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Bat Mitvah Party attire...

Phileas Fogg

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Not being Jewish I’m not terribly familiar with the dress code aspects, but I’m thinking a black suit or a bit too somber for something that it supposed to be a celebration.
 

Joe Schmoe

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Any dark grey or blue suit is fine. It's an important religious ceremony so you want conservative attire, this is not the occasion for a double-breasted Prince of Wales plaid in light grey. I mean, I guess you could do that if you paired it with a very conservative shirt and tie but... just stick with a dark blue or charcoal grey suit, white shirt, conservative tie, and conservative shoes, that way you're sure to be dressed respectfully and won't look too informal or showy, etc.

Honestly, these days standards are very low. My eldest went to his confirmation last week and I was the only father in a suit. A lot of people wore khakis or dark jeans, untucked short-sleeved shirts, etc. And this was in an old-money, very proper neighborhood known for its conservatism. It's pretty bleak out there, if you wear any sort of suit and tie you'll probably be properly dressed.
 

comrade

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To my Bar Mitzvah 60+ years ago my mother's uncle wore
a "Stroller"to the service which stood out among all the dark
suits, including mine from Rogers Peet. It also increased my
already premature interest in clothing.


afc79af67ec7fe82e31cd4ca33e7a254.jpg
 

Phoenician

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I like the idea of dark gray suit and black shoes. Not as funeral formal as black, and doesn’t look like you just left a business meeting as navy
 

TheShetlandSweater

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Not being Jewish I’m not terribly familiar with the dress code aspects, but I’m thinking a black suit or a bit too somber for something that it supposed to be a celebration.
Not necessarily. In the Orthodox world, black is the standard regardless of the event or day of the week.
 

SirGrotius

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Interesting. I can't say that I'm quite sure, but if there's a category between Reform and Conservative, that's where I'd hedge. (I.e., the parents hosting the event are quite liberal, although my understanding is that they come from more conservative backgrounds.)
 

TheShetlandSweater

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Interesting. I can't say that I'm quite sure, but if there's a category between Reform and Conservative, that's where I'd hedge. (I.e., the parents hosting the event are quite liberal, although my understanding is that they come from more conservative backgrounds.)
These terms have specific meanings in this context. They refer to religious movements. If you know what synagogue they belong to, you can look it up and find out where they fall. In any event, based on what you said, an ordinary suit should be fine (assuming that is in-line with the specified attire). I wouldn't worry about things like shoe color too much--no one will really care and you will likely see all sorts of things worn by other guests. Now, if you are attending with a member of the opposite sex, her attire might be a more sensitive subject (mainly modesty issues, not so much the specifics of what she wears). There also might be certain etiquette points you should be aware of depending on certain things.
 

SirGrotius

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Super helpful. Thank you again. I'm remember going to a bevy of bar and bat mitzvahs in my youth and loved them!

For planning, if I find out that it's either Reformed or Conservative, would either push toward Black suit, or is that only an Orthodox synagogue? Cheers
 
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TheShetlandSweater

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Super helpful. Thank you again. I'm remember going to a bevy of bar and bat mitzvahs in my youth and loved them!

For planning, if I find out that it's either Reformed or Conservative, would either push toward Black suit, or is that only an Orthodox synagogue? Cheers
No. Even in an Orthodox synagogue you would be fine without one. My point before was simply that a black suit wouldn't be regarded as too somber. Jews traditionally view color a bit differently. For example, some color is fine at funerals and black is fine at happier occasions.

There is a difference between what someone in a particular group wears, and what is expected of a guest. As a guest, your main goal is to be respectful, not to match dress habits. For example, if you were going to a service, men would be wearing yarmulkes (maybe not at some Reform services), but according to traditional Judaism it would actually be inappropriate for you to wear one.

With regards to respect, there would be certain things that would be inappropriate: immodest dress (mainly for women), using a cell-phone on Saturdays (perhaps okay at certain Reform and maybe even a few Conservative synagogues), talking at inappropriate times during a religious service, etc. These would be things that could actually offend. Wearing a grey suit to an Orthodox wedding certainly wouldn't. Color is more of a matter of tradition and custom and less one of ethics, morality, and following rules (although, to be sure, reasons for wearing black are not merely a matter of custom).
 

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