by Eric Silverman

The Idioms of Jewish Dress: Buttons, Wigs & Gartels

In the 17th century, European authorities initiated the slow repeal of mandatory Jewish dress codes. Vienna annulled its regulations in 1624, followed by Mannheim (1691), Austria (1781), Rome (1798), Prussia (1812), and elsewhere. For the first time in five centuries, Jews could legally dress like everybody else. Especially after the French Revolution, ideals such as equality and self-determination made it increasingly difficult to marginalize Jews simply on the basis of their Jewishness.

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