What is a lapel?

Notch Lapel - Peak Lapel - Shawl Lapel

Suits come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. If you have spent any time shopping for suits at all, you’ve likely come across the word “lapel” in the description. So you maybe wondering, what is a lapel?

What is a lapel and why does it matter?

Lapels are simply the flaps of a suit that lie below the collar on the front of a jacket. Every suit features some form of a lapel but the design truly externalize the personality of a jacket. Lapels create the identity of a suit.

They come in one of three styles (peak, notch, shawl), each constructing a different understated nuance. A shawl lapel makes for an elegant, suave look while a notch makes for an iconic, can’t miss style. Each of these cuts invent a distinct quality that sets them apart.

What is a Notch Lapel?

The most standard option on the market, the notch lapel is always a safe bet. The notch lapel features a triangular shape where the lapel joins collar. They are often considered to be the most casual option because of their commonality.

What is a Peak Lapel?

Peak lapels make a more elegant look. They rise up and point out just below the collar line towards the shoulder. Most tuxedos feature a peak label due to their more formal appearance. No black tie outfit should have a notch lapel, always go peak.

What is a Shawl Lapel?

Want a bolder, more daring look? Try a jacket with a shawl lapel next time you want to make an appearance. A shawl lapel boasts a smooth, rounded edge with no breaks. This style requires some fashion skills to pull off and typically looks best on a man with a more athletic frame.

Hopefully you’ve learned what is a lapel by not but lets just go over the main points. Most jackets have a notch lapel. This is the common option but also considered slightly less formal than the other options. Peak makes a triangular shape that points up. The majority of tuxedos have this lapel. A shawl lapel is the boldest option of the three with a round shape, but looks extremely snazzy if done well.

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