WITH WHAT MAY A WOMAN GO OUT, AND WITH WHAT MAY SHE NOT GO OUT?
This, of course, means on Shabbat. That is, what in women’s clothing is considered ornamental and therefore can moved from the private to the public sphere on Shabbat verses those items which would be considered “carrying” rather than “wearing” and therefore forbidden.
This being men talking about women’s fashion, virtually everything is a mystery.
Several words are mentioned in the Mishnah (totafot, sarbitin, kabul) which are totally unclear to the rabbis in the context of clothing. Some time is spent on figure them out.
But there is an interesting digression – a mention that she cannot wear certain ribbons (wool or linen) or fillets . . .
. . .NOR MAY SHE PERFORM RITUAL IMMERSION WHILST WEARING THEM, UNLESS SHE LOOSENS THEM.
Well, it is right to ask (as the rabbis do!) what does mikve have to do with it?! And so they (“the Sages”) answer:
And since she may not perform ritual immersion on weekdays while wearing them, she may not go out [with them] on the Sabbath, lest she happen to need immersion by ritual law (having completed menstruation) and she untie them, and so come to carry them four cubits in the street.
So the issue is what is not wearable in the mikve (because it causes an imposition between the woman and the water) is not wearable in the public sphere on Shabbat because she might carry them.
No “Scarlet Ribbons (for her Hair).” Harry Belafonte will be sad.