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1. The Notched, Notch or Step Lapel
Most of us have seen a notched lapel. It is by far the most common lapel in men's suiting. A large majority of off the rack business suits, sport coats and blazers have this lapel style. Notched lapels are sewn to the collar at an angle creating a notch or step effect. This is the way to go for your first suit and for a very buttoned up professional look. Your go-to interview suit should have a notched lapel.
2. The Peak or Peaked Lapel
This lapel style is much less common on single breasted men's suits but is a unique option for those who are willing to bend a few fashion rules. The technique to cut a peak lapel is a bit more difficult which is likely why this lapel style isn't as widely mass produced. The peak lapel is generally considered a bit more formal and you're more likely to find this style on a double breasted jacket or dinner jacket. Dinner party, anyone?
3. The Shawl Lapel
Shawl lapels are the least common on our list but when done right...wonderous. Arguably the most formal, this lapel type is often found on tuxedos. The name of the style leaves little to explain; looks like a shawl. Clean line of fabric across your shoulder blades closing at the button holes. This style screams wedding or formal special event. "One thing I hate to see is a shawl lapel with a neck tie" -Collie Solomon Jr.