SKA’s Got Fashionable Teachers: Mrs Chafetz

Emma Spirgel

ES: What’s your favorite color? Is there any particular reason this is your favorite color?

RC: I’m not so sure I have a favorite color, I love color in general, love to add a splash of color. I think eggplant. Eggplant/purple is, but I’m not so sure I have a favorite color, I just love color.


ES: Where do you think your sense of style came from?

RC: No it’s definitely all me because I can see when I put outfits together it just has to fit when I look at it- it just has to work. I rarely look at style magazines it’s something I enjoy and is the only thing I’m creative in. It’s just my sense of style. 


ES: Is there any particular store you like to shop at? And any particular reason why?

RC: So years ago when Lowmen was Lowmen’s I used to love shopping there because I loved trying to find the bargains and let’s say the good pieces at cheaper prices. I used to like shopping at Fox’s now I find that Fox’s just had dowdy clothes. Believe it or not I happen to love walking into Marshall’s and T.J. Max and seeing if I can find something under certain price that would look absolutely fabulous ad add that to my wardrobe. But there’s not store that I particularly like. 


ES: Have u always dressed Tzniusly? So how does that make you feel? If not why did you start?

RC: Ok, so I think, yes, when I grew up I grew up in a modern orthodox home. I think we did wear pants until I was ten. I don’t think I ever enjoyed wearing pants, I was always in skirts and dresses. I think that even though we were modern orthodox I don’t think there was a concept of wearing short skirts. I don’t think there was anything like that. As far as that I think I always dressed tzniusly. I love it. I totally love it. I love that fact that I can dress tzniusly and still look fashionable, trendy and cool. To me that is an accomplishment. When I get dressed in the morning, and I put something on and I put an outfit together with pieces that maybe would not necessarily match or maybe somebody else wouldn’t put it together or somebody would say “oh I would never do that”, but I know for me that it works and its tznius, so I say to myself “oh gosh thank you, Hashem that was great”. So yeah I do take pride in it. I do enjoy it. There were challenges many years ago when I worked in prospect park I liked trendier things um things that were very different, I always made sure my skirts were not tight my slits were not all the way up there, my knees would never show. I did what I could. It still always dress cool, trendy, and fashionable. 


ES: When you were growing up do you think anyone in particular inspired how you dress today?

RC: No I think it’s all from within. I think the fact that I’m a Chumash teacher, for me it’s very important to dress the way I do because from all the feedback I’ve gotten in the 36 years that I’ve taught girls from all walks of life, seem to be afraid to dress in a tznius way because they’re under the impression you have to look either dowdy or nerdy- whatever their perception is. So to me it was a given that it’s my crown of glory and I need to dress this way in order to show these girls that, no, it doesn’t have to be that way it can be this way. I think it’s from within, and it’s a G-d given gift. 


ES: Do u have a favorite outfit of yours? Why is it your favorite?

RC: So the funny thing is that I don’t have a favorite outfit and everyone laughs because what I wore yesterday I will not remember I wore it, I’ll just put it together and wear it and then the next week I’ll take the same skirt and put it with something else and totally forgot I had an outfit the week before. I wish I could say I have a favorite outfit but. I do have some favorite pieces that I’ve kept for years and years. That I’ve worn to either a son Ufruf or, believe it or not, a son’s bar mitzvah so those are special pieces I’ve put away, and comes an important event I’ll wear them. Are they my favorite? I’m not so sure I have a favorite, I love all my clothes. 


ES: Wedding dress? Did you love it? 

RC: Ok I hated it. I absolutely hated it. I don’t want to get into psychological. My mother chose it. It was hideous, and I didn’t have a say in the matter. It could be that’s why I love the way I dress. But I hated my wedding dress. I absolutely hated it. I didn’t choose it and I didn’t want it. I don’t think I really cared that much. I remember after I bought it I said, “it is what it is” I don’t think I cared that much.