‘this must be so exhausting’

An Orthodox Jewish woman is chronicling her search for “modest clothing” at popular department stores.

On July 25, Sophia Hunt (@sophiathejew), who, per her TikTok bio is a “Latina Orthodox Jew,” shared a video showcasing her try-on haul of Target’s “modest selections” for this summer. In addition to her content related to modest clothing, Hunt also posts tutorials for putting on wigs, kosher recipes and “day in the life” vlogs.

“I’m an Orthodox Jew. I wear only shirts and dresses that cover the knees. I also personally don’t wear any pants at all,” she says. “I heard there’s been a little bit of controversy over Target not having any modest clothing, but right now I’m in Target and I’m going to see if they have anything modest up to my standards.”

Hunt explains that Orthodox women follow a set rules for what to wear. The elbows, the knees and the collarbone must be covered, and clothes mustn’t be too tight on the body.

Orthodox Judaism isn’t the only religion that observes modesty rules. Islam, Sikhism as well as Christian denominations including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(Mormonism), and Mennonites all follow a modesty code.

Aubrey Fails (@aubrey.fails) is an example of a TikTok creator that is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Much of her content consists of get ready with me videos and “modest/garment friendly” fit checks.

Fizz Khan is a Muslim creator of content who posts modest fashion inspiration.

Angelina Maria is an ex Mennonite and educates followers on frequently asked questions. She answers whether Mennonite Women wear makeup, or if she has decided to give up the traditional Mennonite cape dress.

Hunt’s unique approach to fashion content, which has attracted more than 195.600 followers on her platform, allows her to provide a window into her culture. She produces a range of videos about Orthodox Judaism. Her modest clothing videos have captured the attention of many viewers.

As the video continues, Hunt surveys Target’s dress selection and picks out a long purple slip dress with spaghetti straps, followed by a shorter, sparkly V-neck dress.

“So this covers your knees but it’s got it all open here on top,” she explains. “So none of these would work for me unless I wore a shirt underneath, which I wouldn’t do.”

She comes across a brown zebra-print blazer and then a brown knit sweater, both of which she’s reluctant to purchase. Hunt is then concerned by the side slit of a cream colored slip skirt.

“I like this dress but I would need to wear something underneath it,” she says. “But for this dress, maybe it would work.”

Hunt tries on then a black slipdress with a lilac cardigan on the top.

“I found a few things that could possibly be modest,” she says. “This is one of those slip dresses that don’t have any sleeves on top. [I] The sleeves are nice. I would wear one of the cropped cardigans. This dress, even though it’s really long, there’s a slit down here and it goes all the way up there, so it doesn’t work.”

According to Tamara Fulton of London, a lifestyle editor and stylist who married a rabbi Orthodox, the Hebrew term tzniut has been translated to “modesty” in English, but there’s more to it than that.

“‘Tzniut‘ is the word in Judaism that is slightly mistranslated to mean simply ‘modesty,’ but it’s not just about modest dressing,” Fulton explained to CNN. “Tzniut This concept is for both men and woman and is based on the concept of humbleness. It’s really about how you are in the world, and how you carry yourself in a reserved but dignified manner.”

Hunt posted a series TikTok video that documents her search for modest clothing and shoes at stores such as TJ Maxx and Zara.

‘It’s really hard to find modest clothing at target in the summer!’

Hunt’s more recent video, documenting her trip to Target, has more than 3.1 million views and 259,500 likes in one day of posting. Based on her comments, many users question why she doesn’t get the slits tailored or stitch them herself.

“This must be so exhausting,” @dcr.mov commented.

“It’s really hard to find modest clothes at target in the summer!” @niki_weinstock wrote.

“Do you ever buy items with slits and have them sewn or do you typically only buy things that are already 100% modest?” @hayleycavanaugh asked, to which Hunt replied, “I don’t like having to make the trip to the tailor tbh so I try to avoid it as much as possible.”

Fashion, for Hunt, seems to provide an accessible look into her faith and one of the unique avenues through which she’s able to connect and appeal to an audience that may consist of creators from different backgrounds.

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