As Chanukah approaches, decorations come out and the songs of Chanukah performances fill the school halls. But as everyone awaits the latest Maccabeat hit, there’s another Chanukah trend taking the fashion world by storm. Party City and Target have been carrying Chanukah-patterned wrapping paper and decorations for years, but clothing has been harder to locate, leaving many to pay top dollar for the rare find. Over the past few years, however, Chanukah clothing has been popping up at major retailers. Whether it’s a baby onesie from Buy Buy Baby, (“I Love You a Latke”), or a knitted sweater that lights up, everyone can now wear their favorite holiday.
This trend has not gone unnoticed by those in the fashion know. Stylist Betty Gulko commented that part of this trend is an indication of greater acceptance of diversity. “Chanukah is now a part of America,” she said. As social and family circles expand, fashion looks to cater to that as well. “This fuels the need to have both holidays or shared holidays during this time of year. So, more people are looking for something that can be funny or not so serious but still sharing that faith.”
Some apparel is overtly Chanukah themed, some items are clever wordplay and some are downright edgy (read: inappropriate), but The Fashion Link is here to help outfit everyone in the family with the Chanukah apparel of their choice.
This year, Target had their version of an ugly Chanukah sweater, complete with battery operated candle lights. In addition to the sweater, they had a velour jumpsuit in ladies sizes. They also made coordinating pajamas for the whole family to match. Don’t forget about the kids—menorah T-shirts were available for them, as well as dreidel-spinning dinosaurs. Walmart and J. C. Penney boasted many Chanukah items online as well.
Zulily sold novelty shirts with catchy phrases for men, women and children, with some shirts funny and clever, and other shirts somewhat questionable in their taste.
Carter’s stores also carry themed baby onesies and outfits, with one sporting a dreidel on the bottom of the pants.
Nordstrom also carried designer Chanukah duds, from menorah socks to Star of David silver necklaces and high-end T-shirts.
Etsy (www.Etsy.com) had a wide variety of small-business Chanukah gear. Not only did they carry cute shirts and sweaters, but they also had Chanukah leggings, baby bibs, scrunchies, hair ties and mens’ ties. Anyone in the market for dreidel earrings? Or menorah accessories? Etsy had many choices in that department for all different jewelry styles, including boho and chic.
Though readers often express concern about the lack of fashion features geared toward men, for guys who want to join in, many of the stores mentioned carried items to help outfit their Chanukah wardrobe. Etsy carried menorah cufflinks and Chanukah ties; Target and J. C. Penney carried men’s pajamas and ModernTribe.com had quite the selection of men’s ugly Chanukah sweaters. For the guys who prefer less overt themes, Emporio Fashion in Teaneck came to the rescue. Their doughnut cufflinks were the perfect complement to any Chanukah wardrobe, and could be worn to business meetings and holiday parties, even on Shabbat.
Gulko added, “Saying funny things from other cultures, Jewish cultures included, has also become its own trend. So well-known Jewish phrases like ‘l’chaim’ and ‘mazel tov’ tend to roll off the tongue in many settings.” This has expanded to include Jewish phrases on clothing (think of the Chanukah shirts that say, “Happy Challah Days” or “Oy to the World”).
For fashion-savvy Jewish Link readers, good luck with the shopping, and if you haven’t found the perfect outfit, well, there’s always next year. When you find that perfect dreidel T-shirt, tell friends that “This is how we roll.” Get it?
Happy Chanukah and enjoy those “eight crazy nights.”
By Jenny Gans