Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Some chassidic shirts are basically identical to women's dress shirts, save for the bust shape, i.e. they button right-over-left.

Would a female wearing the former be transgressing the prohibition on cross-dressing, due to the garment being manufactured and sold specifically for Jewish men?

Chassidic shirt

Warning: Female bust shape below! Hover to reveal.

Women's shirt

share|improve this question
I've always wondered whether the reverse was true, if men wearing clothing made according to the chassidic buttoning style violated the same commandment. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 27 '14 at 18:42
@NoachmiFrankfurt How would that be? Is buttoning-direction a universal or a Jewish principle? If so, it hasn't always been. – Adám Aug 27 '14 at 18:58
@NBZ Is this a piece of clothing meant for men, or a piece of clothing meant for women? ....if it's meant for men, I would include it in the prohibition; if not, not. Why should it matter if it involves a feature that used to be only for women? [for example, would it be forbidden for a man to wear a woman's suit with pants? Those used to be only worn by men....but this one was made for women] ( no source no answer ) – Shokhet Aug 28 '14 at 3:22
@NBZ I haven't tried, but I'm told by friends who have that women's pants can also fit either gender. – Shokhet Aug 28 '14 at 19:28
Why is the picture of the women's shirt hidden in a spoiler? – Scimonster Jan 25 '15 at 18:27

Regarding the general rules about women wearing men's clothing, from Halachos for Monday, May 6, 2013 in this article:

1) A woman may not wear men's clothing, including men's pants and men's hats, as doing so is a biblical prohibition of "Lo Yihyeh Kli Gever Al Isha, a man's clothing shall not be on a woman" (Devarim 2:5.)

This prohibition extends to any action done by a woman to make her look like a man, including shaving in a masculine manner.(See Rashi ibid. and Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 182:5)

2) Some Poskim rule that the prohibition is only in place when done for the express purpose of looking like a man, but if wearing a man's garment for protection from the sun, rain or other elements it would be permitted.(Taz on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman182 S"K 4)

However, other Poskim are stringent, and it is best for a woman to avoid men's clothing at all costs. (Ruling of the Bach quoted in Taz ibid.)

Item 2, above, states a leniency, in general.

Regarding the specifics of the shirt that you mention, I have to locate another article that I saw that deals with the specifics of shirts and pants. (It may have been written by someone from OU.) It states a general rule that clothes that have become the norm to be worn by both genders such as jeans, slacks and shirts do not pose a violation of this halacha. Of course, it assumes that the clothing being worn meet tzniut standards.

I will try to edit this answer once I can locate that source.

Somewhat aside - women who exercise wear gym shorts and sweats. I am assuming that since this is the norm for exercising, there is no violation, but, perhaps, the leniency is restricted only to exercising and not, e.g., grocery shopping?

share|improve this answer
The Bach doesn't say that. The Bach was only saying to avoid cross-dressing for Purim. – Fred Dec 23 '14 at 1:34
Note that the article quoted SINGLES OUT PANTS AND HATS, which are uniquely tailored for men. While it's true that, as noted, the bust of a woman means the shirts are usually tailored differently, one may argue that the subtle difference isn't significant enough - since both genders wear shirts - to "ban" wearing a shirt "not tailored for a woman." – Isaac Kotlicky Jun 25 '15 at 14:34

women may not wear men's clothing. this question is assuming a particular shirt is women's clothing. If it were to be women's clothing then women could wear it but since the question is based on a false premise then these shirts would stay remain male clothing and no women may not wear them.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.