How to Choose a Lapel Style for Your Suit or Tux

How to Choose a Lapel Style for Your Suit or Tux

Your Guide to Notch, Peak and Shawl Lapels

There are three common types of lapels: Notch, Peak, and Shawl.  They each say something a little bit different, so we’re here to explain each one and the best time to wear them.



See that indentation in the lapel near the neck were the top of the collar and the bottom of the lapel join? That’s the “notch”. The depth and placement of the notch varies. The notch is the most common of lapel for a good reason - it’s extremely versatile and looks appropriate on everything from a linen suit to a tuxedo.  When in doubt, go for the notch!

When to wear a Notch Lapel

Wear a notch lapel when you need a traditional, classic look.  You’ll fit in regardless of what everyone else may be wearing.

LIght Gray Notch Lapel

Light Gray Notch Lapel Tux



Peak lapels point upward at the seam and are traditionally more formal. They’re commonly used in tuxedos and morning coats to denote an upscale occasion. These days, the peak is increasingly seen in a variety of suit styles, including everyday suits. It gives a jacket a sense of drama and elongates the wearer. Perfectly constructed, peaked lapels are highly regarded, and can be expensive as they are the most difficult to craft.

When to wear a Peak Lapel

You can’t go wrong wearing a Peak Lapel at a black tie event.  This is your chance to give yourself an added “James Bond” air of mystery and effortless class, which will also help you exude confidence.

Mystic Blue Peak Lapel

Mystic Blue Peak Lapel Tux



The shawl lapel frames the face with its elegant rounded edge. It’s most commonly found on tuxedos and dinner jackets - a classic choice with a modern edge. That said, you won’t generally find a shawl lapel on anything other than a tuxedo or dinner jacket.

When to wear a Shawl Lapel

Wear a Shawl Lapel when you’re going for a more nostalgic/yesteryear look. It’s a great option when attending less formal events (such as red carpet galas), or when hosting a party at home.  

Black Shawl Lapel Tux

Black Shawl Lapel Tux


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