Clothing store caters to Orthodox Jewish, Muslim women
For conservative dressers struggling to find suitable clothing at mainstream stores, Covered Girl Clothing, at 235 Raritan Avenue, in Highland Park, N.J., specializes in providing clothing tailored to Orthodox Jewish women and others who choose to dress more modestly.
Sharon Garber, the owner of the store, wanted to provide a place in the community where women and girls of all ages could find clothing to suit the needs of their religious views.
“I’ve lived in Highland Park for a while, and I’ve known that people have had to travel all the way to Lakewood or Brooklyn in order to find stores that sold modest clothing,” she said. “Traveling all the way there wastes time, gas and money.”
Garber said she was motivated to open the store because there were not enough conservative clothing places to shop at in Highland Park.
“I felt that the Jewish Orthodox community has been growing and that there needed to be a place that catered to that niche group … as well as any Muslim women or anyone that wanted to dress modestly for that matter,” she said.
Orthodox Judaism requires women to dress in clothing that covers all body parts except for the face and hands, Garber said. There are some differences in modern Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish women.
But neither modern-day Orthodox Jewish women nor ultra-Orthodox women believe in exposing their body parts besides their face and hands, she said. Modern orthodox Jewish women sometimes might expose the bottom part of their legs.
“I’ve been asking customers what they’ve been looking for, and I’ve been bringing in things, like children’s clothes and smaller sizes,” Garber said. “I’m trying to adapt to what the community needs and bring it in, so it’s a win-win for me and the customer.”
Garber emphasized that her store is community-based.
She said she enjoys seeing her customers chat with one another as well as with the staff because it creates a friendly atmosphere that she hopes her customers will appreciate.
Mara Margolin, a resident of Highland Park and a regular customer, spoke about the convenience of having a store located close to home.
“I was here three separate times the first day it opened,” she said. “I’ve lived here for 18 years, and I know that women these days do not have time to travel to Lakewood or Brooklyn, so it’s great having a place so close by.”
Margolin, an Orthodox Jew, believes the location could not have been better as Covered Girl Clothing is surrounded by numerous other eateries.
“You got your pizza and Chinese food right here, so you eat your pizza and then get your clothes, or rather you try on your dress first and then eat your pizza,” she said.
Margolis even invited her sister from out of town to come shop at the store.
“She has a nice selection of different styles, a wide range of age ranges and decent prices of modest clothing,” she said. “The clothing [my sister] Sharon has is also very trendy, so it is easy to find clothes for younger people as well.”
Sana Naoreen, a Muslim resident who has lived in Highland Park for the past seven years, called Garber’s business a useful and convenient option for her.
“As a Muslim woman, I think it’s great that someone in the community saw the need for a store and opened one up,” she said. “This is definitely a place I will shop at more often now.”
While the store is only four weeks old, Garber has high hopes for the future of the business.
“We’re very new, so right now I’m just hoping to get my name out there and build a steady base of regular customers that will help my business grow,” she said.