Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Turban Is Just a Well-Wrapped Oversized Tichel

Ladies, it's now more fashionable to wear a tichel (scarf) than a sheitel (wig) or fancy hat.  If you don't believe me, read it in the New York Times

For some strange reason Simone S. Oliver, the Times writer, just refers to turbans as "historically been associated with Arab dress" and is ignorant of the fact that there are Torah observant Jewish women who use fashionably tied scarves to cover their hair for religious reasons.  She's also very wrong in saying:
"And if you use hats to hide uncooperative hair... the turban is not a smart choice."
Believe me; the turban is great for hiding hair!  You just have to know how to pin your hair, but you need to do that if you're wearing a wig and some hats.  A turban is more flexible than a wig or hat, so if you have long hair it's no problem.  I've seen many women use their long hair to add shape to the turban.  And yes, I know that bli neder, no promises/vows/oaths, I must do a photo post about hair covering including scarves and turbans.

During my heavy years I preferred how I looked in hats, but recently, since I have lost weight, I started wearing tichels (scarves) again, and then I began playing with the oversized, long scarves, wrapping them around my head.  The result is a turban.  I've gotten lots of compliments when wearing them.  There's an important practical aspect; they are easy to pack, taking up almost no space and don't need a protective box.  They need less care than a wig, and you can buy many for what a good hat or wig cost.  You can tie them different ways to make different impressions, styles etc.  Some people wear multiple scarves wound around in the most amazing ways.  You can use any fabric or combination; it doesn't have to be a bought scarf.  A pin can be added for extra accent, making it more "hat-like."

There are people of my generation and older who absolutely hate tichels however they're tied, because they're reminded of Aunt Jemima.

I'd like your opinion about turbans, whether you cover your hair or not.  


Hadassa said...

First I'd like to state that if Ms. Oliver had replaced "Arab" with "Middle-eastern" she would have been more accurate, although she would have excluded the region of India.
To second Batya's opinion of hats: I have a few hats and I used to wear more, but they do take up a lot of space in the house and when packing. They also go out of style very quickly. I'm not so concerned with style, I just think that wearing a hat that "everyone" considers out of style to be not in the spirit of honoring Shabbat or pleasantly representing the appearance of a religious woman. That leaves me with scarves and turbans. My head is small so turbans look terrible on me. I have admired the turbans of many women and wondered if there are scarves of a similar look. I agree with Batya and the "amazing ways" that scarves can be wound and tied. The inexpensive price of turbans allows a woman great flexibility in matching a head covering to various outfits. Combining scarves into an elaborate turban increases flexibility even more.
P.S. Is Aunt Jemima a reason, or an excuse, not to wear a scarf?

Sheva said...

I'm a sheitel only gal and they are easy for me to pack, too. I put on my head ,and wear. One time I brought an extra sheitel and I put It in the box and carried it on. I watched the security x-Ray camera going back and forth back and forth until my boxed finally popped out on the other side. They were all staring at me , and I said it's a foam head with a wig , come on people you would of seen bones, lol. Now iI just put my extra wig in my suitcase and hope for a blowdryer to spruce it up at the hotel

Batya said...

Hadassa, I must admit that although I was never pleased with my looks, I do look good in all sorts of hats. That gives me great flexibility, and for me the turban is the poorman's hat. I can look very impressive. I enjoy the lack of fussiness in a simple scarf.
Sheva, one of the great things of this mitzvah is the great variety of ways we can observe it.