Women's Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah Dresses for Parties, Synagogue, Temple

Planning a great bar bat mitzvah weekend wardrobe takes forethought and strategic planning but it should be a snap with these time- and battle-tested tips for looking and feeling great all weekend long.

1. Think strategically about your outfit if you plan to head straight from the synagogue to the party. Remember you need to look dignified at the temple then, with nary a moment for a wardrobe change, morph into a stylish hostess.

Your best bet is to find a dress that's polished and fabulous enough for the celebration but falls near, at or below the knees so you'll feel appropriate in synagogue. Then top it with an elegant, tailored jacket or dressy, "important" sweater you can whisk off once the party begins. The two don't need to be by the same designer; they simply need to work together in terms of palette and silhouette. Of course, be sure to pick a dress whose sleeves will slip easily into the arms of your jacket.

If you've been channeling Chanel (as in Coco Chanel's classic two-piece suits), our advice is to skip it when your big dance party/luncheon immediately follows your service. Yes, you'll get high marks for looking dignified and co-ordinated but come the party, by the 15th round of the Hora, you may start to broil -- especially if you're pre-menopausal! -- with no way to cool off. (Actually, we know a mom who did find a way. Dancing in her lovely two-piece suit got her so overheated, she had to run to the ladies room to literally and figuratively chill out. Luckily, none of the guests suspected their hostess was standing, locked in a bathroom stall, wearing nothing but her skirt and bra!) Far better is to wear the two-piecer on Friday night or a Saturday service followed by a sedate kiddush luncheon. That said, if you do opt for the Coco Chanel look for your afternoon dance-a-thon, be sure to underlayer it with a blouse or silk shell that doesn't look too office-y when you remove the jacket. Make sure the undergarment is either long enough that it won't need to be retucked after each dance or looks great when worn over your skirt.