Thank you for this service.
Is a black men’s sweater considered “beged ish” that a woman, would be forbidden to put it on?
What qualifies something as “beged ish”? if something that is worn by both men and women, like a sweater is found in the men’s section, does that automatically make it beged ish?
If we assume that a men’s sweater is beged ish for the purposes of the halacha and a woman would be forbidden to put it on lichatlicha, if a woman is uncomfortably cold and has no other sweater, would she be allowed to put it on, then to be warmer?
A beged ish is a garment that is identified as being specifically menswear, for instance a black suit.
If a garment is worn mainly by men, but sometimes by women, it will not be considered a beged ish. A standard sweater will not be a beged ish, because it is normal for women to wear it, too.
There is greater room for leniency where the garment is being worn for warmth, and not for show. However, a true beged ish should not be worn by a woman even for warmth.
The Bach and Taz (182:4), among others (see Avnei Tzedek, Yoreh De’ah 72), write that it is permitted to wear women’s clothing for purposes of warmth or for protection from the sun — but others are stringent in the matter (see Shach 7; Yad Ha-Ketanah p. 279).
The above-mentioned Avnei Tzedek relates specifically to clothes worn under other garments; see also Shut Shevet Ha-Levi 2:63 (Yoreh De’ah). The Minchas Yitzchak (2:108 sec. 3) is stringent on this issue.