I mighta been dressed up like this for any number of reasons. But there's only one reason I can think of that Howie would be so dressed up, with a hat, no less--the high holidays. New Year's.
Rosh hashanah begins the high holidays. Two days. Yom Kippur ends the holidays and begins the new year.
My parents weren't very religious, but you didn't mess with Yom Kippur. The day of atonement. You had to observe this day or you wouldn't get your name written in the book for next year. What book? I was never clear on this.
All Jewish holidays are sundown to sundown. From the beginning of Yom Kippur to the end, you fast. This includes water, unless you have to take a pill. Medication is allowed. My grandparents spent ALL DAY in temple. ALL DAY.
Everybody had new outfits or wore their best conservative clothes. There's no money on sabbath or holidays. Also no riding. So people walked everywhere. No work either.
When I was little, I wanted to participate. Even my father went to temple. This was important. I wanted to fast. Too young. When I was a teenager and was old enought to fast, I did. Of course, I met with my friends, and all we talked about was our new outfits and whether we were fasting. Hungry? Yeah, I could eat.
We always broke the fast at my grandparents' place (mother's parents). No big meals. My grandmother wasn't cooking. She was in temple. Also no work allowed. These were light meals that could be prepared ahead of time. Pickled herring. Smoked white fish. Smoked sturgeon. Salads. Delish.
I don't follow any religion although I am certainly culturally Jewish. But even I still consider Yom Kippur to be a special day. I don't fast, don't pray. But I use the day for reflection.