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To make dd wear the same outfits to four Bat Mitzvahs?

(81 Posts)
Dillydallyding Sun 24-Feb-19 12:07:08

Dd is in Year 8 - her school has a significant Jewish minority and she has lots of Jewish friends. Four of these friends are having their Bat Mitzvahs over the next 4-5 months.

I understand that she needs a more formal outfit for the synagogue services, and then a party dress for afterwards.

As dd has had a huge growth spurt in the last year, she’s grown out of most of her clothes, so doesn’t currently have anything appropriate.

I told her yesterday that we would go shopping next weekend to find a party dress and an outfit appropriate for the services. But dd is insisting that she needs different outfits for each Bat Mitzvah as ‘it will be so embarrassing if she’s wearing the same thing at all of them as none of her friends will be’.

We aren’t exactly strapped for cash at the moment, but it seems very wasteful to buy her a different dress for each Bat Mitzvah.


JuniperBeer Sun 24-Feb-19 12:08:25

Can she have different accessories instead?
Or can you buy cheaper dresses?

JuniperBeer Sun 24-Feb-19 12:08:52

Would you wear the same dress to four weddings that all your friends will be at every time?

Florenceflamingo Sun 24-Feb-19 12:09:12

Can you buy two and some accessories that can be changed even? Would you wear the same dress to 4 weddings with the same group of friends?

Echobelly Sun 24-Feb-19 12:10:20

In your position I might buy 2 or 3 outfits to revolve, I mean it doesn't have to be anything pricey but I think it might be fair to let her have a couple to choose from.

Round DD's bat mitzvah year next year and afterwards we'll obviously have loads for friends and family, but I'm not going to buy loads of separate outfits

SleepingStandingUp Sun 24-Feb-19 12:10:35

So she'd need 8 outfits??
I'm ight be tempted to do one formal outfit and different party dresses but keep them styled to something she will rewear. She's a bit old for Ron's of tulle anyway so something that she could dress up or down. But that compromise would mean somewhere like ASOS or Primark.

Can you give her a budget and get her to plan it herself?

ILoveMaxiBondi Sun 24-Feb-19 12:11:17

I hate this. The boys will get to wear their suits again and again until they’ve outgrown them. Girls “have” to have a different dress for each event.

DrinkSangriaInThePark Sun 24-Feb-19 12:11:38

I think compromise and buy two. Then she can alternate each time and maybe wear different accessories each time she wears the same dress. In fairness, there's no way you'd wear the same outfit 4 times in a row with the same people, surely.

Pythonesque Sun 24-Feb-19 12:15:15

You've got to find her two different outfits as it is! I'd absolutely expect her to wear the same ones. Agree that you might be able to vary it with accessories though, do her hair differently etc.

EdtheBear Sun 24-Feb-19 12:15:21

I'd compromise and buy 2 outfits. I might even suggested that if she has friends who are in the same position that outfits are swapped between them.

harriethoyle Sun 24-Feb-19 12:17:29

Yeah I'd say two as well. Maybe get wrap dresses or dresses that you could accessorize differently ie with a cardie, a shirt, etc

OhTheRoses Sun 24-Feb-19 12:18:31

Hmm. There is a lot of dressing up for these occasions and Jewish women tend to dress exceptionally well. I think it's a case of compromise and accessorise with a few outfits and co-ordinating cardigans, separates may help that can be worn on other occasions. Also check out ebay.

confusedofengland Sun 24-Feb-19 12:20:09

Could you buy secondhand dresses? You could get them for very little money (less than £5/£10) & could resell or donate them afterwards.

Thehop Sun 24-Feb-19 12:20:27

Worth looking on eBay for pre loved?

PhilomenaButterfly Sun 24-Feb-19 12:20:36

No way I could afford that. DD's just bought an outfit that she'll wear at every party until she grows out of it.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:21:39

If I had 4 weddings to go to, I probably would wear the same outfit to all of them. Why not? Unless I'd be wearing the outfits for other events this year, there's no way I'd buy more than one.

Two new outfits is enough.

Echobelly Sun 24-Feb-19 12:23:16

Swapping or borrowing is a good idea as well, as suggested above.

