The Matzav Shmoooze: What’s With the Tight Pants?

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Dear Editor,

When bell bottom pants were popular in the ’70’s, and despite the current popularity of jeans, bnei yeshiva would never wear these pants. Besides the reason of being different in levush from the goyim, my rabbeim explained that these tight pants accentuate a lack of tznius.

What has happened? Why are yeshiva boys wearing tight pants? Where is the tznius? Do they not realize the statement they are making?

Hadar Levusho
New Jersey



  1. Couldn’t agree more. It used to be that only “toeiva” guys wore pants like that. B”H many yeshivos and even elementary schools are assuring them. And while we’re at it, what’s with the aqua green, orange, denim , you name it yarmulka’s. Our mesorah has been black for the past few hundred years (at least in the yeshivishe velt). I’ve heard that chadarim are cracking down on that as well.

    • Ignore the fact that in lita they wore a different style yarmulke. How convenient! Go looke at picturez pf lita and tell me if the bochrim didnt know from style! All different colors of hats and suits and shapes and cuts!

  2. OK someone’s in the mood of controversy……..
    it’s fun to be the first…
    How much am I betting that I will not be the only one commenting…

  3. In my experience without bochurim and boys chinuch i think the following should be considered as a limud zchus. True it is not quite a lvush for ben tora
    However bell bottom pants were synonymous with a certain abhorrent culture therefore nobody in yeshiva wore them. I can tell you the reason the boys wear tgem is that they do look cool
    However the main reason it is worn is inner pride. Our society puts sooo much emphasis on being thin that it is like a live trophy to be able to exhibit yourself as the ultimate body did you ever wonder why the dress shirts that are worn are “ultra slim”eventhough the buttons are popping ,for many?
    All the same reason !and WE ARE all guilty of this !!so that is my feeling
    Since i do work with boys 5th – 22 yrs of age on a daily basis.

  4. And where are the fathers in the suit, hat, shoes and socks, and glasses stores? When the B’nei Yeshiva took their sons shopping it was a lesson in mesorah, tzniyus, chukas akum, etc. It was a Torah event. It was invested with kedushah, with structure, with limitations. Now all we have is shopping trips with fashion-conscious mothers and sisters in tow. The result is hats with multi-colored bands and feathers, glasses straight out of GQ, pants that are two sizes too small, socks that more resemble pajamas at best and clown costumes at worst, and shoes that are more pointy than a number 2 pencil ready to take an achievement test.

  5. Thank you for bringing up this subject; also slim shirts. Unfortunately, women’s clothing are also very problematic but we’re not getting anywhere with that.

  6. There are many benefits to tight pants. They are more aerodynamic due to less wind friction, so one can run to shiur faster. It’s much easier to do yoga while wearing them. They tend to make a better sound when drumming on one’s knee. They enable quick assessment of whether one is bow-legged or not, so nobody is left wondering.

  7. Am I the only one who feels the commentators have missed the point. Reading the letter, it does not appear to me that the writer is raising an issue limited to modernity. Rather the tight pants are meant to eccentuate and bring attention.

  8. These have been around forever and people buy what they want. Just because you werent around in the 70s to see Jewish boys wearing bell bottoms, doesnt mean they didnt. You also had plenty of other options of things to wear, whjile it wasnt jeans, there were plenty of choice and it was accepted. Actually, it wasnt even an issue what people wore. Nowadays, the WHOLE chinnuch and hadrocho is ALL about making sure you are wearing black pants, white shirt & a hat, and NOTHING about being tznius, or what it means. Its all about the externalities. This is just the result of people trying to show some individuality within that frame, that tiny box that everyone must conform too.

  9. Ossur it all you want, but the issue is not the pants, but what motivates people to wear them.

    (Gayva and disconnectedness from kedusha.)

    THAT, my friends, will not be fixed by ossuring the pants.

    However, one COULD sweep the motivation problem under the rug and address the pants, but NOT why the person wants them.

