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Some of these Olim were planning their Aliyah for many years. A few of them have not purchased new shirts since the start of the millennium. To note, as the Nefesh BNefesh shirt is free, that is also part of the Aliyah style. The shofar was purchased in Israel, as it is not an article of clothing or an electronic gadget. (Photo: JTA- Brian Hendler)
Yom HaAtzmaut got me thinking of all the great people who moved to Israel, making Aliyah. One thing all who make Aliyah have in common is that their style ends once they make the move. You can tell somebody’s year of Aliyah by the clothes they wear.
You make Aliyah and your wardrobe is set. And there are reasons. Style stops when you are not willing to pay more than 35 American Dollars for a new pair of pants; especially when they're wrinkle touch and you have to iron. They might sell it in Israel, but I don't buy anything when I can get it cheaper in America. That is my motto, and I have held onto it since I moved to Israel. I have not purchased anything inedible in Israel, since my Aliyah. I'm surprised that I have even purchased dinner a few times. Even so, Olim have to eat, and perishables can go bad, even when Amazon ships it. All of that said, even if they were cheap, I still wouldn't buy new clothes. Style is what I made Aliyah with, and it looks good.
Us American Olim have a warped sense of this American style we hold so dear. And that style is at a permanent place in time, from the eternal day that we made Aliyah. The day where America was perfect and people had personalities. A time where we couldn't stream our favorite sitcom. A time when Marshalls and Kohl's were a place I could be proud to shop at. A time when one could be proud to flash a 20% off coupon. A time where I could ask for an extra discount at the desk, and get another two dollars off the sales price. Do mis-stitches not exist anymore at Marshalls? A time when Land's End and Geoffrey Beene did free exchanges. No questions. The time when I stopped buying clothes. To us Olim, the lifetime guarantee means we wear it the rest of our lives. Some say a lifetime guarantee does not mean fashion. They never made Aliyah. And I must say, I feel good wearing my pleats.
Here are ways I've learned to tell the immigrant time period.
Immigrant by Clothes
Walk the streets of Israel and you can tell when the Oleh left America:
Next time we will delve deeper into the topic of clothes and the reasons for Aliyah suits, as well as clothes that fit vs new styles. As the manifesto continues, we will also discuss what an immigrant does on their visit to America, when they're tempted to purchase clothes. Aliyah hairstyles can be cross-generational, as long as you don't have bangs.
Whatever you do, embrace your Aliyah and wear the clothes you loved in your early twenties. Until they make Aliyah rings, that is your only way to identify with your Aliyah class.
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Wearing Israeli flags. Showing their support for Israel at the rally in DC. It would’ve been smarter if they brought coats. Based on experience, flags don’t work as good windbreakers.