Behind the Tailor’s Table: Choosing a lapel style

15th March 2018
Katie Kwok

The lapel makes the jacket, yet it is usually not something that we think too much about. Peak, Notch, Shawl? What will look best for my body type? These types of questions will usually be left to the tailor’s discretion, but traditionally there is only one real rule as to what lapel is appropriate: occasion. Other factors may sway you from one lapel style to another, but occasion is the most logical starting point when considering lapel options.

The Notch Lapel Style
Defined by its distinctive notch at the widest part of the lapel, the Notch is a lapel style most befitting business wear. The most versatile of lapel types, it helps slim the figure with its distinctively thinner lapel widths. Both versatile and fashionable, the Notch lapel is the go to for wardrobe staples or first suits.

Suit Lapel Styles Notch Lapel Style Grey Overcheck Jacket Wool Linen

The Peak Lapel Style
The Peak is a classic British lapel style, becoming more popular as the workplace becomes casual and wearing sports jackets become commonplace. They are defined by their large lapel width and sharp ‘Peaks’ where the fabric joins. The style is much more versatile than in the past and something to consider for adding a touch of casual style to your look. Peak Lapels are an absolute must for a double-breasted jacket.

Suit Lapel Styles Peak Lapel Style Blue Jacket Wool Linen

The Shawl Lapel Style
The thinnest of lapels, the Shawl lapel style has seen a modernist revival in fashion. With no cuts or permutations at all, the sleek look of the Shawl lapel is the perfect fit for that power tuxedo look. Slimming and unobtrusive, the Shawl lapel style has also begun to creep into mainstream fashion, cropping up on casual and office wear jackets as well.

Suit Lapel Styles Shawl Lapel Style Tuxedo Jacket Bow Tie Senszio

While the old adage goes, Shawl and Peak for formal and Notch for everything else, times are changing and social fashion conceptions are always being pushed. Ask your tailor at the next fitting and we could even create something truly unique for your next suit. Just don’t ask us to put a Notch lapel on a tuxedo!

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