Non-Tzenius dress & Lingerie, makeup & perfume – May/should a wife dress up for her husband in an attractive but un-Tzenius fashion for the sake of intimacy?
General perspective: From the letter of the law, in the privacy of her home, a wife may get dressed up in any fashion she sees fit on behalf of attracting her husband to her and facilitating passion and intimacy, so long as it does not transgress the Tzenius laws which are applicable even in privacy. Furthermore, Benos Yisrael are recommended to dress up for their husbands in an attractive manner, with attractive outfits, makeup, jewelry, and perfume for this purpose, in order to stimulate the husband’s interest in her and facilitate intimacy. This applies even if her husband is a very pious Jew and is a Torah scholar. This is even considered an act of Kedusha and Taharah. To some extent, this applies even when she is a Niddah.
Non-Tznius but unrevealing clothing in privacy of home: When the wife is not a Niddah, she may even wear non-revealing clothing, that are below the regular standards of Tzenius, which she would never walk out of the house wearing [either due to a Halachic prohibition, or due to the accepted mode of Tznius dress that she is accustomed to]. Thus, wearing a tight blouse or skirt in the privacy of her home is permitted on behalf of her husband, even though walking outside in this manner would be contrary to the laws of Tzenius. Nonetheless, if she feels uncomfortable with a certain form of un-Tznius dress, even in the privacy of her home, and it makes her feel ashamed, shallow, and un-Tznius, then doing so may prove counterproductive. Likewise, when there are children around the house who have reached the age of Chinuch, this should only be done in the privacy of her bedroom when her husband is there, such as prior to a scheduled session of intimacy. [Furthermore, the Rebbe encouraged for women to follow all codes of modesty, even when alone at home, and by doing so one merits having special and G-d fearing children. Hence, one should try to limit the above to times and areas of scheduled intimacy.] Whatever the case, a proper balance should be found, and she should be aware that although prior to marriage we always emphasize absolute Tznius and non-attention seeking dress, after marriage, for the sake of her husband, she is permitted and encouraged to dress up for him in the privacy of her home in ways that she may feel is improper for her to walk outside. By dressing attractively for her husband in the permitted ways, she fulfills a Mitzvah and is doing an act of Kedusha and Taharah as has been done by our foremothers; she should not feel bad about this new phase of life that she is entering which requires a modification to some of her ways of dress until now. Thus, a husband should recognize this need of his wife to look attractive for him, and buy her proper clothing and ornaments for this effect, as would do the Arizal, as brought below. Nonetheless, the above is only a general perspective on a wife being allowed, and even encouraged, to beautify herself on behalf of her husband, however, some Tznius restrictions do apply even when done for her husband’s sake and in the privacy of their home, as explained next. Likewise, the emphasis in this matter must be on making herself look attractive to her husband, and not simply to have the right to dress un-Tznius. Often, the way secular people dress is both un-Tznius and unattractive, the emphasis and intent of the above allowance and encouragement is to draw attraction from one’s husband.
Non-Tznius revealing clothing – Revealing parts of the body that are normally covered: The restrictions against revealing parts of the body that are normally covered applies even in the privacy of her home, and even when done on behalf of attracting her husband, as explained in Halacha 8 which restricts being undressed in the room when not under the covers. This is in addition to the normal Talmudic encouragement for a woman to always be Tznius, even in her own home. Thus, to wear a short skirt above the knees without stockings, or to wear a sleeveless dress which reveals the arms, and certainly to wear lingerie without anything over it, would still be restricted under the general laws of Tznius. This restriction applies even in the privacy of her room, and certainly applies outside her room when she has children around. [However, as explained there in Halacha 8, some learn that these restrictions are mere Midas Chassidus and not required from the letter of the law.] However, seemingly, it remains permitted for a woman who is not a Niddah to walk around without socks and stockings, and to wear a short skirt above the knees if stockings are worn, in the privacy of her home for the sake of her husband, if children are not present. However, care must be taken that the husband does not learn Torah or Daven when he can see her bare legs. [Furthermore, it is an act of piety for a woman to follow all codes of modesty even when alone at home, and by doing so one merits having special and G-d fearing children. Thus, a wife should limit her above form of revealing dress to times and areas of scheduled intimacy.]
