Your Guide to Choosing the Correct Tallit Size
A big day is coming, perhaps a wedding, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, or another major lifecycle event and you need a new Tallit (prayer shawl). So, you’ve combed through Judaica Webstore's tallit category and picked exactly the one you want. The color is perfect. The material is just right. The design is superb. The size is... The size?!
Don’t panic. We are here to help you choose the perfect size!
To read more about the tradition of wearing a tallit and how to pick the right style for you, check out our Tallit 101 blog post and our Tallit Buying Guide. And see below for our guide on different sizes and wearing styles:
Tallit Wearing Styles
Firstly, it's important to keep in mind that there are two different ways that a person might choose to wear their Tallit, so the way you wear yours can affect the size you need. Let’s call these different styles, “shawl,” and “traditional,” for simplicity's sake.
The "traditional" way of wearing a Tallit is bunched or folded on the shoulders and draped over the chest and back. The Atarah (crown) wraps around the back of the neck or is worn over the head like a hood, leaving the two front corners to drape down the front, and the rest of the Tallit to drape behind. This is by far the most popular style in Orthodox synagogues. This style uses more material and therefore will require sizing up.
The "shawl" style wraps the Tallit around the back of the shoulders, leaving all four corners draped in front over the shoulders or elbows. This style is usually associated with more liberal synagogues and communities, but can also be found within the most traditional of Orthodox circles as well. Since this shawl style requires less material to fully wrap around a person, it's possible to order a smaller sized Tallit for the same size person.
Determining Your Size
Our Size Guide (measurements are length x width):
Some of our more artistic and modern Tallit designs may come in slightly non-standard sizes, but these will still more or less fit within the chart you see above. The above tallit size measurements are meant as a general guideline to give you an idea of a good fit.
The largest sizes are also popularly used as chuppahs (wedding canopies).
Also, please keep in mind that the above chart is intended to be a basic guideline only. Personal taste, local custom, and comfort can still affect your decision.