No matter your cultural or religious background, you have some conception of what's okay and not okay to wear in public. For most of us, the rules are pretty relaxed: Cleavage is usually fine, but you should probably keep your nipples covered. Pelvage might be fun to spot on the red carpet, but it's not so practical for everyday life. For orthodox Jews, modesty is much more specific. Each creed or sect has its own strict clothing guidelines that pertain to fabric, colors, length, and cut. For most, that means elbows are covered; necklines stay high; long, conservative skirts are a must; and married women cover their hair.
For modern New Yorkers, those rules might seem more suffocating than empowering. However, preserving modesty doesn't have to be ideologically opposed to promoting creativity. As we've come to learn from two Hasidic women, Brooklyn designers Mimi Hecht and Mushky Notik of Mimu Maxi, living both a religious life and a fashionable one are pursuits that can go hand in hand. Their fashion-forward personal style has led them to become more in touch with their spirituality, their community, and a larger world of women from all religious backgrounds looking for modest fashion that's also exciting.