KrazyKatlady Sun 24-Feb-19 12:23:32

I'm glad my year 8 DD hasn't been invited to 4 or even one Bat mitzvah. I'd have trouble encouraging her to find one outfit that wasn't jeans/leggings!
In answer to the question, can you try ebay/fb selling sites, lots of people ending up selling stuff that has been worn once or never worn, because of growth spurts.

amusedbush Sun 24-Feb-19 12:27:28

I wouldn’t wear the same outfit to multiple occasions that my friends would be attending so I think it’s fair that she wants a few outfits. They don’t have to be really expensive - eBay will surely turn up some nice items at lower prices? Maybe compromise on the number of outfits and just mix and match accessories/shoes.

AuntieStella Sun 24-Feb-19 12:28:05

She'd get away with wearing the formal outfit to the services each time (as long as you get something fairly unexciting and therefore unmemorable)

But I think you got have to reconsider your stance for the party dresses. Agree that second hand would be good - bothfor your pocket and for the environment.

LaDameAuxLicornes Sun 24-Feb-19 12:31:27

I'd probably get her one formal dress and two party dresses. She isn't likely to wear the formal one for anything else, I assume? Whereas the party dresses might get reworn. Perhaps the formal one could be reaccessoried with different cardigans, jewellery, shoes etc, whatever is in her wardrobe. Get her to do her hair differently etc.

Four different formal dresses and four different party dresses would be madness unless she can find cheap second-hand ones (and even then....). No chance would I be encouraging the throwaway clothing mentality by buying her 8 cheap dresses from Boohoo or Primark which will be rapidly outgrown and discarded.

Dillydallyding Sun 24-Feb-19 12:31:41

Thank you for all the input! It sounds like EBay is the way to go. Perhaps I’ll give her a budget and let her decide herself.

claireblueskies Sun 24-Feb-19 12:32:20

I completely understand where she's coming from. If money won't stretch to all the different outfits she wants, I think you need to be smart with the shopping and buy her clothes that can be carefully accessorised to look different.

You could also offer to help style her hair differently for each event - that would help contribute to the illusion of a completely different outfit. If she's a similar size to any of her friends, swapping some clothes/accessories sounds like a great idea.

RedSkyLastNight Sun 24-Feb-19 12:36:32

I agree different accessories. In answer to posters, yes I would wear the same outfit to several weddings with same guests (and have done so). I can't justifyspending on anew wedding outfit to wear once! But then I have friends who value my presence over what I'm wearing, a view I'd want my teenage daughte to share!

sashh Sun 24-Feb-19 12:41:55

Go for second hand or hire dresses

Check out this for £10 from Oxfam

BettyDuMonde Sun 24-Feb-19 12:44:50

I’d suggest a multiway dress but it might not fit the dress code - guess it depends on how conservative each of the families are? No good for synagogue, for sure.

PlatypusPie Sun 24-Feb-19 12:48:11

I got great usage over Xmas out of the MOB dress I wore in October - it worked well for all the parties etc and I loved the cost per wear ratio coming down, and it didn't look weddingy out of context. So what if the same friends were there? What I was wearing was appropriate on all occasions.

But I am an adult and I agree that that isn't the same for teenage sensibilities. same formal dress for all ceremonies and then maybe two nice party dresses A and B that could alternate and be accessorised differently, or three at the most and wear the first last, by which time everyone will have forgotten it from its first outing !

QuestionableMouse Sun 24-Feb-19 12:50:43

That looks a bit cheap and nasty (sorry shock)

You could do separates- a nice black skirt can be dressed up with a pretty top for the party and used for the formal bit with a plain blouse/cardie.

BrizzleMint Sun 24-Feb-19 12:52:55

I can see her point, I hate shopping and dresses but even I'd want a different outfit for each one. I'd do a tour of the charity shops in posh areas or go on eBay like others have suggested.

MuddlingMackem Sun 24-Feb-19 12:53:26

Try, they have some nice formal dresses and they're fairly inexpensive. We ordered a couple for DD and allowed a couple of months for us to get them, but they arrived in a couple of weeks. Nice quality for the price too.

