Achieving a certain milestone is always a great reason to celebrate. In the Jewish culture, when a boy turns 13, he is commemorated with a religious ceremony, Bar Mitzvah. It signals his transition to adulthood when he becomes obligated to observe the commandments of Judaism. The formal religious ceremony is followed by a gala reception featuring the food and fun.
So, if you have recently received an invitation to the momentous occasion of Bar Mitzvah, congratulations. You’ll get a chance to dress up neat and formal and experience the beautiful traditions.
Though traditionally, you were expected to dress up reserved as a guest, recently, the Bar Mitzvah dress code has turned a bit festive. However, modesty is still the concept that everyone should abide by.
So, here is a detailed guide on Bar Mitzvah attire etiquette rules for men, women, girls, and boys (as guests).
DRESS CODE FOR MEN
Before making the way to the Bar Mitzvah party or reception, there is a religious ceremony in the synagogue. During this event, men should wear slacks with a button-up shirt, shoes, a tie, and a sports coat. If the occasion is a bit conservative, a suit is an appropriate option.
Besides, all men should put on a yarmulke, regardless of their religion. For those who don’t know, it is a skullcap worn in public during prayer in Jewish culture. However, only men who are Jewish must wear a prayer shawl, called a tallit in Hebrew.
For the Bar Mitzvah reception, men can wear similar attire, but without tallit and yarmulkes.
Bonus Tip: If you are a bit more into fashion, you are free to dress up your suit to look stylish for the reception or Seudat Mitzvah (a festive meal following the religious service).
DRESS CODE FOR WOMEN
Women are also supposed to doll up in formal outfits, which include dresses and skirts that fall below the knee. A pair of slacks with a blouse or women’s pantsuits are also options.
It is a must to cover the shoulders. Bar Mitzvah dresses must be sheerly sophisticated. They should not have anything that reveals the skin.
Hats and lace head coverings are also essential, especially for married women. At a conservative religious service, it is good to wear a yarmulke and tallit. Avoid carrying the purse into the synagogue.
The same attire can be worn to the daytime Bar Mitzvah receptions, although the little dressing up is great. Nevertheless, the dress code is semi-formal when it comes to the nighttime reception. Women can wear cocktail dresses, knee-length Bar Mitzvah outfits, or dressy pantsuits with heels to take their style up a notch.
DRESS CODE FOR BOYS
Similar to men, the Bar Mitzvah dress code for boys includes slacks and a button-down shirt. A sports coat and tie are also required for formal Bar Mitzvahs.
Every boy is supposed to wear a yarmulke, regardless of age and religion. For Jewish boys who are 13 or above, it is essential to wear a tallit.
The Bar Mitzvah reception calls for casual attire. So, boys can wear button-up shirts without yarmulke and tallit. A suit is a much more appropriate option for a lavish formal affair.
DRESS CODE FOR GIRLS
Girls should adorn modest attire, just as in the case of women. Dresses and skirts should fall upto the knee or below. Shoulders should be covered. If the dress is without sleeves, it can be layered with a cardigan or light jacket.
Speaking of shoes, flats and low heels are perfect options for girls. They are comfortable and look girlish.
Only girls who are 13 or above should wear a lace head covering or yarmulke and tallit during the religious service.
When it’s the time for the reception, girls can doll up in semi-formal Bar Mitzvah dresses for teens, that include floral applique, ruffles, and prints. The shoes can be relatively dressier and casual.
THE RIGHT DRESS COLORS & PATTERNS
While there are strict traditional colors for Bar Mitzvah outfits, formal shades, such as black, brown, navy blue, ivory, burgundy, and other neutral shades, are more appropriate.
Women can add a pop of brighter accessories, such as a hat, a belt, shoes, and gloves. The right jewelry will sure elevate the appeal and make a woman look more wonderful.
Avoid dresses with bright patterns or large prints, as they can steal the shine of a young man celebrating his big day. For women, small floral prints, polka dots, and geometric prints are great.
Remember, your ultimate goal should be to look festive, not garnished.
Make Sure To Have Fun At Bar Mitzvah
Bar Mitzvah is an important occasion that marks the welcoming of Jewish young men into adulthood. Many people prepare for months and years to make sure everything goes perfect. Attending the Bar Mitzvah religious service or reception party is a great chance to learn about Jewish culture.
Moreover, there is a lot of fun, especially at the reception. The good food and dance are a big part of the Bar Mitzvah party. So, dress up appropriately and bring on your dancing shoes to have the time of your life.