Rex Style Blog | Lapel Laws: 3 lapels types and when to wear which

Posted by Jonathan Boston on

Welcome to Rex Style Blog!

Let's talk about one of the most distinguishing parts of suit construction, the lapel.  This piece of fabric attaches to the collar of your garment and is one of the most forward facing parts of your suit.  Tailors are artists and there are very many options for this but there are 3 commonly used lapels:
  • Notched

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. 


Orange notch lapel suit paired with navy solid tie, polka dot pocket square and plain white shirt.
  • Peak

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?


Gray peak lapel suit paired with black polka dot tie and Noire Flower Bomb by Rexcessories, lavender shirt with white offset collar. -Rex Bespoke Clothing

  • Shawl

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.


Hunter green velvet tuxedo jacket with green satin shawl lapel paired with black bow tie by Rexcessories and white tuxedo shirt with black buttons. -Rex Bespoke Clothing 


As we move forward on this journey to create pieces that make our clients feel like royalty we continue to learn and grow.  As we learn, we style, we share.  
-Team Rex
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