Arowana Sun 24-Feb-19 12:53:57

I think giving her a budget and helping her with some different options (eg one gorgeous outfit or four much cheaper ones) is a great idea. Never too young to learn how to spend wisely!

blueskiesovertheforest Sun 24-Feb-19 12:53:59

One neutral colour skirt and a few different tops.

SpiritedLondon Sun 24-Feb-19 12:55:14

Girls formalwear on eBay is a steal. I’m not sure what brands she likes and my daughter is only 6 but I’ve snapped up lots of dresses for weddings etc for £10 and under. Have a look - you’ll probably get several things for the price of one new outfit on the high street ( plus much more environmentally friendly to re-use)

Cla9 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:58:23

I’d get a mix of skirts and tops so she could change them about and get a few different outfits? Or H&M do dresses at reasonable prices.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Sun 24-Feb-19 12:59:24

Could you have a day in a town with lots of charity shops? There's some near me that have everything for £1. Could be a fun day out trying on clothes and finding unique outfits.

Depending on your dd size you could buy ladies dresses which would give more options smile

SchadenfreudePersonified Sun 24-Feb-19 13:04:15

do they have to be dresses?

Could you get perhaps one dress and perhaps a few separates that she could mix and match to give different looks (especially if she uses different accessories), and which she will also wear again (either together or with existing wardrobe items)?

RustyBear Sun 24-Feb-19 13:14:46

Have you checked with other parents that the other girls concerned really are having a new outfit for each occasion? They may be telling their parents the same thing...

AnnaComnena Sun 24-Feb-19 13:16:33

I think giving her a budget and helping her with some different options (eg one gorgeous outfit or four much cheaper ones) is a great idea. Never too young to learn how to spend wisely!

And tell her that if she doesn't spend all of it on outfits, she can keep what's left to put towards something else she wants, or put in her savings account. She might decide that one outfit is enough after all.

DappledThings Sun 24-Feb-19 13:18:02

Would you wear the same dress to four weddings that all your friends will be at every time?

Yes. Why not? But then I probably wouldn't notice what others were wearing and couldn't tell you if anyone else had the same one 4 times or 4 different ones or anything inbetween

Ninkaninus Sun 24-Feb-19 13:20:48

I would get her four separates, including two quite markedly different skirts, that all go together, that way she can do four different outfits very easily. Bags off eBay, two different ones. Two pairs of shoes, quite markedly different from each other. Fascinator or headband or some other fairly cheap accessory x 2 or 3. Maybe a short jacket to wear with one of the outfits to again create a totally different look.

I think it’s extremely unreasonable to expect her to show up to four very big events in the same outfit. Unless you really can’t afford it I’d think and shop smart instead to allow her to feel good about herself in relation to her friends.

CIT80 Sun 24-Feb-19 13:23:42

My teen buys lots of second hand items from Depop so may be worth a look on there

NuffSaidSam Sun 24-Feb-19 13:25:38

I agree with everyone else. Just one outfit for all four is a bit mean and you should try to find a compromise. I love the idea of giving her a budget and helping her to work through the options.

There are so many different ways to get four different outfits for a reasonable price without being too environmentally unfriendly. It could be quite fun to be creative with the outfit shopping!

BlimeyCalmDown Sun 24-Feb-19 13:27:22

i'd wear the same outfit to 4 weddings

AnnaComnena Sun 24-Feb-19 13:28:59

But then I probably wouldn't notice what others were wearing and couldn't tell you if anyone else had the same one 4 times or 4 different ones or anything inbetween

Years ago, a relative of mine bought a MOB outfit for her daughter's wedding (registry office and pub do, nothing fancy) then wore it to every subsequent family wedding at which she was a guest. It became known as 'Mary"s wedding outfit'. But nobody thought any less of her. It was a dress and hat that she wouldn't otherwise ever have any opportunity to wear, and she presumably liked it and enjoyed wearing it, so why shouldn't she get her money's worth out of it?

TansyTree Sun 24-Feb-19 13:29:49

I'd probably take her to primark to get cheaper outfits

whatsleep Sun 24-Feb-19 13:31:26

Also look on adult clothing websites like boohoo, newlook (good sales stuff). Also primark might be a good option. They tend to start from size 4 which makes them accessible for young ladies. There will be a lot that are not suitable but we’ve had some lovely bargains for our dd.

