Your Guide to Choosing the Correct Tallit Size for Your Needs
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 combed through 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!
How to Determine Your Size
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 (yoke) wraps around the back of the neck or worn over the head like a hood, 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 of the shoulders, leaving all four corners draped in front over the shoulders or elbows. This style is usually associated with more modern 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.
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 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 36a: 36” x 52” (90 cm x 130 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 these will still more or less fit within the chart you see above, meaning you can still use the chart as a guide for the correct size to buy.
If you are having difficulty measuring yourself or you're buying a Tallit for someone else, below you'll find a more generalized sizing guide.
For the traditional way of wearing the Tallit, use this guideline for choosing your size:
- Average Height Bar Mitzvah: Size 36
- Tall Bar Mitzvah, 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, use this one:
- Small Child: Size 8-12
- Average Height Bar Mitzvah: Size 12, 36a
- Tall Bar Mitzvah, Short Adult: Size 18
- Average Adult: Size 24
- Large or Tall Adult: Size 36
Please be aware that sizes 8, 12, and 36a are usually unavailable in most styles except for our selection of Acrylic Tallitot. Also, please keep in mind that the above charts are intended to be a basic guideline only. Personal taste, local custom, and otherwise subjective ideas (such as what “average” and “tall” mean) can still affect your decision.
Well, dear friends, we hope this guide has been helpful to you in your search for the perfect Tallit! If you need more help, or simply want more information, just check out our other amazing Tallit Buying Guide as well as our fantastic blog article, All About the Tallit to learn more about this beautiful Jewish object and how to buy them! Good luck and whatever you end up getting, congratulations on your new Tallit from Judaica Webstore, we hope you'll always enjoy it!