Beautiful Bat Mitzvah Dresses for Girls, Moms, & Guests
Who doesn’t want to look good and feel their best on their big day? Finding the right dress is always a priority; but, it’s not always easy to find Bat Mitzvah dresses for a variety of reasons. I think it’s safe to say that at 12/13 years old, many girls are in that phase of life where they don’t necessarily want to shop in the big girls section of the department store, but they are also not quite able to fit into the junior’s or women’s section. So, we need to look at a variety of stores to find the perfect dress including upscale boutiques, the junior section, and stores that sell dresses in smaller sizes like a 00.
There are a few other considerations to keep in mind when shopping for Bat Mitzvah dresses. Seasonality actually plays a big role in finding a dress. March and April is a great time to shop for dresses because stores are putting out their inventory for Prom and wedding season.
Does your synagogue allow you to have your shoulders exposed? If you plan to wear the same outfit to the service and party, you need to either find a dress that is conservative enough to wear to both, or find a matching cardigan to wear during the service that can be taken off for the party. You also want to make sure that you have all of the proper undergarments for the outfits.
Finally, one of the best ways to look your very best is to have the Bat Mitzvah dress tailored. It’s a nominal increase in price, and you will feel so much more confident when the dress looks like it was made for you because of its perfect fit. If you don’t already have a tailor you trust, I would ask around for a referral from friends or write a message in neighborhood groups/apps. Some stores — especially the more high-end department stores — offer free alterations on occasion dresses, so be sure to check if that option is available to you while purchasing.
With all that said, let’s get into some of the best Bat Mitzvah dress options.
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I never shopped at Express until I discovered their dress selection in my mid-20s. I had lots of friend’s weddings to attend and ultimately, all of my favorites were from Express. Not only do the Express dresses fit amazingly well, but they are very elegant and beautiful. Express isn’t cheap, but they have incredible sales where you can get dresses discounted for up to 40% the sale price. They have size 00, so it’s perfect for Bat Mitzvah girls who can only fit into the smallest women’s sizes. And, Express is also a great place for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah guests to shop too!
You may return the items to a store up to 60 days from the purchase date or 30 days after your local store reopens, whichever is later. If you prefer to return your online order via mail, you may do so for up to 90 days after purchase. This policy will remain in effect until December 31, 2020 and excludes Final Clearance and Marketplace items.
I actually got my Bat Mitzvah dress at Windsor many years ago. The pro with Windsor is that the store has an extremely large selection of dresses; however, you really do have to sort through the selection because the majority would be entirely unacceptable to wear at a Bat Mitzvah. That being said, it’s entirely possible to find a real winner of a dress at Windsor. I had to have a seamstress alter my dress to fit, but the sizes are geared for tweens/teens, so the alterations are feasible. Because Windsor is so affordable, it is also a great place to find Bat Mitzvah dresses for guests.
-30 days from the original purchase ship date.
-Special Occasion and Formal Dresses (marked with a purple Special Occasion tag) can be returned within 14 days from the original purchase ship date.
-Items listed as FINAL SALE/CLEARANCE or PROMOTIONAL cannot be returned.
-Plus size merchandise must be returned to the online store ONLY and may not be returned to a Windsor retail store.
Frankie’s On the Park & Un Deux Trois
Both of these upscale, small boutiques cater more specifically to special occasion dresses for girls. The dresses are pricey, but beautiful and classy. If your child is petite and cannot fit into junior’s dresses or if you come from a more conservative background, then I highly recommend looking at the online selection of scheduling an appointment in-store.
Frankie’s On the Park: Returns will be accepted within 14 days of original purchase and credit will be given in the original form of payment.
Un Deux Trois: To receive a full refund, items must arrive at our returns department within 30 days from the day your order arrived at the designated shipping location on the order form. All orders returned after that period will be subject to a store credit. Sale items are exchange only and special orders are final sale: no exchanges, no returns, no exceptions.
Best Department Stores for Bat Mitzvah Dresses
Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
In a perfect world, Nordstrom would be one of the best places to shop for Bat Mitzvah dresses. It certainly is for the Bat Mitzvah girl’s family. The store has an incredibly generous return policy which is what makes it more desirable to shop here than at other department stores who may have similar dress selections. But Nordstrom’s Juniors Department (B.P.) has never been known for having a large assortment of party dresses. If you are having a luncheon after the Bat Mitzvah service, I think you will have a good chance of finding the perfect dress as the merchandise tends to skew more casual in the B.P department. However, there are typically only a couple of cocktail dresses in B.P. per season. Be sure to check out some of Nordstrom’s designer brands that make a size 00 like Dress the Population, Speechless, and La Femme.
Nordstrom Rack is my all-time favorite store, so I had to include it in the Bat Mitzvah dresses roundup. The selection will be hit-and-miss depending on the time of year, but you might be able to find a beautiful Bat Mitzvah dress at an affordable price point.
Nordstrom: We have long believed that when we treat our customers fairly, they in turn are fair with us. Returns are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Refunds are applied to the tender with which returned items were purchased. Some special-occasion dresses and some designer items have tags that say if the tag is removed the garment cannot be returned.
Nordstrom Rack: Returns on eligible items are accepted within 45 days of original purchase. During the holiday season, there is an extended window for returns.
Macy’s has quite a large juniors section with a big selection of cocktail party and occasion dresses which makes it a great place to shop for Bat Mitzvah dresses. Macy’s also differentiates itself from other department stores as it has great sales relatively frequently, so there is a good chance you just might get a fantastic deal on the dress.
Return Policy: Macy’s accepts most returns by mail and in stores within 90 days of purchase, but dresses need to be returned within 60 days of purchase. During the holiday season, there is an extended window for returns.
Dresses for Bar/Bat Mitzvah Moms and Family
Bloomingdales has a larger dress department than Nordstrom, so it is absolutely worth it to check out the various collections. It might be better for the mother of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah though because Bloomingdales doesn’t have a dedicated junior’s section. They do have a loyalty rewards program and more frequent sales than Nordstrom. And, the return policy at Bloomingdales might not be as good as the one at Nordstrom, but a year is plenty of time to decide if the dress is the one or not.
Return Policy: You’ll have 365 days to return most Bloomingdale’s purchases for a refund, as long as your purchase is still in saleable condition. Returns within 90 days of purchase will be refunded to the original form of payment. Returns within 91-365 days of purchase will be issued a merchandise credit only. The Final Offer items must be returned within 30 days of the purchase date. Dresses with a b-tag cannot be returned if the b-tag is removed.
Saks Fifth Avenue & Saks Off 5th
Along with the above department stores, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are great for mothers of Bar/Bat Mitzvah and close family members to shop for Bat Mitzvah dresses. These ultra luxury department stores don’t have great selections for girls, but they do have gorgeous options for adults. Both stores also have their second concept stores with steep discounts on designer items.
Saks Fifth Avenue: Returns are eligible for a full refund if returned within 30 days with a receipt. During the holiday season, there is an extended window for returns.
Saks Off 5th: Items can only be returned within 30 days of the date of purchase and when accompanied by proof of purchase. Certain items are not returnable and are designated as Final Sale on the item’s product page and on the packing slip.
Neiman Marcus & Last Call
Neiman Marcus and Last Call: Returns are accepted within 30 days of receipt. During the holiday season, there is an extended window for returns.
Best E-Commerce Websites for Bat Mitzvah Dresses
There are lots of e-commerce websites that sell cocktail and occasion dresses. Depending on the website, you might want to be aware of the quality of the item by reading reviews. These stores are also a great place to find dresses for the Bat Mitzvah guests Here is a list of online options:
If you want to wear a designer dress, but don’t want to pay designer prices, Rent the Runway is a solid option. You can find stunningly beautiful dresses at reasonable price points and since you probably won’t wear your Bat Mitzvah dress a second time, it completely makes sense to rent. Since you cannot get alterations done on a dress from Rent the Runway, I would recommend looking to see if you can try on the dress at a department store before renting. That way you will know if the dress will ultimately fit properly.
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Check out the rest of my posts for more B’nai Mitzvah content!