I need ideas!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    One of Duckie's best friends will be celebrating her Bat Mitzvah in June and Duckie will be invited to the ceremony in the morning and the reception in the evening. The girl's family is not Orthodox, but rather Conservative. Her friend advised me that Duckie's dress for the ceremony at temple should be modest with at least cap sleeves, a respectable neckline and at least knee length. She can wear a dress suitable for a wedding reception for the evening.

    I have been looking online for places to shop for the ceremony dress but it looks like everything is sleeveless or too short. Duckie does not want to wear a sweater over a sleeveless dress because it will probably be very warm that day. Does anyone know of a national chain that would sell something appropriate?
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Something like this?
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    That's great... except I'm not convinced that it is long enough. Also, she's anywhere from a zero to size 2 depending on cut. :(
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You could try finding a pattern and a seamstress. Years ago I had to go that route for one of the children and it was a win win. Hugs DDD
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    "Oy! I can't believe some of the dresses that come up when I google "modest bat mitzvah dresses"! I'm all fertummelt because they are shockingly trashy. Maybe svengandhi could help you.
  6. LucyB

    LucyB New Member

    You might be able to pick up a short sleeve sweater that will go with her dress.

    The other thing I have seen at a Jewish wedding was that many of the women/girls wore a shirt under a dress that would otherwise be considered inappropriate. In this case, a short sleeve shirt would work, and she could take it off before the reception.
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Get her a shrug to wear to Temple. It's lighter than a cardigan so she won't be warm and this way she can buy a ceremony dress that she will be happy to wear all summer long without the shrug.

    Otherwise, I would consider a skirt and blouse or top combination. A noon ceremony won't be formal and a pretty spring skirt with blouse or knit top will look fresh and age appropriate.
  8. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the shoutout, 3.

    I live in a well-to-do area and you would not believe the dresses some girls wear to B'nai Mitzvot... Ironically, the Christian girls usually come more tastefully and appropriately dressed than many of the Jewish girls do. I think it's because their mothers actually bother to ask what proper attire is supposed to be.

    For a May ceremony, I think that a pretty dress in a pastel color or a floral design is appropriate. If Duckie has dramatic coloring, then think about a dramatic color for the evening outfit. Please steer away from black - I usually wear very little but black but it's not for pre-teens and not for a bat m since black is a funeral color for Jews. Even I don't wear black to b'nai mitzvot. It doesn't have to be tea length or have long sleeves but it should at least cover the knees and the shoulders. Technically, the elbows are supposed to be covered as well, but for a non-Jewish girl attending a Conservative ceremony, covering the shoulders is sufficient as long as they are fully covered. The cap sleeve, if Duckie likes that style, is suitable. Try to avoid anything that is too form-fitting, transparent or clingy. I prefer dresses to skirts and blouses because they look more party-like and you avoid the issue of the blouse riding up (I have been known to safety pin the shirt to the inside of the skirt).

    For the parties that daughter went to, I bought her dresses from several sources. However, we got the best, prettiest and most reasonably priced dresses at a thrift/consignment shop in a wealthy neighborhood. I even bought her prom dress in a place like that - she looked like a Disney princess for $25 in what had to be somebody else's expensive custom made gown. For stores, I recommend Macy's (you can shop online), Lord and Taylor, Estelle's Dressy Dresses (it's a local place down here but may have a website; it caters to a large Jewish clientele).

    To me, the major thing is that a 12 or 13 year old girl should look like a 12 or 13 year old girl.

    Is the evening party at the temple or at an outside venue? If it's at the temple, her dress should be a little more conservative - shoulders should be covered. Also, keep in mind that a lot of the activity at a typical party like this involves dancing and games - many parties give out socks for dancing but you might want to give her a pair just in case. I also don't recommend very high heels, flats are best for dancing and standing.

    Also, if she's never gone to a bat mitzvah before, look up some youtube videos of people doing the hora. It's an Israeli folk dance that is always done at Jewish parties - the entire guest list is supposed to participate. It's fairly simple (even 3 left legged me can do it, but I learned before kindergarten) and since I seem to recall you saying that Duckie dances, so she should pick it right up.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask away. I just left the Bar M circuit last year... having been on it pretty much since 1994.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Would a wrap like a pashmina work for her? I helped at a friend's bat mitzvah years ago and most guests were from out of town or had no real idea what was appropriate or not (there are not a lot of synagogues here). Her mother was worried that many of the girls would not have a clue what to wear and would be dressed inappropriately, with shoulders uncovered etc...

    Her solution was to borrow pashminas in many colors and have them available at the entrance so that young ladies could use them as needed. I think she even raided the fabric stashes from a number of friends and spent an evening cutting and hemming the edges of fabric strips about 2 feet wide by six or seven feet long so that there would be an assortment available.

    Not sure if it would work for you though.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Light In The Box.

    They're an online retailer that sells all sorts of things. They have a very broad selection of styles, colours, fabrics and sizes. I've ordered dresses, skirts, opera gloves and whatnot from them for various weddings, cocktail parties etc. over the years, and I've been pleased.

    They can also do custom fit if (like me) your top and bottom halves are different sizes. They should easily be able to accommodate a size 0 to 2.

    The quality isn't stellar, but for outfits that you don't wear often it's not terrible.

    Here's the link: http://www.lightinthebox.com/see-all.html

  11. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Try second hand shops. I got Missy a beautiful dress, last year, at a Goodwill store. It was a navy a-line, to the knee (but it was sleeveless) with sparkly stuff on the top, neckline was at the neck. It was perfect for the occasion and quite age appropriate. I paid $9. for it!

    If it is a sleeveless dress, why not have her wear a shrug-type sweater or light sweater over it while at the synagogue and if she gets hot at the party, she can take it off.