Formal Wear Style Advice

A Guide To Suit Lapel Styles

As we say a lot on A Gentleman’s Row, attention to detail is key for men wanting to look their best. People will pick up on a mistake far quicker than paying a compliment. So don’t give them a reason. Learning about the finer elements of men’s fashion and in particular suiting, will ensure you always have the right suit for every outfit combination. A lot of men wouldn’t give a second thought to a suit lapel in principle. They will see the overall look of the jacket and decide whether they like it or not, without realising the lapel may be one of the contributing factors.

A different lapel in a man’s outfit can not only determine what kind of event he is attending. But also whether it is a formal or non-formal occasion. Every jacket lapel won’t suit every man, and depending on your size and body shape, you should choose a lapel that compliments. That being said, we have brought together a concise guide to different suit lapels.

Notch Lapel

notch lapels for men


The most versatile lapel type, it is as comfortable in a formal setting as it is in casual. Probably the most used lapel in men’s fashion. This is an ideal option if you have limited suits in your wardrobe. The detail on this lapel is that it has a 75-90 degree angle notch towards the shoulders.

A standard notch should suit most body types but if you are on the large or small side then you should avoid your opposite style. The narrow won’t compliment a larger gentleman and the same applies for a smaller gent and the wide notch lapel.

Variations: Standard, narrow and wide

Peak Lapel


peak lapels for men

This style is the standard style for double breasted jackets but is also the lapel found in most formal jackets like tuxedos. Personally I see this lapel as quite dramatic and a statement option. So I would not be adverse to wearing it in a business environment if I really want to make an impression.

The peak lapel is the most expensive one on the list to manufacturer hence maybe why it is reserved for special occasions. But it is a great option to add height to a gentleman and it will also do a good job of slimming the silhouette.

Variations: Also known as the pointed lapel

Shawl Lapel

mens shawl suit lapels

More commonly used in men’s fashion on shawl cardigans these days, the same principle applies. It is a rounded lapel with no breaks or points throughout. Outside of cardigans, men will typically find this style on dinner jackets and smoking jackets. I would keep this in the back pocket till you have a very special black tie event to attend.

Because of the curved nature of the lapel, it is recommended that men which are a little rounder should avoid.


Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.

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