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Settling on a choice of the best bat mitzvah dresses isn’t hard if you know what to expect at this important Jewish ceremony. It’s essential to remember the religious component to guide your selection. While the subsequent party may seem like a wedding reception, it differs in several key ways. Let’s review what you need to know before you buy.
How to Choose a Bat Mitzvah Dress
A little background information is necessary to help you choose the right dress, especially if you aren’t Jewish. Some aspects of the ceremony and its meaning are second nature to followers of the faith. But you needn’t let that intimidate you. Let’s begin with what the event is and what it entails.
- How to Choose a Bat Mitzvah Dress
- What Is a Bat Mitzvah?
- Understanding the Ceremony
- Showing Respect
- Our Top Picks for the Best Bat Mitzvah Dresses
What Is a Bat Mitzvah?
You’re likely familiar with the term, bar mitzvah, which is a coming-of-age ritual for boys when they reach age 13. It comes from the Hebrew language and means “son of commandment.” A bat mitzvah is the same ceremony that applies to girls. The age for them varies with the particular synagogue’s denomination. For example, the age for the girl is 12 for Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, while it is 13 for Reform Jews.
At this age, the child becomes an adult in the eyes of the Jewish faith and is accountable for their actions. They take responsibility from this point on for following the laws and traditions of their religion. It’s easy to understand that it has a solemn aspect to it which you have to keep in mind when choosing from the available choices of bar mitzvah dresses.
Understanding the Ceremony
You’ll also find it helpful to know what to expect during and after the ceremony. As with any religion, there isn’t one set ritual. Rather, the services and their lengths will vary with the congregation and denomination of the synagogue. Your bat mitzvah host can give you the heads-up on what you need to know. After all, you want to be comfortable even if it is a formal affair.
Make a point to ask about how traditional the congregation is. In some settings, more formal dress is the rule of the day. That means no pants or pantsuits for the ladies. You also may find that women are expected to wear hats too.
The bat mitzvah portion of the Sabbath is only one part of the entire service. Make sure and be punctual. An usher may offer you a prayer shawl or tallit when you enter the synagogue, especially in liberal congregations. You needn’t accept it if you’re not Jewish. Likewise, you may see a basket of head coverings or kippahs. The same usage applies to these items. Remember, wearing one is a sign of respect even if you aren’t a member of that faith.
The essential thing to remember when choosing bat mitzvah dresses for guests is that you’re attending a Sabbat in a religion’s holy place. Treat it as such. That means a tasteful dress that is not provocative or inappropriate in this setting. Bear in mind that the service will involve periods of standing and sitting. Choose a dress and shoes that will be comfortable.
That’s important to remember if you’re the mother of the bat mitzvah too. Deciding on a pick from the bat mitzvah dresses for 13-year-olds carries that same requirement. Keep the sanctity of the ceremony in mind when shopping. The same advice about comfort applies too. The bat mitzvah may participate in the service as well with a reading or leading prayers.
Some of these traditions and expectations may seem dated to some, especially if you’re not a part of that congregation. However, we can’t overemphasize that the purpose of the ritual trumps any contrary thoughts to fashion even with the prospect of a party afterward. Show the proper respect with your attire.
Our Top Picks for the Best Bat Mitzvah Dresses
All our picks lean toward classic and conservative styles. The party dresses are a better option for the school dance or a date. These choices will give the bat mitzvah the sophistication and elegance of a child crossing into the realm of adulthood. So while some may bill themselves as cocktail dresses, they don’t have the showiness that is inappropriate for the occasion.
VEIISAR Womens Fashion Sleeveless Lace Fit Flare Elegant Cocktail Party Dress
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The VEIISAR Womens Fashion Sleeveless Lace Fit Flare Elegant Cocktail Party Dress captures the elegance of lace in a style that just makes you look great. It is slightly fitted through the body with enough room to be comfortable. It comes in four other colors, but we loved the feminine styling of the white version.
The dress is well-made and looks like it costs more than its retail price. It’s lightweight which makes it ideal for the occasion. There is no give to the fabric, so make sure you get the right size before the big event.