Place: New York. Time: Thursday evening, July 27. It’s been in the 80s all day and muggy as a locker room. Skies gray toward sunset, hinting at a classic dog-day-evening thunderbumper.
As ever in a Gotham summer, the sensible dress lightly; the serious dress as usual, darkly and heavily, with p. This includes businesspeople, goths, rockers, iconoclasts and kooks of one kind or another, and, of course, certain of the most observant Jewish folks.
Now IANAJ, but I’ve put in my time as a tie-and-coat over the years, and I can see a certain dogged decorum in Keeping That Jacket And/Or Hat On regardless of the heat. If I can do so in the name of style, they can certainly do so in the name of the Almighty. *But…*and here’s what I don’t get.
I board the 42nd Street shuttle at about 8:30pm this sweltering night, and see a lovely young Orthodox couple, he in regulation black-and-whites, powder-blue tie and high-crowned snap-brim precisely 90° to the horizontal, she in seemly straight bangs, long dark skirt, high-denier hose and tastefully nondescript footwear. He carries a folded pocket umbrella, and both of them carry long raincoats with the extra warm linings left in! ON JULY 27, may I remind you!
I mean, WTF?!?! (F=Frum, of course.) They’ve got the umbrella. Why the coats? More to the point - why the linings?!
Is there any religious or cultural insight I’m not aware of that might specify, or even encourage, such a practice?