Getting dressed up attractively when outside, for the sake of her husband: All the above allowances only refer to when the wife is inside the privacy of her home with her husband. However, when she goes outside, she must always keep to a standard Tznius dress and may not compromise on Tznius guidelines even for the sake of looking attractive and pleasing to her husband. Dressing in an overly attractive and attention seeking manner when out in the public, transgresses the laws of Tznius, can cause men to stumble on sinful thoughts, and can cause feelings of jealousy amongst other people, and even amongst other husbands and wives in a way that negatively affects their Shalom Bayis. Some women tend to invest in looking very attractive when they leave their home, but in the house itself do not bother to get dressed up for their husband, when in truth, the contrary should be followed. Nonetheless, this does not mean that she must try to look unattractive when she goes out, and on the contrary, she should try to look presentable and maintain a basic level of attraction and beauty for her husband and friends even when going out, and she may put on a limited amount of jewelry, makeup, and a slight amount of perfume for this purpose. It is only the overdoing of the beautification that is negated. [Thus, for example, too much perfume, which can be smelled by people around her, is forbidden to be worn.] The husband is to be made aware of this, and is not to Chas Veshalom influence or pressure his wife to dress in an overly attractive and attention seeking manner when she goes outside, even if it is for the sake of pleasing him. Unfortunately, in some homes it is specifically the wife who desires to keep the proper form of dress outside, but her husband pushes her to dress more pleasing to him, compromising on her standards of Tznius. The compromise in such a case is for the wife to dress up for him as he desires in the privacy of their home, and when going outside to maintain the standard Tznius dress code.
 See Kesubos 59b, “A wife is for beauty”; Shabbos 25b, “A woman who is Mekushetes for Torah scholars” [However, see Rashba on Shabbos ibid that this refers to spiritual beauty; See also Chidushei Agados of Maharal on Shabbos ibid which explains that this applies specifically for the wife of a Torah scholar, as he will not be drawn after his Yetzer Hara]; Shabbos 25b ,“A women who is beautified for her [husband who is a] Torah scholar.”; Ta’anis 23b regarding wife of Aba Chilkiya; Orchos Chaim [Lunil] 2 Hilchos Kesubos explains this Gemara as follows, “So he does not desire another woman, as his inclination is greater than others’, as whoever is greater than his friend, his inclination is also greater… Accordingly, it is forbidden for a Torah scholar to allow his wife to dress unattractively even when she is in mourning, in order so she not be despised in his eyes, and he come to look at other women… It is forbidden for her to look unattractive as it causes her husband to stumble in forbidden lust.”; Or Hachaim Hakadosh Vayeitzei, “A Torah scholar needs to take a beautiful woman due to his Yetzer Hara”; Pela Yoeitz “Yofi” “It is fit for a father to take beautiful women for his sons in order so they do not look elsewhere, and so too for this reason he should purchase ornaments in order so she find favor in his eyes and he not look at other women.”
 See Sotah 11b; Shemos Raba 8; Mei’am Loez Shemos Chapter p. 31 [new edition] that the wives of Bnei Yisrael in the Midbar would dress attractive for their husbands in order to seduce them and have children, and they used mirrors for this purpose which were eventually recycled to be used for the making of the Kiyos, which sanctified the hands and feet of the Kohanim which were the epitome of Kedusha and Taharah.
 See Michaber Y.D. 195:9, “With difficulty, the Sages permitted her to get dressed up for her husband when she is a Niddah [and it is only allowed] in order so she does not look unattractive to him”; Rebbe Akiva in Shabbos 64b
 We find no prohibition in a wife looking over-attractive for her husband when she is pure.
 Rebbe in Toras Menachem 1982 4:2190 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 6:66] regarding Kimchis.
The reason: As if one is not careful at home when alone it can become second nature which might lead her to not being careful when someone enters the house. [Rebbe ibid]
 See Chut Hashani Shabbos 3:275
 See Yuma 47a regarding Kimchis, that she merited to have seven sons who were fit to be high priests due to that, “the locks of her hair never saw the walls of her home,” and the same is understood regarding other matters of Tznius.
