Choosing the Lapel for Your Tux or Suit
Updated: Dec 4, 2018
Now that you have selected the color of the tuxedo that you want to use, the next feature you must decide on for your tuxedo is the lapel style. The lapel is actually the collar of the jacket. There are three traditional lapel styles to choose from: Peak, Shawl, and Notch.
Peak Lapels Tuxedo Jackets
The peak lapel highlights a gentlemen’s chest and shoulders and tapers down to the waist. This is a little more bolder look and typically what people think of when they think of a tuxedo. A peak lapel has a unique look that is suitable for any guy who'd like to achieve a slightly more dashing look. The peak lapel was wildly popular during the first half of the twentieth century; however, it's come roaring back into style lately. It is broad and V-shaped; as its name suggests, it point up like a peak not too far below the collar line. You should be able to tell at a glance whether or not this type of lapel is right for you.
Photo by Drew Brashler Photography
Shawl Lapels or Shawl Collars
The shawl lapel is little more rounded and flowing. Some people think it is a little more elegant. Any guy who wants to wear the most traditional black tuxedo possible should opt for the shawl lapel. This sleek lapel is easy to spot, since it boasts a smooth, rounded look that is completely different than the other popular options. People interchangeably refer to it as a shawl collar or a shawl lapel; either term is correct to use. Choose a tux with this type of lapel when you're determined to achieve the most classic look possible. It's impossible to go wrong with a shawl collar, and tuxes that feature them are easy to find.
Is a Notch Lapel Right for You?
Finally, we come to the notch lapel. The notch lapel is commonly found in men’s suits and the most conventional, yet conservative looking lapel in a tuxedo. This is what makes it more and more popular in black tie formal wear for men, so you shouldn't feel out of place by selecting this option. Not surprisingly, a notch lapel is a lapel that has a notch in it. Many men find the look to be quite flattering. If you'd rather not deck yourself out in a totally classic look, notch lapels offer a stylish and sophisticated compromise.
Distinctive Lapels and No Lapel Tuxedos There are still styles of tuxedos that don’t fall into any of the three conventional lapel stylings discussed in this entry. No lapels, full collars, Nero style jackets are all available in usually black materials. You can visit your local tuxedo company and view all the latest styles and fashions that are available.
Some of these styles come and go as far as fashion, but if you choose any of the three conventional lapels, you can look back at your pictures 20-30 years from now and the style will still be in fashion.
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