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Posted on Oct 04, 2023 by Miguel
Knowing the differences between each lapel style makes it easier to grab a suit on the go. That way, you can pick whether you want a suit, a sports blazer, or even a tux for the occasion.
But before we learn about the subtle yet distinct features, let's know about the different suit lapels that exist.
Lapels found in men's fashion wear can be categorized into three kinds: Shawl lapels, notch lapels, and peak lapels.
A shawl lapel consists of a smooth rounded edge along the shawl collar, typically seen in tuxedos and dinner jackets. However, it's not the topic of concern for today. In case you want to delve into the details, give our peak or shawl lapel blog a read.
Now, let's talk about notch lapel vs peak lapel, the most typical lapels we see on a daily.
Notch lapels are the kinds where the collar meets the lapel and forms a triangular, or V indentation sideways. The notch is typically sewn with the collar at a 75-90 degree angle and appears to be something like a > and <.
While an average notched lapel is 3.5 inches wide, it may vary according to personal preferences. It can be found in both slim lapel and wide lapel styles, ranging from around 2 inches to as much as 4.5 inches.
In case you're confused which to opt for, slimmer lapels are much more trendy, somewhat visually elongating your chest. On the contrary, wider ones fall under the traditional type, giving a rather classier look.
In modern men's fashion, however, wider lapels such as 4/4.5" aren't favored much. So, our advice would be to settle for skinny types between 2-3 inches.
Also referred to as "stepped lapel", notch lapels are found in all kinds of suits— a double-breasted suit and a single-breasted one as well. Conventionally, you'll notice these on single-breasted suits more. Sport coats tend to be made with notch lapels too.
Suits with such lapels are suitable for casual, formal, and semi-formal occasions. When speaking of formals though, they're a tad less formal than peak lapels.
You can wear them to everyday work, an engagement party, an interview, or even to a day-time hangout with your close friends. Think of James Bond and his notched lapel suits!
Being offered in slim and wide styles makes notch lapels an ideal option for all body types.
Those with a wider chest will look dapper in a wider notch lapel jacket, while a guy with a lean physique can effortlessly flaunt himself with a slim lapel.
The other kind, a peak lapel, also seems to have a v shaped indentation when meeting the edge of the collar. The only difference is, the gap is quite smaller in comparison to a notch lapel. Additionally, the lapel points upwards and slightly outwards (Think of the ear of a batman mask poking out from an angle!).
These types of lapels come in a standard size, ideally from 3.5 inches to 4.5 inches wide at most. Since a peaked lapel is considered to be an all-time business style, it doesn't have a skinny lapel alternative unlike notched ones.
Such suit lapels can be found in either single-breasted or double-breasted jackets. It's also seen in dinner jackets, tailcoats, morning coats, and even tuxedos.
Usually, peak lapels are tailored with the same suit fabric. Exceptions include a suit jacket of tuxedo fabric, where the lapel is often made with silk.
That being said, peak lapel suits are meant for formal events only— weddings, white-tie or black-tie events, business dinners— you name it!
A peak lapel suit looks great on about just anyone.
However, due to the pointed peaks, it creates a visually elongating effect along the wearer's chest. Hence, men who are a little on the bulkier side or looking to add a heightened illusion, could surely opt for this lapel design. Taller men, on the hand, look much more polished in them.
Although choosing between a notch or a peak lapel can be tough when speaking of formal occasions, there's no hard and fast rule to it. Unless you're opting for a tux (that MUST be a peak or shawl lapel), feel free to try and find out what works best for you. Good luck!