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Chabad Chic

The black hat and the maxi skirt have their day

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What you could see on the street this summer.(Tablet Magazine Art Department)

In a perhaps inevitable development, The Hipsters, who lo these many years have resided in Brooklyn in close proximity to The Ultra-Orthodox, have adopted the signature black headgear as their own. “Called either a ‘black hat’ or Borsalino, for the style’s most famous and expensive brand, the simple hat is most commonly associated with ultra-Orthodox non-Hasidic Jews, as well as members of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the Hasidic group based in Crown Heights,” the Times reports. “But in recent months, the quasi-religious hat has not only popped up on the other side of Williamsburg, where skinny jeans and canvas sneakers still rule, but also in Cole Haan advertisements as a secular fashion accessory.”

This seems like a nice thing, as long as fashion-world balkanization isn’t totally abolished: As you can see from our custom-built image, the rise of the foot-length maxi skirt as this summer’s defining silhouette has some potentially dangerous implications if you are fearful of a hipster-hasidic supernova-esque clash.

Culture Hopping in a Fedora [NYT]
The Floor’s the Limit [NYMag]

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Amazed that the NYTimes doesn’t appear to reference Boy George, who was wearing this hat back in ’82.

I believe Boy George was wearing the Satmarer headgear rather than the Chabad. (Flatter crown and straight brim, and I can’t believe I’m having this discussion.)

fw says:

Thanks for calling my attention to the distinction. George (O’Dowd)has talked about it; evidently it was given to him by (Jewish) Culture Club drummer, Jon Moss, with whom he was having a relationship at the time.

Anyway, credit where it’s due–he was a style-maker of sorts who incorporated Hasidic garb into his wardrobe.

fw says:

Haven’t really watched much of this interview with Moss in Israel, but it looks very interesting. Had no idea he’d played with The Clash early on.

Alana Newhouse says:


Barry says:

Isn’t it ironic that the deeply anti-chareidi New York Times understands traditional Jewish sartorial better than this so-called “Jewish” magazine.

Litvaks (and other non-Chassidim) wear downhats. That’s what this article was about. Nothing to do with the weird chassdish uphat in the picture on this piece.


In my community,we have a number of Non-Hassidic folks who also wear the “special” hat. The most prominent wearer of course is the current chief rebbe of Chabad who is listed by Newsweek/Daily Beast as the most prominent rabbi in the country and that Chabad is the fastest growing US Jewish denomination.

Lisa says:

This is an article?


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Chabad Chic

The black hat and the maxi skirt have their day

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