Yabbers Sun 24-Feb-19 13:32:19

i'd wear the same outfit to 4 weddings

Me too. DD wore the same dress to multiple occasions and it doesn't bother her. Her friends did the same.

Perhaps those who wouldn't, were pandered to as kids when their mums bought into the "must have a new outfit" for every new occasion. In a society where we are supposed to be far more aware of waste, having a new outfit for every wedding is hugely wasteful. Teaching our kids it's unnecessary would be a good idea.

I totally agree with this being a bizarrely female issue. Nobody cares if their boys wear the same outfit more than once. DH can wear his wedding outfit to several different events and nobody bats an eyelid.

disneyspendingmoney Sun 24-Feb-19 13:33:49

Please check out the types of Shuls (temple synagogue) where the mitzvah's are happening and are they all boys? Different shuls have different takes on things, just call the rebbi or better yet the rebka for a little chat about protocols.

Justheretogiveaviewfrommyworld Sun 24-Feb-19 13:37:19

From your OP, I'm guessing you are not Jewish? (I am technically, but as my dad is catholic, we never did any cultural or religious stuff) If that's so, then don't worry anymore than if your DD were attending any other birthday party. The other girls will be dressed to the 9s because their will be competitions between their DMs to have the best BM, so their DD's must look the business at everyone elses too. Along as your DD is sufficiently smart and respectful for synagogue, no one else will judge what she wears, so I would suggest a couple of more affordable party frocks.

WatcherintheRye Sun 24-Feb-19 13:38:08

Maybe get two formal outfits and two party dresses and alternate them? (Sorry if someone has already suggested this).

Ron's of tulle
Your typo sounds like the most downmarket dress shop ever! grin

runoutofnamechanges Sun 24-Feb-19 13:39:22

I've just had a look at some photos to analyse what the girls were wearing at the last few Bat Mitzvahs I've been to grin

The parties are a bit of a fashion show. There are a few full on sequins and tulle dresses (mostly the girl whose Bat Mitzvah it is) but most of the party dresses aren't super fancy or expensive - the kind of thing you could pick up cheaply on the high street (even Primark). Mostly knee length sleeveless shift dresses in pretty plain colours or black, or with cold shoulder sleeves, a few strapless dresses with a flared skirt. Everyone has ballerina flats. I would go with the idea of giving her a budget so she can pick 4 cheap dresses or 1 expensive one.

She doesn't really need anything very special for the service, just modest and smart. The other girls will be more interested in the party dresses grin Has she got anything already that she could wear? A pretty summer dress with a cardigan, or plain skirt with a smart top?

Bitlost Sun 24-Feb-19 13:50:03

I’d wear the same dress to different weddings. Buy one dress and be kind to the environment.

SileneOliveira Sun 24-Feb-19 13:51:31

Get yourself down to a charity shop. We regularly get "posh frock" type party dresses in. Not sure how old Year 8 is - about 13? Perfect age as she's a crossover between the biggest sizes in the children's range but depending on height will fit a 6 or 8 in the ladies range.

RuthW Sun 24-Feb-19 13:53:55

She's right. She needs four outfits if the dos are with the same people.

LlamaPink Sun 24-Feb-19 13:56:24

I'd get 2 or 3 dresses from fb selling pages or charity shops. No one will know.

INeedNewShoes Sun 24-Feb-19 13:56:51

I'd definitely look on eBay. You may even find a bundle of party dresses in her size. Plenty of items on eBay are pristine as only worn once. You need to look at photos closely and read descriptions really carefully and you should get some great clothes at low prices.

boomfloom Sun 24-Feb-19 13:58:17

To all those saying "women are expected to wear a different dress each time", what's going to happen if you wear the same thing? Nothing. As long as it's clean and suitable for the occasion, it's fine.

Women of modest means have always had one Sunday dress and it was used for all special occasions. It is a relatively new tendency to keep buying new in an effort to emulate the rich.

Men don't say "Suzy's wearing the same dress again". It's other women who pick up on it. So stop gossiping about others and take a leaf out of their book. The sooner we start behaving reasonably and re-wearing our finery, the better for us all. It's better for your purse, your wardrobe and our planet.

