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A braita cited authoritatively in the Talmud (Menachoth 40b-41a) seems to be pretty explicit that only a garment sufficient to cover a majority of a child is obligated in tzitzith:

טלית שהקטן מתכסה בו ראשו ורובו והגדול יוצא בה דרך עראי חייבת בציצית אין הקטן מתכסה בו ראשו ורובו אע"פ שהגדול יוצא בה עראי פטורה

A cloak with which a minor can cover his head and majority (of his body) and an adult would go out in it occasionally is obligated in tzitzith. If the minor can not cover his head and majority with it, even though an adult would occasionally go out in it, it is exempt.

Nonetheless, the Arokh HaShulchan (OC 16:5) attempts to defend a prevalent lenient practice regarding wearing small garments with tzitzit, even in reshut harabim (public domain) on Shabbath, which had previously been decried as a desecration of Shabbath, by arguing that any sized garment is obligated in tzitzith:

טלית קטן שתחת הבגדים אינה צריכה שיעור כלל, דאם רק יש בו ארבע כנפות – חייב בציצית

... A tallit katan worn under the clothes does not require any (minimum) measurement at all, for if it has four corners - it is obligated in tzitzith.

(See also op. cit. OC 8:4 and 10:20) Does this mean that the practice at the time was indeed to append tzitzith to every size of garment - e.g. scarves, neckties, etc? Wouldn't it be a tarti d'satri (contradiction) for a person to be wearing a small tallit simultaneously with - e.g. a scarf? Similarly, nowadays, if someone is wearing a less-than-shiur tallith katan (e.g. an adolescent), does that mean he must be relying on the Arokh HaShulchan and should not also wear a necktie?

  • "Does this mean that the practice at the time was indeed to append tzitzith to every size of garment - e.g. scarves, neckties, etc?" Why did you tag this halacha when you seem to be asking a (rather trivial) history question? – Double AA Jun 8 '17 at 18:41
  • "any sized garment is obligated in tzitzith" Perhaps include the relevant quote (it's obviously not the one you already quoted which just discusses "a tallit katan worn under the clothes")? I don't think that's an accurate representation of his position. – Double AA Jun 8 '17 at 18:42
  • I feel like you aren't even reading the Arukh haShulchan... Did you even read the whole paragraph you cite? Or did you just hear that he says to put tzitzit on a napkin and start asking ranty questions trying to make a point that that position is crazy? – Double AA Jun 8 '17 at 18:56
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    @DoubleAA If you have an alternate explanation of his words, that might be an answer. – Loewian Jun 8 '17 at 18:56
  • @DoubleAA Are you arguing a that his distinction is between inner and outer garments? Accordingly, if one were to wear his tallit katan on the outside, the Arokh HaShulchan would require a shiur? And foot wraps might require tzitzith? – Loewian Jun 8 '17 at 18:59

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