Boy bands!

Stay in tune with the bar­mitz­vah-suit trends. By Louisa Shul­man

The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Fashion -

SCRIB­BLED-ON WALLS and ne­glected home­work are noth­ing to this. Kit­ting out your son for his bar­mitz­vah is quite a parental chal­lenge. You’ll have a clear idea of how you want him to look, but he will have a to­tally dif­fer­ent set of im­ages in his lit­tle head. Just re­mem­ber that, at the at­tire­buy­ing stage, he is not yet a man — so your word goes! How­ever, you do want him to be happy, so it some­times helps to let him think that he is the boss.

Richard Wood has been putting to­gether bar­mitz­vah looks at his shop Woody’s in Whet­stone, north Lon­don for more than 21 years.

“We feel that the boy is our cus­tomer and we lis­ten to his de­sires first. Then we try to steer all par­ties to the same con­clu­sion, so that ev­ery­one is happy,” he says.

And while Mum will be on the phone or pop­ping in to dis­cuss the sar­to­rial re­quire­ments, the young clients them­selves of­ten choose to com­mu­ni­cate their wishes by Face­book, Twit­ter and In­sta­gram.

Head for the shops about three months be­fore the bar­mitz­vah.

If your son is a non-stan­dard size or you don’t want a straight­for­ward, suity look, you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to go for made to mea­sure. Some shops will let you choose jack­ets and trousers from dif­fer­ent suits. To get the per­fect fit, though, go some­where with an al­ter­ations ser­vice. Woody’s can com­pletely take apart and re­build a suit if need be.

“We also of­fer a full made-to-mea­sure ser­vice where we sit down with the client and de­sign the suit and the fab­ric to any spec­i­fi­ca­tion,” says Richard. “We have fun play­ing with dif­fer­ent-colour lin­ings, pocket de­tails and em­broi­der­ing in­side the suit, cre­at­ing some­thing unique.”

A coloured jacket lin­ing to match the theme of the forth­com­ing func­tion might well sat­isfy Mum’s them­ing re­quire­ments, with­out em­bar­rass­ing the bar­mitz­vah boy. Or it might ful­fil the son’s de­sire to be dif­fer­ent or ou­tra­geous, while keep­ing the over­all look as clas­sic as a par­ent could wish.

The num­ber one in­flu­ence on bar­mitz­vah suits is the mu­sic in­dus­try — you can gather in­spi­ra­tion from TV or mag­a­zines and you’ll get a bet­ter idea of what de­signs might be on your son’s wish-list.

When you think you have found The Suit, have a go at cre­at­ing sev­eral dif­fer­ent looks with party shirts, funky t-shirts, trousers and jack­ets. You’ll even­tu­ally find the out­fit that feels right for your par­tic­u­lar sim­chah — whether that’s very for­mal and black-tie, or re­laxed and dressed to party. When it comes to ties, be­ware of chain stores. Woody’s stocks only a few of each style, to avoid any em­bar­rass­ing en­coun­ters with a match­ing ac­ces­sory.

Graf­fiti is a pop­u­lar fin­ish­ing touch — you can add the bar­mitz­vah boy’s name or cre­ate a logo for your func­tion and carry it right through. Woody’s has an in-store graf­fiti artist, who can cus­tomise any­thing in­clud­ing kip­pot, train­ers, shirts, jack­ets and hats. It also has its own crys­talliser, who can jazz up ties, shoes and shirts.

Pen­guin shirt, Au­to­graph at Marks & Spencer, from £11

Au­to­graph blazer, Marks & Spencer, from £38 Print shirt, H&M, £7.99

Trousers by Boy Car­rot, John Lewis, £14-£16

Brogues, Marks & Spencer, from £28

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