How’s the fashion in Israel? What is the most common style for work or school?
It’s time to discuss the big question of “what do Israelis like (and hate) to wear?”
Let’s start off by saying that Israelis tend to wear “whatever they want” (especially in Tel Aviv) and due to the diversity of the people, their origin and their lifestyle, there is a lot of variety and you’ll see all different styles and colors.
We are all affected by globalization- so you will see a lot of people wearing American/European style clothing and brands. From H&M to Mango, Zara, American Eagle and even a few Gap stores, we have some international brands that you can find in the US. Most of them, however, tend to be a bit more pricey than what you’d expect to pay in the same store in an American or European branch.
In addition to international brands, we proudly wear local brands such as Castro, Renuar, Honigman (more sophisticated, pricier options) as well as S. Wear (where you can find expensive but really comfortable athletic clothing) and Tamnoon and Fox (which carry more affordable, stylish and young styles). Even though these are our local Israeli brands, I think you will notice that they are really affected by world trends in fashion.
It’s all about the JEANS:
Both Israeli men and women love their jeans and they wear there anywhere from work, to the club, to a wedding! There’s even a baby brand for jeans called Jeansy!
You will hardly see any Israeli walking around in a full suit. If you do- you can probably guess quite safely that the person you saw was – a politician (maybe our prime minister?), a lawyer or a bridegroom. People who work in most offices tend to dress in a business casual style, suitpants and a nice shirt (usually without a tie) or a even a buttoned up shirt with dark jeans. Women usually wear pants, jeans or a skirt with a nice shirt or a dress.
Here's an interesting article on this topic called "How Israeli Men Came to Hate Suits, and Why That's Not About to Change: Despite repeated efforts to instill Western ways in Israel, the country never really embraced a dress code and has stubbornly remained a land of flip-flops and shorts."
Going all out:
Night-life in Haifa is quite relaxed and laid back. People mostly wear comfortable clothes that are dressy but not flashy. A nice shirt with a skirt or jeans and pumps will make a great outfit for any bar/club and for guys – jeans with a nice t-shirt for bars or a buttoned up shirt for fancier places would work!
What’s cool for school?
Israeli students wear almost anything for school. A t-shirt, jeans and sneakers would do the job well! all shoes are acceptable, including Birkenstocks or flip-flops.
Cultural and religious aspects of fashion:
beyond what is in style, some aspects of clothing have to do with religious values or cultural norms. The Israeli society is composed of many different cultures and religions, some of which have very specific standards of clothing while others have guidelines that are more general. When you go to visit local sites or religious communities, it might be a good idea to ask in advance if there are any expectations regarding clothing. Religious or holy sites require special attention to modesty in clothing for both men and women (avoid sleeveless or revealing tops, pants or skirts shorter than knee-length, at times head-covers, flip-flops). With that being said, in most locations you will visit, most outfits that are acceptable in Europe or in the US, are acceptable in Israel (short shorts or skirts, tank tops, etc.).