SileneOliveira Sun 24-Feb-19 13:59:30

Party dresses are the perfect thing to buy second hand. Because unless you're some sort of child-celebrity, party dresses get far less wear than other items of clothing.

labazsisgoingmad Sun 24-Feb-19 14:02:31

perhaps a couple basic plain skirts and mixture of tops so you can mix and max

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 24-Feb-19 14:03:10

Use EBay and sell them straight after. Needn’t cost much at all.

MIdgebabe Sun 24-Feb-19 14:03:27

You NEED different outfits ? Why? Will someone get hurt if they see the same dress? Is there something in law?

radishingravish Sun 24-Feb-19 14:08:23

I would give her a budget for all of the dresses. Then she can choose whether she wants 2 more expensive dresses or 8 from somewhere cheaper like Primark.

Elzbells Sun 24-Feb-19 14:08:39

You need to find out the dress code for your area. Where I live they are all in play suits and trainers - only the girl celebrating her batty gets dressed up in sequins etc.

My daughter is at a Jewish school so we are already on No. 12 bat mitzvah of Y7.

Shul can just be a modest dress/skirt.

Yabbers Sun 24-Feb-19 14:10:27

Interested how many people insist they would never wear a dress to more than one event, would also go to a charity shop to buy a wedding outfit.

EssentialHummus Sun 24-Feb-19 14:13:54

Please check out the types of Shuls (temple synagogue) where the mitzvah's are happening

Yup. At a reform synagogue the dress code may be very relaxed.

I would wear the same thing to a wedding, so I personally would go for one skirt and 2-3 nice tops in your shoes. And make sure she's comfy! I remember my mum insisting on a Chinese outfit and heels for one bat mitzvah I went to, I had blisters for a week after! confused

sash I didn't know Oxfam sold online, thanks for that!

manicinsomniac Sun 24-Feb-19 15:19:43

Definitely yes to second hand. I've got 3 daughters. I and they love clothes. We have loads. Not a single thing (bar underwear!) was new and if I have to pay more than £10 for an item of clothing I practically break put into a cold sweat!

Having said that, I would and have repeated wedding/formal outfits many times. But I wouldn't do it for 4 events in the same year with the same attendees. And I certainly wouldn't expect a teenager to do so. These kknds of things matter to them. And to many adults. It doesn't matter that it shouldn't matter or that nothing terrible will happen etc. It makes many, esp younger people, less confident and awkward which stops them enjoying the event as much.

BartonHollow Sun 24-Feb-19 15:21:48

I once got sneered at age 12 for wearing the same outfit on non uniform day that I'd worn before on a previous one.

I understand it's a bothersome expense but if you're thinking it won't be noticed or matter it will and some nasty madam will make a comment

Elodiesflower Sun 24-Feb-19 15:23:57

All I can think of whilst reading this is that episode of the Simpsons where Marge finds the designer dress and wears it repeatedly making minor adjustments along the way.

I’d buy her 2 formal outifts and 4 dresses. Loads cheap on eBay

Rubusfruticosus Sun 24-Feb-19 15:26:41

Would you wear the same dress to four weddings that all your friends will be at every time? I would, if I'd found something I loved I'd wear it to every suitable occasion, why not?

Sanguineclamp Sun 24-Feb-19 15:30:12

Second hand can be great if you have a fairly standard figure. Otherwise it can be difficult. And I think you could probably buy a high street dress and accessorize it cheaper than hiring something nowadays.

A reasonable compromise would be, if possible, to buy one other outfit so she can alternate. And buy smart separates so it's multi-functional for other occasions.

EastEndQueen Sun 24-Feb-19 15:32:49

I second all the suggestions of two or three options with accessory options and looking on eBay. I remember Bat mitzvah year at school and there is lot of focus on outfits, which I imagine has only for more with social media now.

Does she have an allowance or earn chore money? My mother used to do a thing once we were in our teens where we could do extra chores (silver polishing, car washing, sorting out cupboards, spring cleaning type stuff and also doing things for neighbours/ close family friends) for clothes money and she would double whatever we earnt. We got our ‘standard’ clothes bought for us but this allowed us to get things like this

Believability Sun 24-Feb-19 15:34:26

She doesn’t need formal for either. A skirt and top and trainers are fine for services. boohoo is your friend for the parties, get her a couple of jumpsuits or play suits and a pair of trainers, she will know what all the girls are wearing.

