One of the things that you will have noticed by now on SuitUpp, is that in all of our suit descriptions we mention a little bit about the lapel of the suit jacket. The other day, someone messaged us and asked us to tell them more about the lapel and how many types there are.
Well, first of of all, the lapel on the jacket is formed by folding the flaps on the front of the jacket. Now, there are 3 main types of lapels for suit jackets which are: Notched Lapels, Peaked Lapels, and finally Shawl Lapels.
The Notched Lapel (American English) is the most common type of lapel and is the type that you will see in almost all business suits nowadays. This type of lapel is also called a step lapel or step collar (British English). You’ll also be interested to know that if the notch is really small, it is called a fishmouth 🙂
A peaked lapel (American English) or double breasted style lapel or pointed lapel (British English) is a more formal lapel that is commonly worn with dinner jackets, tailcoats, or morning coats. These jackets almost always come double breasted. Although, it should be mentioned that single breasted peaked lapels are also a phenomenon made famous by designers such as Armani in the past.
The shawl lapel is basically just one curve. It is commonly seen in tuxedos and even in less formal wears such as robes. This type of lapel is also known as a shawl collar or roll collar. This type of collar was first noted in the Victorian Smoking Jacket and has carried on from there.