Chassidic Uniform?????

Satmar Chassidim (Credit: Reuters)

I have been told, as have many of you, that; because I don’t wear a white shirt and black pants, black coat and black hat when I am out and about, I cannot possible be a Chassid. OK, I must have missed the memo that said Chassidshe had a uniform and dress code! If you have a copy of the memo, please send it to me!

Back in the early days, black dye was very hard to make and very expensive. Most Chassidim back then wore dark greens, browns and blues. Black was reserved for Shabbat and special occasions. This concept of wearing a white shirt and black pants, black hat with a black coat is a relatively recent phenomenon. It was Chassidim emulating the dress of their Rebbes in order to be an impetuous toward attaining a higher level (not that that is at all a bad thing). However; a lot of Jews work in professions where dressing that way would be inappropriate and expensive (farmers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.).

I choose to wear blue, brown or green during the six mundane days of the week and save my white shirts and black pants for Shabbat, when I am teaching and on special occasions. Heck, even the hat I wear during the week is either my brown or green hat. Why? Because, if I wore the white shirt, black pants, black hat and black coat during the six mundane days, what makes wearing them special when they are worn on Shabbat?

No, there is no Chassidic uniform or dress code other than to dress modestly.

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