Our Suit Lapels Guide: Peaked, Notch, and Shawl Lapels – What to Know
When wearing a suit, you’ll consider the trouser, shirt, suit tie, pocket square, and all other elements to complement your suit and spruce up your overall look. One vital consideration is the suit’s lapel.
Simply put, lapel refers to the two flaps on each side of the jacket of a suit right below the collar folded back on either side of the front opening. There are three main types of suit lapels—notched, peaked, and shawl. Each comes with different widths, from super-slim to super-wide.
The lapel is one vital element you shouldn’t neglect, especially if you are getting a tailor-made suit. Before deciding on the proper lapel, here’s what you should know and consider:
- Notched lapel
The notched lapel is the most common lapel for suits. It is considered a traditional and classic style in the clothing department. As the name suggests, a notch lapel has a V-shaped indentation. With this style, you can see a sideways “V” shape where the lapel meets the jacket collar. This type is ideal for both casual dress and professional look.
When it comes to the notched lapel, you have to consider three vital aspects. Make sure the notch aligns with the width of the lapel. Then, it should also look best on a single-breasted suit. Finally, never go beyond 4.25 inches with a notched lapel. Consider all these, and you’ll have the perfect lapel.
- Peaked lapel
The peaked lapel is standard for business suits. As the name suggests, this lapel comes to a “peak” at the lapel edge, where it points upwards. For this lapel, you’d have to opt for a wider lapel, ranging from 3.25 inches to 4.5 inches. Know that there’s nothing casual about it, so it should be worn for formal occasions or business settings.
There are a few considerations to ensure a peaked lapel works for you. First, this lapel looks good on both a single-breasted and double-breasted suit. Second, this style is ideal for shorter and larger gentlemen. A peaked lapel can make you look taller or bigger. Overall, peaked lapel has a positive chain effect.
- Shawl lapel
The shawl lapel can usually be seen on a tuxedo. This lapel doesn’t have a notch or a peak as it only has a rounded edge. When it comes to wearing the shawl lapel, there are really no hard and fast rules. Just consider a few factors—know that a skinnier lapel will look more trendy while a wider lapel is more classy. For instance, you may want to consider the blue velvet tuxedo worn by James Bond in Skyfall. In the end, it all boils down to your personal preference and taste. Make sure that the shawl lapel works on your suit and your overall appearance.
At this point, you now realize the importance of paying attention to this ubiquitous part of a suit—the lapel. Whether it’s notched, peaked, or shawl, your lapel makes a bold statement and conveys a variety of messages. Ultimately, your suit lapel choice is all about the type of suit you are using and the sort of look you would want to project. A good tailor should be able to make your preferences a reality.
If you’re looking for a suit tailor in Bangkok that can make you lapels for your suit, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.