by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
One of the aspects of this is the concept of dressing modestly (classy, not sexy) and the prohibition (applicable to both genders) not to wear clothing meant for the other gender.
In our generation a skirt or dress is considered the appropriate outer garments for a woman, one that specifically covers the knees (while sitting) and is not skin tight or form fitting. As with any clothing item, fashion applies and custom applies. The combination in this case means within the religious Jewish communities skirts or dresses usually reach mid-calf or ankle length (when standing) and are not tapered but are straight, billowed, or various other forms of not-tight. (Different communities may have a specific custom of keeping around mid-calf or keeping around ankle or floor length, depending on the community.)
Antidotal evidence seems to indicate that the United States Transportation Security Administration (the TSA) has determined that women’s lower body coverings that are not tight or form fitting, and specifically longer skirts, are considered “excessive clothing” and are a security risk that requires an extra (standard invasive glove wearing) pat down.
Meaning religious Jewish women are now up for a standard security feel-up when they travel.
(This does not seem to be in practice everywhere, but outside the US Northeast, with a concentration of religious Jewish women, that “skirt” is now out of place and excessive… Remember, it’s now counter-cultural and therefore cool to be a religious Jew!)