The batmitzvah girl will be in full on sparkles, the other girls will be in cheap and cheerful

Believability Sun 24-Feb-19 15:43:00

Trust me you want something like this with trainers

Again with trainers

DS has worn this one to death

Believability Sun 24-Feb-19 15:43:57

A skater dress and denim jacket or cardigan is fine for services

Yabbers Sun 24-Feb-19 15:43:56

It doesn't matter that it shouldn't matter or that nothing terrible will happen etc. It makes many, esp younger people, less confident and awkward which stops them enjoying the event as much.

It does matter that it shouldn't happen. We are supposed to be raising our girls to be confident, independent people but we keep saying it's ok to buy into and pander to the mean girl culture. That it's ok to do something just because others might think something bad. It's all over MN that we shouldn't let our partners dictate what we wear, because it's abusive and controlling, but it's entirely acceptable to say teen girls should conform to norms in society because what would our friends say if we didn't? They must have just the right hair, nails, shoes, clothes, make up or the mean girls will be mean to them. What's that teaching our girls?

Something terrible will happen. There will be yet another chip, chip, chip away at a girl's confidence to wear what she wants to wear because of fear of what others might say. And all the while the mountain of clothes barely used and sent to waste, grows and precious resource wasted in making more.

Teaching a child to be confident in their own choices is by far the best lesson you can give them.

SpoonBlender Sun 24-Feb-19 15:46:20

The whole "must have a different dress or be judged" has always worked very well for me to reveal the sort of shallow-minded nitwits who I will never give any sort of shit about. It's utter nonsense, and a horrible sexist attitude that no-one should encourage. You don't see boys being judged for wearing the same suit twice.

manicinsomniac Sun 24-Feb-19 16:39:33

Buy yabbers that argument is only a concern if you think that ppl want different outfits for special events because they think they'll be laughed at if they don't. I'm sure that's a reason for some but it won't be the only or most common one. People like wearing new and different things. It makes them feel good, adds to a sense of occasion, makes it more fun etc.

There are many things we could keep the same without harm that many prefer to change. Many people dont want to eat the same dinner more than twice a week, go to the same bar or restaurant each time they go out or go on holiday to the same place four times either. It wouldn't do them any harm to do so but it doesn't hurt to have variety either.

And image and identity is important to many. Not just because of what others think but because of how it makes them express themselves and feel about themselves too. People who are happy to wear the same outfit to every formal occasion aren't worse people than others and shouldn't be teased or belittled. But they aren't better people whose choices need encouraging either.

Yabbers Sun 24-Feb-19 16:53:27

ppl want different outfits for special events because they think they'll be laughed at if they don't.

@manicinsomniac Sorry, there was a slight typo which may have led to a misunderstanding. My first line should have been "it does matter if it shouldn't matter"

If someone wants to wear a different outfit because they like to buy new stuff, that's fine (albeit, still wasteful if outfits are left barely worn).

But the OP and others are talking about the stigma of doing so which is quite a different issue.

bigcomfypants Sun 24-Feb-19 16:56:30

DD wore the same outfit for 7 BM's in a year. And yes, I have been wearing the same dress to every wedding for the last 10 years. Its bullshit.
This man wore the same suit for a year and no one noticed:

SchadenfreudePersonified Sun 24-Feb-19 19:17:28


That first wine red and the last royal blue playsuit are lovely - makes me with I was thirteen again (and I never thought I'd say that! grin)

sashh Mon 25-Feb-19 07:59:19

Another idea, what about getting a couple of her friends together, go out shopping with them and parents. Each gets two outfits but they lend to each other for the different parties?

Interested how many people insist they would never wear a dress to more than one event, would also go to a charity shop to buy a wedding outfit.

I would and have. When I lived in Oxford I got ball gowns from charity or second hand shops.

The last wedding I went to my outfit was from ebay as was the dress I wore for the last Christening I went to.

As I'm 50+ the 'mother of the bride' section on ebay is my go to for formal clothing.

Often the outfit has been worn once and dry cleaned so good as new.

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