  10. How can we fight such a strong force can we
    Put him out of business he is been doing his job for almost 6 thousand years . every parents job is to look after there kids just like caring for there wellbeing we should be zochai to raise erlechai doiriss

  11. I think the not so tight pants (not leggings) are quite attractive.

    Give guys a chance to be cool & creative, the colorful & patterned yarmulkas for younger boys are great looking. Instead of beanies & golf looking hats of the past. Now we have skinny ties, polka dot bow ties & colorful socks & stop blaming the MOTHERS & Sisters.

  12. There’s nothing wrong with “tight” pants (so long it isn’t extreme). We have enough real issues out there that need to be addressed; this “complaint” is laughable. Furthermore, in today’s generation there are so many things we need to restrict (due the growth of inappropriate material/dress), that adding this new “problem” to the list (when there’s absolutely no halachic issue) can just backfire.
    Lastly, this isn’t a “goyish” trend; goyim don’t walk around in dark dress pants and white shirts. So stop with the “influence” nonsense.

  13. Sorry to offer another side of the coin……I take my kids shopping and I probably would not notice if they “pick out” those types of pants AND maybe the stores only sell those types because that is what people are buying! Yes, it could be that if everyone was cognizant and the tzibur as a whole stood up to the stores, they would be forced to sell more “yeshivishe” (I Hate that word!! and what does it mean anyway??) pants. BUt we all know that the tzibur is too diverse to get everyone together on such an issue….so let’s make a Kol Korei and an asifa in MSG for this crisis (another word I just love!)

  14. They’re disgusting and for women and girls, tight clothes are also disgusting. It’s not proper for Jews to emphasize their bodies like that. I don’t even like the leggings that babies wear.

  15. I work with a non jewish co-worker in an office. The other day she asked me I thought your religion prohibits “that” life style. What’s with all these religious boys?

  16. Everybody chill out! Who gives a farthing?! Now tight skirts on boys, that’s a problem! Isn’t there a gemach that let’s out tight skirts when the boys put on a little weight? Anybody know where they are located?

  17. Boys and girls walking around like shloomps with their shirts sticking out is worse. It shows such a basic lack of derech eretz. Why cant they tuck in in their shirts and look like menschen??? Where are the parents? Busy planning their next vacation to Cancun or Disney? Pheh.

  18. It’s wrong to wear tight pants for boys and leggings for girls. It’s becoming a serious problem in Brooklyn. Why can’t people be normal Jews instead of copying the outside world.

  19. The problem is, men in this generation are in touch with there female side a bit too much. There is a term for it, Metro.
    According to the letter of halacha, a man may not gaze (pun intented) in the mirror. There have been teshuvos for 200 years discussing the limitations and allowances as it applies to the generation, but the fact remains that it is inherently prohibited. Men are not supposed to be like women in their extreme concern as to appearance. This sensitivity is gone in this young generation.

    There is good news however. In this past weekend Wall Street Journal, the paper wrote extensively on the imminent return of baggies pants for men.

    • Bingo. You hit the nail on the head. I’ve tried to say what you just did, many times in the past but Matzav in their self righteous phonieness kept censoring & deleting it. Thank you for bringing out the truth.

  20. Fifteen or 20 years ago when the baggie pants came out, people were complaining about them!! It was normal then to remove your shoes in order to put on your pants! Any time a new style comes out, people complain. When the hat brims kept getting wider and wider, people complained, now they are getting narrower again, and people complain. Children always wore colorful yarmulkas!! By the way, it was never a mesorah for kids to wear black yarmulkas ever!! What was that comment about?? Complain, complain, complain. Let us all look at ourselves and what we have to improve on instead of pointing fingers to others.

  21. “whats with the tight pants”
    While wrong it surely is, in Europe this has been the style for years

    “the paper wrote extensively on the imminent return of baggies pants for men.”
    “newspaper just came out this week that the new fashion is a baggy pants. ”

    Answer: The Derech ha’Memutza

  22. The people who wear tight pants do it only for one reason: THE STYLE
    Most people don’t anymore cares about saving that extra penny rather they just do it for the style ( Lhavdil, lishma).

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