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The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing.

  1. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm?

  2. If #1 is a problem, are any distinctions made that would allow a woman to wear her husband’s coat while her husband is with her?

  • 3
    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/22765 – Fred Dec 23 '14 at 1:28
  • 2
    See Taz (YD 182:4), who permits a woman to wear a man's clothing due to the cold or the elements, and writes, "This appears obvious to me." – Fred Dec 23 '14 at 1:32
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    Gavriel Is the coat distinctively men's or is it just a labeled that way but looks about the same? – Double AA Dec 23 '14 at 3:44
  • @Double AA is this a dupe? – Seth J Dec 23 '14 at 16:09
  • @DoubleAA It's clearly a mens coat. – Gavriel Dec 23 '14 at 17:19
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From Rav Aviner's tshuvot (text)

Wearing Wife's Jacket in the Cold

Q: Is it permissible for a husband to wear his wife's jacket if he is cold, or is it forbidden on account of "Lo Yilbash" (the prohibition of cross-dressing)? And what about visa-versa?

A: It is permissible, since the purpose is not to wear it but simply to warm up (Shut Yabia Omer 6:14).

  • It's a long tshuva but has a lot of interesting halachos about shmoles beged isha – sam Dec 23 '14 at 16:12
  • This is not germane to the discussion but I wonder whether quoting Rav Aviner or just simply the Shut Yabia Omer would make a batter answer. – Gavriel Dec 23 '14 at 18:50
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    @Gavriel citing R' Aviner shows one more opinion that held that position was conclusive. – Y     e     z Dec 23 '14 at 19:11
  • I edited this answer, assuming this was a direct quote. If I'm wrong, fix it, by all means. (+1) – Shokhet Dec 23 '14 at 19:54
5

The prohibition comes from Devarim 22:5, for which Rashi provides commentary as follows. Please click on the image to view "full screen" mode.

Devarim 22:5

Rashi is citing from the relevant section of the Babylonian Talmud (b. Nazir 8:1a, II.4.E [Folio 59A]), which appears as follows. Please click on the image to view "full screen" mode.

Babylonian Talmud, Nazir 8:1a

The yellow highlighted area indicates that the intent is the issue in addition to the concomitant public perception. Is there apparent intent for the woman to dress like a man, or a man like a woman?

This citation from the Talmud is also interesting because the stipulation includes that women cannot be soldiers (please note last paragraph where Jacob Neuser mistranslated the word "wore," which should be "war").

REFERENCE:
Neusner, Jacob (2011). The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, pp. 222-223.

  • "A man should not wear woman's makeup" -- what about actors? Or do all of these basically mean "don't cross-dress"? – galois Nov 18 '16 at 14:28

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