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 (also known as a Tallis). 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... The size?
Don’t panic. We are here to help you choose the perfect size!
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 down the front, and the rest of the Tallit to drapes behind. This is by far the most popular style in Orthodox synagogues and is popular in other minyans as well. 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 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.
Our Size Guide (measurements are length x width):
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. Sizes 60-90 are also popularly used as chuppahs (wedding canopies).
For the traditional way of wearing the Tallit, use these general sizing guidelines:
- 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.
For the shawl way of wearing the tallit, use these general sizing guidelines:
- 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.