Tag Archives: types of suit lapels

Suits and Lapels: What You Need to Know

If you have ever been shopping for a suit then I’m sure you have heard the sales professionals refer to “lapels” before. A lot of people don’t pay much attention to “lapels” because they’re just judging the suit by how it looks so they don’t worry about this little term. While you should absolutely purchase the suit that you feel looks the best, it is also important to realize that there are different lapels that are appropriate for different types of events. And, lapels do change the look of the suit, if you know what you are looking at.

So, what is a lapel? Once you know what a lapel is it will be much easier for you to understand the difference in the lapel types and the types of events each is designed for.

A quick search for “lapel” in Google pulls up the best definition, “the part on each side of a coat or jacket immediately below the collar that is folded back on either side of the front opening.”

In other words, the lapels are the folded flaps of material that you will find on suit and tuxedo jackets. Many feel that the lapels give the suit “personality” as many designers get creative and add patterns to their lapels.

Now that you know what the lapel is, we can talk about the three different kinds of suit and tuxedo lapels. They are:

Notch/Stepped Lapel: A notch lapel is just like it sounds. You will find a “notch” at the bottom of the collar where the top of the lapel meets it. Generally, the notch lapel is considered to be the most versatile as it is often found on suits, sports jackets and blazers. If you don’t attend many formal events and will only need a suit occasionally,…