Choosing the Correct Tallit Size
A big day is coming: perhaps a wedding, a bar mitzvah, or some other major lifecycle event and you need a new tallit. So, you’ve searched Judaica Webstore and picked exactly the one you want. The color is perfect. The material is just right. The design is superb. The size is . . .
Don’t panic. Let us walk you through choosing the right size for you.
First of all, there are two different ways that a person might choose to wear a tallit, and this can affect the size you need. Let’s call them “shawl” and “traditional”.
The traditional way of wearing a tallit is bunched or folded on the shoulders, and draped over the chest and back. The atarah (yoke) wraps around the back of the neck, leaving the two front corners to drape front, and the rest of the tallit to drape back. This is by far the most popular style in Orthodox synagogues, and is very popular in other places of worship as well. This style uses more material, and therefore will require larger sizes for the same size person.
The shawl style wraps the tallit around the back or the shoulders, leaving all four corners draped in front over the shoulders or elbows. This style is particularly associated with more modern synagogues and styles, but can even be found in the most traditional of Orthodox circles also. The shawl style uses less material, so it requires smaller sizes for the same size person.
Here at Judaica Webstore, most of our tallitot come in standard sizes as follows:
Size 8: 8” X 42” (20 cm X 105 cm)
Size 12: 12” X 42” (30 cm X 105 cm)
Size 36a: 36” X 52” (90 cm X 130 cm)
Size 18: 18” X 72” (45 cm X 180 cm)
Size 24: 24” X 72” (60 cm X 180 cm)
Size 36: 36” X 72” (90 cm X 180 cm)
Size 45: 44” X 64” (110 cm X 160 cm)
Size 50: 48” X 68” (120 cm X 170 cm)
Size 55: 52” X 72” (130 cm X 180 cm)
Size 60: 56” X 76” (140 cm X 190 cm)
Size 70: 60” X 80” (150 cm X 200 cm)
Size 80: 68” X 84” (170 cm X 210 cm)
Size 90: 72” X 84” (180 cm X 210 cm)
Some of our more artistic and modern tallit designs may come in sizes that are slightly non-standard, but will still more or less fit within the chart you see above, so use it as a guide for the correct size to buy.
For the traditional way of wearing the tallit, here are some simple guidelines to choose your size:
- Average height bar mitzva: Size 36
- Tall bar mitzva, short adult: Size 45-50
- Average adult: Size 55-60
- Large or tall adult: Size 70-80
- Big & Tall and supersize: Size 90
Please note that sizes 80 and 90 are often unavailable in most styles except for the Super Prima Tallit. Sizes 60-90 are also popularly used as chuppahs (wedding canopies).
For the shawl way of wearing the tallit, here are your sizing guidelines:
- Small child: Size 8-12
- Average height bar mitzva: Size 12, 36a
- Tall bar mitzva, short adult: Size 18
- Average adult: Size 24
- Large or tall adult: Size 36
Please note that sizes 8, 12 and 36a are usually unavailable in most styles except for our selection of acrylic tallitot.
Please be aware that the above charts are intended to be a general guideline only. Personal taste, local custom, and other subjective ideas (such as what “average” and “tall” mean) can affect your decision. But whatever you get in the end, enjoy it!
Congratulations on your new tallit from Judaica Webstore!
Back to main Tallit category.