

Wedding dresses. I was lucky enough to score a wedding dress that was tznua off the rack and made by the manufacturer. I believe every bride should be so lucky. I'm not sure anyone goes into their wedding thinking they want to buy a strapless dress and adding white satin material to the top. I may be wrong, but that is definitely not what I wanted to do when I got married.

Special tops and skirts. If there's an amazing top or skirt that I'm surprised to find tznua, it will be posted here. It's easier to find tops and skirts, so I won't spend a ton of time posting them. But, every so often, I can find an amazing top or skirt that I think people would like because it's unusual and wearable.

Not everything on this site will be affordable. Much of it will be aspirational. My favorite stores include Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neimain Marcus, Barney's New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gap, Old Navy, Macy's, Land's End, Sears, and J.C. Penney. I'm not saying I shop at all of them myself, but there's never any harm in browsing.

I'd love to hear your comments, and please share links to any clothing that would be of interest!

Thanks for reading!