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Is a man allowed to wear a "dog tag" type of thing? Is it beged eesha?

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Why do you think this would be seen as women's clothing? Are you likening it to a necklace? – Monica Cellio Dec 21 '11 at 16:34
I think the bigger question is "can women wear them?" – Double AA Dec 22 '11 at 5:50
See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12659 – msh210 Jan 2 '12 at 18:04

Most forms of "beged isha" (the prohibition on men wearing women's clothing) all depend on a given society's norms of what's called "men's clothing" vs "women's clothing." (E.g. a kilt is okay in places where men wear them!) While certain actions or categories may be objectively off-limits as "beged isha", I've never heard anything about a necklace-like thing being one of them. (Didn't people use to wear money pouches around their necks? Or better yet, in the Gemara they had amulets that you wore around your neck -- for men or women.) If armies have been using dog tags for all their men for (how long has it been?), it's hard to call this a "feminine practice."

Even if it were, I don't recall the sources but the conclusion on this topic I always heard was that if it's still clear that you're a man, to wear one item of women's clothing for some functional reason (non-decorative) is permissible -- e.g. stuck when it's pouring and all you have is a woman's rainhat, yet no one will mistake you for a woman; Rabbi Frand gives the example of a bearded man in a normal suit, wearing a sheitel just for the sake of Purim silliness. The same should apply here.

But as always, ask your rabbi.

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i agree with shalom. if a man wears woman's clothing people will see that as abnormal behavior. unless you wear it in places men do were beged esha. – my rebbi's talmid Apr 26 '10 at 3:36
I understood beged isha as being based on the intent of the manufacturer. If the manufacturer intended clothing to be uni-sex, then it was. If not, then you'd go by who the clothes were marketed to. – Bruce James Mar 20 '13 at 16:33

"Dog tags" are worn primarily, and until recently almost exclusively, by men. It would be very difficult to justify labeling them a womens garment.

A more likely problem is that when one wears them outside of their intended purpose, i.e. as a style rather than to to identify a soldier, it may be similar to wearing a sword which may present a problem of Chukas Hagoy.

Regarding the leniency of some permitting a single garment many poskim disagree and many/most illustrate the prohibition by cases where the person is not entirely dressed as the opposite gender. I would remind people that this is an issur d'Oraisa and not to be quick to follow lenient opinions without consulting their Rav.

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For more on Chukas HaGoy, see mi.yodeya.com/questions/535/what-makes-something-chukat-goyim – Shalom Apr 26 '10 at 14:12
This shouldn't be an issue of chukat goyim, as the Jewish army also uses dog-tags. zahal.org/groups/military-army-dog-tags – avi Jan 2 '12 at 18:21
The jewish army also used swords. – Yirmeyahu Jan 3 '12 at 3:45

it's neither bege ish or beged isha. dog tags are primarily used as an identifier in the military and have no gender attached to them any more than a name tag does. The only difference between a name tag and dog tags are the material (metal to be more durable) and the additional information of blood type and identification number.

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A name tag could have an associated gender, depending on how it's designed – Double AA May 26 '14 at 22:00
I was in the military and it is a standard issued item for both genders. furthermore it isn't clothing at all but an an identifier. Saying that a dog tag is specific to a gender is like saying an driving license or state id is inherently specific to one gender – Dude Nov 3 '15 at 4:49

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