The choice of which suit lapel you want on your jacket is one of the first decisions when choosing your suit. It can give your suit it’s character and different suit lapel types are appropriate for different occasions.
Here’s some information about the main types of suit lapel.
Notch Lapel, (also known as a notched, step or step collar). This is the most common type.
It is the most versatile type of suit lapel and is often found on single-breasted suit jackets, blazers and sport coats.
It is sewn to the collar at at angle creating a notch or opening where the bottom of the collar joins the top of the lapel. Normally at a 75 to 90 degree angle.
If you have only one suit, it’s normally notched as you can wear it in any situation.
A Peak Lapel (also known as peaked, double breasted style or pointed) is traditionally found in more formal wear such as tailcoats, morning coats, dinner jackets or tuxedos.
Peak lapels tend to look a bit more fashion-forward. They are great worn as a different alternative when buying a second or third regularly worn suit.
Generally the wider the peak lapel the more obvious it is whereas the narrower the more subtle.
A Peak Lapel, like a slim fit can induce a lengthening effect. It moves the eyes upward towards the shoulders and can therefore make the wearer appear taller. It can be useful to shorter or larger gentlemen.
A Shawl Lapel is characterised by a rounded edge and is most common on dinner jackets or tuxedos. The Shawl lapel was originally seen on the Victorian Smoking Jacket. The Shawl lapel can accentuate a rounded face or rounded chest so should be avoided in this situation.