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Jewish clothing /Dress code

In the Middle Ages the rulers (in Frankfurt the city council) decreed that clothing should indicate the social status, occupation or religious affiliation of the wearer. Jews also had to be immediately identifiable, and the Church in particular had pressed for special insignia. Since roughly the creation of the ghetto in 1462 the Jews in Frankfurt had to wear a special sign, the yellow ring.
By the early 18th century enforcement of the dress code by the city authorities had weakened: the council issued the last dress code for Frankfurt's inhabitants in 1731, and the requirement for Jews to wear the yellow ring was dropped in 1728.
At the same time a particular style of dress evolved for Jews, which made them as distinctive as before. Now, however, it was the Jewish community administration itself which issued the Jewish dress code. Compliance was supervised by monitors. The aim of these regulations was to avoid an unseemly desire for luxury and ostentation. The Jewish community leadership continued to issue dress codes up until the 18th century, although these were seldom observed in practice.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources