How to Choose the RIGHT Bar Mitzvah Suit for a 13-Year-Old Boy (2019)

Your boy is about to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah… how exciting!

“Let’s raise a toast… L’chayim!”

Hold it there, chief! That’s not what the Torah means by “turning into an adult”. So please keep your boy away from the liquor cabinet for the next 8 years (or 5, depends where you live), m’kay?

What it does mean is that your boy is now subject to the Jewish commandments: he wears a Tallit, he puts on Tefillin every morning, he can participate in a Minyan… just like any Jewish man.

So what if your boy is still “in development”? So what if his voice is squeaky? So what if his facial hair is still nowhere to be found (that’ll come in due time, don’t worry)…

As far as the Torah is considered – your boy is now considered a Bar Mitzvah – which means he’s eligible to all of the rights and responsibilities as an adult… because he is an adult.

And as an adult – now’s the time to start dressing like one… now’s the time to get your boy a beautiful Bar Mitzvah suit – a suit that transforms a sweet “little boy” into a handsome young man!

But getting a suit isn’t the same as getting the right suit. Many parents wonder:

  • What suit should I get?
  • When should I get it?
  • How do I avoid a suit that’ll rip a hole in my wallet?

All fine questions… How about some answers?

Let’s go get em’!

Top Bar Mitzvah Suits

Spoiler Alert: For months now, I’ve been receiving emails from parents asking me what Bar Mitzvah suits I recommend.

My reply so far? “Don’t worry, I’ll write about it soon…”.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, “soon” has finally arrived!

I scoured through hundreds (!) of suits to find the top Bar Mitzvah suits your money can buy (AND leave you with change).

And as we always do here at Amen V’Amen – we gave awards to the very best ones!

Care for a glimpse?

Behold:

(for the full list, scroll down to Amen V’Amen’s Favorite Bar Mitzvah Suits)

Top Bar Mitzvah Suit Top Luxury Suit Top Budget Suit
Calvin Klein Boys 2 Piece Formal Suit SetCalvin Klein Boys 2-Piece Formal Suit SetLauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & PantsLauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & PantsBlack N Bianco Pinstripe Suit With Matching TieBlack N Bianco Pinstripe Suit With Matching Tie
Our Rating: Our Rating: Our Rating:
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Top Bar Mitzvah Suit
Calvin Klein Boys 2 Piece Formal Suit SetCalvin Klein Boys 2-Piece Formal Suit Set
Type: High Heel Bat Mitzvah ShoesOur Rating:
Get it Here
Top Luxury Suit
Lauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & PantsLauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & Pants
Type: Low Heel Bat Mitzvah ShoesOur Rating:
Get it Here
Top Budget Suit
Black N Bianco Pinstripe Suit With Matching TieBlack N Bianco Pinstripe Suit With Matching Tie
Type: Flat Bat Mitzvah ShoesOur Rating:
Get it Here

How to Choose a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Suit

Before you hit that “Buy Now” button (or swipe that credit card) – there are a few things you have to know you should keep in mind…

On a budget? Skip the big brands!

Bar Bat Mitzvah On A Budget
Image by Balloon Artistry

We human beings have a flaw: we judge the value of a product based on its price, not necessarily by its quality. The more it costs, the more value it has in our minds.

Luxury brands are well aware of that fact – so they’ll often bump up their price to make us believe their product is worth more than it is. This method is also known as value-based pricing.

We see a high-priced product, and we immediately think: “Oh, look how expensive this is… this must mean it’s amazing! I better start saving up…”

In other words: products aren’t necessarily more expensive because they’re better than others. more often than not – we believe that certain products are better because they’re more expensive.

When you buy a suit from a luxury fashion brand (think Hugo Boss, Gucci, Burberry, and others), you’re not paying a premium because the quality is necessarily better than cheaper alternatives. You’re paying a premium because it belongs to a premium brand.

So, ask yourself:

What are you interested in buying?

  • a great brand?
  • or a great suit?

If all you care about is the quality of the suit, and you couldn’t care less what logo is printed on it – there’s no reason you should pay extra.

If the suit looks good, fits well and your son likes it – congratulations… you just got your boy a brand new Bar Mitzvah suit and saved some money in the process.

Now that’s how you stick to a budget!

Let your boy choose his suit

Bar Mitzvah Party
Original image by Laura Cohn

Sounds self-evident, right? I mean, what other choice is there?

Well, you’ll be surprised, my friend.

Too many parents impose their tastes on their kids, rather than letting the boy choose the suit he likes best.

Don’t get me wrong – you should definitely help him choose a Bar Mitzvah suit: offer suggestions, share your advice, tell him what looks good on him and what doesn’t…

But at the end of the day – let him decide what suit to wear on his big day (as long as it’s respectful and reasonably priced).

Becoming a Bar Mitzvah is all about taking ownership and responsibility for your decisions. Now’s the time to start practicing!

Ignore Trends

Pharaoh Costume For Kids

Let’s be honest: most boys these days are too busy playing with their mobile devices to even care about the latest men’s fashion trends. Plus, they’re a little too young to be reading GQ Men’s magazine, anyway.

So what do I mean by “ignore trends”?

Well, it’s not the boys I’m worried about. It’s the parents!

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for staying up-to-date and wearing what’s in fashion…

The problem with trends is that many (read: most) of them don’t stand the test of time. Just like reality TV shows – most trends get their “15 minutes of fame” – until they lose the spotlight to the newest trend on the block.

Now… imagine if your boy chooses a suit that’s a little “out there”, but hey – it’s the flavor of the month, so why the hell not!

Fast-forward 20 years from now – your all-grown-up son is looking at pictures from his Bar Mitzvah… and he’s mortified. He turns to the older, wiser you and asks:

“What the hell were you thinking? How could you let me wear that ‘thing’?”

Bottom line is: while we can’t predict the future… we can prevent an unwelcomed one.

Stick to an elegant, timeless Bar Mitzvah suit. Your boy will thank you (or at least not hate you) for it.

Ignore the Joneses (or the Cohens)

“But Mom! How come David got a nicer suit and I get this piece of ****”

First of all, tell your kid to watch his mouth!

Second, don’t fall for the guilt-trip… it’s a trap (trip-trap, get it?).

You see, kids know their parents love them. They know they’ll do anything to make them happy (especially on their Bar Mitzvah) – no matter how unreasonable the request…

And they’re right!

“Sure, honey, you want me to fork over hundreds of dollars on an expensive Italian suit we can’t afford, just so you can save face with David (and his douchy parents)? No problem!”

Errrr. Bad answer!

The problem with caving into one unreasonable request – is that it’s rarely the last unreasonable request…

If you don’t set clear boundaries from the getgo, you’ll soon find your Bar Mitzvah costs looming as you swipe your credit card left and right.

And if that happens – you can kiss your budget goodbye! You’ll max out your credit cards before you even got a chance to send out Bar Mitzvah invitations.

“Keep Looking, Don’t Settle”

Keep Looking Dont Settle

This is a great quote from the late Steve Jobs… and it also applies when choosing your son’s Bar Mitzvah Suit.

Boys easily get excited when they’re trying on a new suit. It’s no wonder… they’re not used to wearing suits… no wonder everything looks so “AMAZING”.

But wait. And I mean that literally – wait.

Encourage your boy to take a deep breath before pointing at “the one”.

Let him discover what’s out there: get him to try on different suits, by different designers, in different stores…

You want your boy to make an informed decision, not a hasty one. You want him to feel satisfied with his choice, and not wonder “what else am I missing?”

Careful: That being said – giving your kid too many options to choose from can also backfire, and lead to what (Jewish) psychologist Barry Schwartz calls The Paradox of Choice – overwhelming your kid with too many choices to choose from.

No Inheriting Suits (please…)

Boy Wearing Oversized Suit
Image by Aqua Mechanical

Turns out some families pass around the older’s brother’s Bar Mitzvah suit onto the younger ones once it’s their turn to enter the bima.

To that, I say oy vey…

Look, I’m not judging anyone here (who am I to judge, really?)… especially, families who are in a dire financial situation – I get it…

But keep in mind that there’s nothing more demoralizing to a 13-year-old boy than wearing someone else’s suit on one of the most important days of their life.

Most 13-year-olds have never worn a suit. Now that they’re finally turning into an adult (at least from a Jewish Halacha perspective) – they finally get to own their first adult suit for the very first time.

Imagine how awful the boy must feel if you rob him from that experience.

It’s better to buy him a cheap suit that’s 100% his than to make him “inherit” someone else’s suit.

A Bar Mitzvah suit is NOT a one-time suit

Bar Mitzvah Attire
The Bar Mitzvah & his family all dressed up (Original image by Michele Pace)

The phrase “Bar Mitzvah suit” is kind of misleading… This isn’t a wedding dress where you only get to wear a wedding dress once (well, unless you get divorced… forget it! I’m not going there). A Bar Mitzvah suit is just a suit.

Not only can your boy wear it again, its a waste (of money AND closet-space) if he doesn’t. Why not wear it on special occasions, other Bar Mitzvahs or school parties?

Soon enough, your boy will outgrow the suit anyway… so why not make the best of it while it still fits?

“But Rebecca, my boy doesn’t like wearing suits! I had to make him wear one for his Bar Mitzvah!”

Fair enough… 

If you know for sure that the suit is going to collect dust in your son’s wardrobe, then simply fork out a lot of money on a suit. There are plenty of affordable (and beautiful) suits you can buy that don’t cost an arm and a leg (check out the suits I listed below for some cool options).

Instead, use that money to get him a nice Bar Mitzvah gift he will use more than once? Or perhaps invest a little more on a nice pair of Bar Mitzvah shoes he is planning to wear again in the future.

Don’t wait till the last minute

Man Trying To Stop Clock

Preparing the Bar Mitzvah ceremony (and party) is stressful enough as it is… why pour gasoline into the fire?

Sure, buying a suit too early can also be a bad idea. After all, your boy is growing! If you buy a suit too early – he might outgrow it by the time he’s reading from the Torah!

That said – there’s no reason to postpone suit-shopping to the last minute, either.

I recommend buying a suit (and shoes) 2-4 months in advance. That’ll give you (and your boy) enough time and breathing room to find the right Bar Mitzvah outfit, but not too much time for your kid to outgrow it (unless he’s starting an Oreos diet anytime soon).

Amen V’Amen’s Favorite Bar Mitzvah Suits

What if you don’t want to physically schlep to 10 different stores just to find the perfect suit?

In the past, you had no choice… But today? You certainly do…

With the magic of the internet – we’re just a few clicks away from the best suits the world has to offer.

Sure, it’s not as convenient as trying on a suit at the store… That’s why some parents still prefer taking the traditional route (with the traffic included)… you know, for the experience.

But if the clock to the Bar Mitzvah is ticking, or if you simply don’t have the time, or if you just can’t stand the hassle of sitting in traffic just to get to one lousy store… then buying a Bar Mitzvah suit online can be a real blessing.

(As you’ll soon find out…)

OK, OK! Enough with the teasing already! Allow me to introduce you to my favorite Bar Mitzvah suits!

Calvin Klein Boys 2-Piece Formal Suit Set

Top Bar Mitzvah Suit

Calvin Klein Boys 2 Piece Formal Suit Set

Yes, it’s a Calvin Klein suit… Yes, CK is known for its spectacular suits. Yes, Calvin Klein himself is Jewish (just saying).

But let’s put that aside for just a second and look at the suit itself… because let me tell ya – it has a lot to offer than simply being a “Calvin Klein suit”.

It’s:

  1. Attractive
  2. High-quality
  3. Comfortable
  4. Affordable
  5. Reputable brand

I don’t know about you – but I see the qualities of a “winner” Bar Mitzvah suit right there.

Anytime you find a suit (or any piece of clothing for that matter) with all 5 attributes – you’ve just struck gold!

And that’s certainly the case with CK’s 2 piece suit. It’s formal (but not too formal), classy (but not stiff) and impeccable quality (as you’d expect from CK).

Plus, I adore the Infinity Blue color (essentially light navy blue)!

Note: It’s also available in black, Mistry Rain (grey, basically), modern Charcoal (which I also loved), or light grey.

Finally, I’ve got to hand it to CK… Unlike many other premium fashion brands out there (I won’t name any names here… I already named them earlier!) who inflate their prices just because they can, CK keeps their suits at a very reasonable price… and this suit is a prime example!

Let the other parents spend an ungodly amount of money on an Italian suit, while your boy swoops in with an extraordinary suit that cost you 1/10th of what the other parents paid.

VICTORY ✊!

Our Rating:

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Romano Black Velvet Trim 3 Piece Suit

Romano Black Velvet Trim 3 Piece Suit

For years, Children Salon has been the place where UK folks dress up their little (and not-so-little) ones. They dominated the market, and rightfully so, with their cute and affordable clothes… while we poor shmucks in the US (and the rest of the world) weren’t allowed in on the action.

Then one day – Children Salon finally announced: we’re shipping internationally!

Yipee!

Ever since that day, cargo planes flying from the UK have gotten a little heavier (not too heavy, it’s only clothes)…

Now, everyone has access to their fabulous boy’s suits.

Suits just like this cute 3-piece black velvet suit – made in a soft viscose blend fabric.

I highlighted the velvet part for a reason… the velvet jacked is what makes this suit stand out from the other suits out there. It certainly makes it less “boring” compared to the all-dark suits, don’t you think?

I mean, c’mon – this is a Bar Mitzvah… not a funeral. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little color every now and then…

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Spring Notion Boys’ Classic Fit Formal Dress Suit Set

Spring Notion Boys' Classic Fit Formal Dress Suit Set

A classic dress suit. We’ve all seen em’ before in James Bond movies: a classy two-buttoned jacket, a fully lined vest, dress pants, a white shirt, and a tie.

The only difference? This suit costs a fraction of the price (to be fair – James Bond has a huge budget).

Perfect for a Bar Mitzvah ceremony if you like the traditional black & white look.

For a party? It’s a little too “serious” for my taste, even for a formal party. There are better alternatives on this list that suit (pun not intended) a party better.

Tip: If you do decide to get it for a Bar Mitzvah party, get one with a colorful tie to bring some life into it.

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Lauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & Pants

Top Luxury Suit

Lauren Ralph Lauren Easy Linen Suit Jacket & Pants

It was only a matter of time until a Ralph Lauren suit came up. And as you might expect from a Ralph Lauren suit: it’s without a doubt the most impressive suit on the list.

Did You Know?

Who would’ve thought that Ralph Lifshitz – a nice Ashkenazi Jewish boy from The Bronx, would revolutionize the fashion industry as he did?

As much as I like the name Lifshitz, I doubt he would’ve enjoyed the same meteoric success he has if he hadn’t changed his name.

The tailored linen jacket, combined with the matching comfortable dress pants – gives the boy a distinct sharp look that’ll make both parents proud!

Keep in Mind: Unfortunately, this suit doesn’t come with a matching dress shirt. You can buy a matching Ralph Lauren dress shirt separately here.

Aside from it being a gorgeous suit – wearing it on your Bar Mitzvah is almost poetic. It’s as if Ralph is saying: “Kids, this suit is an example of what’s possible if you dream big enough”.

So… dream big, kids!

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Tommy Hilfiger Alexander Suit

Tommy Hilfiger Alexander Suit

Tommy Hilfiger, another fashion Juggernaut, also has a beautiful suit to offer as our boys enter into adulthood.

This hip suit comes with a classy blazer (with fancy gold buttons!), Alexander pants and an elegant Oxford shirt (available in either blue or white). Perfect for a Bar Mitzvah ceremony, luncheon and/or party.

Tip: You can also get the individual items separately.

As you’d expect from Tommy Hilfiger – the quality of the suit is top-notch. It’s also reasonably priced, compared to other premium brands (it’s not as affordable as Calvin Klein’s suit though).

Tip: Even though the boy in the image above isn’t wearing a tie – you can certainly add one to the outfit. 

Our Rating:

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Black n Bianco Pinstripe Suit with Matching Tie

Top Budget Suit

Black N Bianco Pinstripe Suit With Matching Tie

I’ve just recently discovered Black n Bianco… and let me tell ya – it’s the most pleasant surprise, and certainly the best “discovery” I’ve had in months.

Their suits are simply phenomenal (Spoiler Alert: this is not the only Black n Bianco suit on the list): both quality and looks-wise.

Actually, when I first saw this suit – I assumed it costs a fortune and almost didn’t bother checking it out.

But I did, and I’m glad I did… because a few moments later – I was floored!

Not only is the suit not expensive… it’s ridiculously (almost shockingly) cheap!

Note: It comes in black as well… and I can’t decide which of the two look better… both the grey and the black version look great!

The only downside is the tie (let’s just say it’s not the best tie in the world). But other than that – it’s a bargain, plain and simple.

Our Rating:

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Romano Vianni Boys Navy Blue & Black Satin 3 Piece Suit

Romano Vianni Boys Navy Blue & Black Satin 3 Piece Suit

Children Salon candidate number #2. Except this time – a little more toned down than the previous one.

This 3-piece suit comes with a navy blue smart jacket, waistcoat, and pants (notice a recurring pattern here? I love navy blue! Look around – it’s the primary color of our website!).

Together with a white buttoned shirt, and a nice tie (or bow tie) – this makes one helluva Bar Mitzvah outfit – for both the Torah reading and the party.

Tip: To avoid buying 2 separate suites for the ceremony and the party – simply change a shirt and/or wear a different tie. I promise, no one will notice 🙂

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Black n Bianco Signature Boys’ Slim Fit Suit Complete Outfit

Black N Bianco Signature Boys' Slim Fit Suit Complete Outfit

I promised another Black n Bianco suit, haven’t I?

Sorry, I misspoke (or miswrote, whatever)… it’s not just another Black n Bianco’s suit. It’s Black n Bianco’s signature suit!

And it sure as hell doesn’t disappoint:

  • The craftsmanship? Impeccable
  • The material? Soft, smooth and breathable (65% polyester & 35% Viscose)
  • The comfort? Let’s just say your kid can easily breakdance in this suite if he wants to (this is not a recommendation)

It comes with the full package: a classy slim blazer jacket, a fully lined vest, slim fit pants (with an adjustable button), a white dress shirt, matching tie (with a lock+unlock neck feature) and a cute little pocket square.

Like I said earlier – Black n Bianco is a pleasant surprise.

Sure, this suit is a little more expensive than the earlier one, but it’s still affordable (again, almost shockingly affordable).

But considering how friggin GORGEOUS this complete suit set is… I think I’ll forgive them.

Our Rating:

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Conclusion

From a Jewish Halacha perspective – a Jewish boy becomes an adult when he turns 13.

From a fashion perspective – I’m sorry, that doesn’t cut it…

Your boy shouldn’t step up to the Bimah looking like a child. It’s time to man up and wear a suit… a man’s suit (except it’s for 13-year-old boys… you know what I mean)!

I hope this helped you find your boy’s Bar Mitzvah suit…

(Don’t forget to get him matching Bar Mitzvah shoes!)

Now, you can step aside and watch him make his parents proud. 

Mazel Tov!

Bar Mitzvah Suit Large

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One thought on “How to Choose the RIGHT Bar Mitzvah Suit for a 13-Year-Old Boy (2019)

  • November 14, 2019 at 12:39

    Just wanted to say thank you yet again for the nice suggestions you’ve contributed here.

    Reply

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