The difference between notched, peak and shawl lapels

Sure, every man knows what type of lapel he wants right?  It’s as simple as….Ouch.  Not that simple.  Not because its complicated.  Simply because, most of us were never taught or informed as to what our different lapel options are when purchasing a bespoke suit.  Here we go:

Notched Lapels: These are the most common style on single breasted and mass produced suits.  A lapel is notched when it is broken by a deep ‘V’ cut into the side.  The top line slants down in line with the collar seam, resulting in the ‘V’ shape.  Notched lapels look great on single breasted two and three button suits.  The lapel works great for any body type and measurement.  Keep in mind the width of the lapel.  Too wide, and you will look outrageous.  Too skinny, and you could look like you are hitting hipster road way too hard.

The notched lapel came from overcoats and functioned so that lapels could be pulled over your face and neck for an added layer of weather protection, and often have a button under one lapel to secure the other lapel with the button hole!

notched lapel

Peaked Lapels: These lapels are typically more popular with a double breasted jacket.  Single breasted formal dinner jackets also often have peaked lapels.

peaklapel

Peaked lapels points towards the shoulder helping to shape the torso into a “V” making the shoulders wider.  So, essentially, guys who are slimmer should go for peaked lapels.  Unless, of course, you’re Charles Barkley, and you can pull anything off!

So Sweet

So Sweet

Shawl lapels are not as common and are typically used with one or two button tuxedos:

Amazing!

Amazing!

Regarding Stitching , lapels can be edge stitched, giving the suit a more tailored look.

edge stitched lapel

So there you have it, your Lapel 101 Primer!  Feel free to post comments or questions!

Check out some of our favorite ties at The Dark Knot!

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Categories: Bespoke Tailoring, Suits

Tags: , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. I crack up every time I watch the Godfather because everyone has a big ass 70’s lapel on their suit no matter what the decade they are supposed to be in.

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