What to Wear to a Bat Mitzvah?

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  1. I have never been to one. I am thinking the dress is like a wedding reception? I am 51, and don't have dressy things - but I do have a basic black dress that I could wear - what could I use to dress it up? It is a travel dress, short sleeve, somewhat A- line below the waist. I am so ungirly, I don't know what to do! What kind of shoes? etc?
  2. I need a pic of the dress or description of fabric, sleeve type, etc. I would love to help. IMO, you can't go wrong with a little black "cocktail" dress and some strappy black or maybe even silver sandals. While similar to a wedding reception, they tend to be a little more of a dressy dinner or holiday party atmosphere so don't be afraid to be a little glam. There will be music and probably dancing so get something comfortable like Cole Haan has some cute sandals with Nike air pockets for comfort and you can dance all night. And don't forget a cute evening bag.
  3. Thanks glaziers, you said it in a nutshell of what I should aim for! Will do!
  4. Hope I helped. Most of all, have fun! I am sure you'll look great.
  5. It's like a wedding reception-- you dress according to the season and location. If the reception is at the temple, wear a conservative dress. If it will be at a restaurant, country club, etc you can wear something a little more flashy. But yeah, a black dress is (or even a black pantsuit) with pretty accessories is always appropriate! :yes:
  6. I wanted to update you all on the Bat mitzvah. First of all, it is one of the most beautiful ceremonies I have ever experienced (I was raised Catholic, this was my first time ever in a temple). The young lady did an unbelievable (recitation?). Her voice was beautiful. The woman cantor was spectacular.

    I didn't go glitzy, I did wear a plain but nice-fitting black dress, and some red patent peep-toe pumps. Pearls and some gold hoop earrings and a gold bracelet. Low key.

    I am glad, because although the men had suits on, the women were not flashily dress, but a few dressy suits and a few sparkles here and there. The reception was at a fabulous restaurant in Napa Valley, CA. The opened for lunch especially for this event. So no dancing, just lots of amazing food and unbelievable wines. This restaurant, Le Tocque, actually has one star from Michelin. Pretty good for an American restaurant.

    I asked the proud father (is my husband's friend of many years) if West Coast events of this nature are more laid back or dressed down than East Coast (he lives on Long Island, but grew up in the SF Bay area) and he said yes.

    So I felt appropriately dressed. My only regret is I wished I would have worn my dressy tall black boots, I was cold all day! Tsk tsk, it was only in the 50's all day (just to tease you folks with real winters ,LOL)
  7. Sounds like you had a great time and were completely lovely and appropriately dressed...love red shoes with simple black dresses. It really adds a pop of color. Glad you had fun.
  8. There's also one thing that should be said. In a temple, you CAN'T show your shoulders. ( I know this is like, a few years after, but some people might see this later on)
  9. Welcome to tPF :smile: frasianpower, a very good point.

    It's mostly true but there are different types of synagogues, I doubt anyone would get thrown out of a very progressive one for showing bare arms or shoulders, just a few raised eyebrows but you are totally right for most.

    Another thing that this thread does not say is that a Bar Mitzvah (for boys) or Bat Mitzvah (for girls) is not usually just a ceremony, it's a normal Saturday service plus the Bar or Bat Mitzvah so if in doubt, for the ceremony dress as if going to church including a hat or scarf if you are women (girls can get away with no hat, and don't forget to tell any man to go with to bring something for his head). The ceremony is always on a Saturday and you will be in the temple with others who are there as if in church so always er on the side of conservative.

    Then, if there is a seperate party (sometimes on another day) strapless is fine, and shoes to dance in because usually there will be plenty of dancing.
  10. Good points Papertiger, it is always best to dress conservatively if you are unsure of what to wear. My synagogue is progressive and some people even show up in jeans and t-shirts or shorts during the summer. I of course am not one of them;).