 In these Halachos of Tznius in the privacy of one’s home, we follow the normal dress code of orthodox Jews of one’s affiliated community, and of that required according to Halacha, and not the way of dress of Goyim or secular Jews. [See Igros Moshe Yoreh Deah 3:47 and 68; Machatzis Hashekel 4:23, brought in M”B 4:53; Kaf Hachaim 4:99]
 See Halichos Shlomo 2:12 in name of Rav SZ”A; Minchas Yitzchak 6:10
The reason: As many orthodox women don’t cover their legs, or don’t cover properly [wearing see through stockings], it is debated amongst the Poskim, what must truly be covered. Now, although we are stringent in this matter regarding walking outside, nonetheless, in the privacy of one’s home it should be permitted.
 As un-tTnius dress that does not reveal any skin contains no prohibition when done in the privacy of one’s home for one’s husband.
 See Topics in Practical Halacha Volume 1 section of Even Ha’ezer for the full details of this matter!
 Rebbe in Toras Menachem 1982 4:2190 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 6:66] regarding Kimchis
The reason: As if one is not careful at home when alone it can become second nature and lead her to not being careful when someone enters the house. [Rebbe ibid]
 See Shabbos 62b against attracting undo attention of men with her perfume, although see also 64b that she should not be unattractive in her husband’s eyes even when a Niddah; Reishis Chochma Derech Eretz Sha’ar 4 and Az Nidbaru 8:65 against wearing strong perfume; Shevet Halevi 6:33; Shemesh Umagen [Mashash] E.H. 2:16
 See Shevet Halevi ibid, “It is not necessarily [only] Peritzus, but causes jealousy of her friends, and of the gentiles, and certainly a transgression is done, and many evil things occur as a result of this”; See Sh’lah 200a, M”B 560:8, Kaf Hachaim 560:20 that wearing all of their jewelry causes jealousy amongst the gentiles.
 See Shevet Halevi ibid, “The main dressing up of a wife is to be for her husband,” however, he then explains in defense of the custom of many women to only get dressed up when they go out that, “Many are accustomed that in the house they do not care to get dressed up, and also the husband does not mind.” Nonetheless, even from this statement it is understood that if the husband does mind, and which husband does not mind this, then she is to do as above.
 Perfume: See Shabbos 62a, “A woman may walk out with a Koveles” and Rashi explains this to mean perfume, although the Gemara then concludes that to do so in a way that attracts the attention of Bochurim is forbidden;
Jewelry: Implication of Miseches Shabbos and Shulchan Aruch 303 in discussion of a woman leaving her home with jewelry on Shabbos that during weekdays it is permitted [Az Nidbaru 14:47]; See Michaber 560:2 and Bava Basra 60b, “The Sages enacted that in commemoration for the destruction, upon a woman dressing herself with jewelry, she is not to wear all the types of jewelry that she usually wears and is rather to leave one out.” From which it is understood that some dressing up attractively is allowed, but not all. See Sh’lah 200a, M”B 560:8, Kaf Hachaim 560:20 that wearing all of their jewelry, aside for transgressing this law, also cause jealousy amongst the gentiles.
General dress: See Ta’anis 23b that Aba Chilkiya’s wife came out to greet him in the city when she was all dressed up attractively, and he explained that his wife did this in order so that he only be attracted to her and not another woman; See Shevet Halevi ibid, “It depends on her intent when she walks outside dressed up, and the way she is dressed up… if she overdoes it, and attracts too much attention, then this is a replica of the sinful activity of B’nos Yerushalayim… Many are accustomed to get dressed up only when they go out, so that they are not belittled in the eyes of the public, and this is the way of the world and we cannot protest it, unless it is overdone to the point that it draws too much attention.” Shemesh Umagen [Mashash] E.H. 2:16, “It is a Mitzvah and obligation for women to get dressed up for their husbands, and when they go outside, in a permitted manner, and not look unattractive… and many husbands are more particular in this when their wives go out then inside their own house… if she looks unattractive when she goes out, the husband will end up looking at other women in the street”; See also Rav Tzinner in Koveits Or Yisrael 36; Osri Lagefen 9:175
 Shabbos 62b; Reishis Chochma Derech Eretz Sha’ar 4; Az Nidbaru 8:65
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