Is there any printed discussion about a woman wearing her husband's comfortable clothing?

While there is an Isur for a woman to wear a man's clothing, I've read in several places that this is about a woman specifically trying to look like a man.

On the other hand, it is quite common in American society for women to wear the clothing of their husbands (or boyfriends), for reasons ranging from comfort to status symbols. The least appealing, from a religious perspective, is probably a girl or young woman wearing her boyfriend's clothing - jacket, sweatshirt, etc. - to show off that they are a romantic item.

What about a married woman wearing her husband's sweatshirt or sweatpants as sleepwear, or as loungewear around the house for warmth, or to exercise in because they are loose-fitting and comfortable - and not as revealing as standard women's fitness-wear?

  • I'm pretty sure HaRav Shelomo Aviner Shelit"a talks about this in his Sefer She'elat Shelomo (I don't have access to this Sefer). If anyone can look it up, I'm pretty sure he discusses this. Dec 13, 2012 at 18:50
  • I also rem seeing in Shu"t Rivevos Ephraim that pajama pants are fine when I get a chance I will look it up.
    – sam
    Dec 13, 2012 at 19:29
  • Does this halakha apply while in one's own home with no one around? Without looking into it, I had assumed this mattered only in public. Dec 13, 2012 at 20:30
  • @CharlesKoppelman, I think that a good answer to this question would necessarily answer that, at least via deduction.
    – Seth J
    Dec 13, 2012 at 20:33
  • 1
    I have heard from rabbis that wearing a man's suit jacket if the woman is cold is acceptable.
    – Ze'ev
    Jun 2, 2013 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


It's possible there are conflicting opinions, but I believe it is asur of lo yilbash if the husband's clothes are specifically men's clothes (e.g. his pants or suit), but not in cases of unisex clothing (e.g. a baseball hat or maybe certain t-shirts). Responsa Yaskil Avdi Yoreh Deah 20 says that k'li gever isn't violated unless the clothes is distinctly made for one gender.

Also I can't remember the exact source (it might be from the Gemara or a Rishon) but I think there was a rabbi who had a shawl that would be worn both by him and his wife, and the reason they were both allowed to wear the same thing was that it was gender-neutral clothing.

  • So the criterion is the intent of the manufacturer?
    – Double AA
    May 26, 2013 at 7:24
  • @DoubleAA the manufacturer doesn't matter as much as if it's socially considered men's or woman's clothing. The same pink t-shirt for example might have been considered woman's clothing in the 60's but today could be considered unisex.
    – Aaliyah
    May 27, 2013 at 2:29

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