When shopping for a wedding suit, one of the first big decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want a notched lapel or peaked lapel wedding suit. Understanding the differences between the two options, and more importantly, what occasions call for which lapel style, can help you to build the wedding suit that’s right for you.
Notched lapel or peaked lapel?
So, what exactly are the differences? And when should you wear one over the other? First, a little background: For those that may need a refresher, the lapel of a man’s suit is the folded flap of cloth on a jacket. Typically, it is formed by folding over the front edges of the jacket and sewing to the collar.
There are actually 3 types of lapels:
A shawl lapel is basically what you see on a dinner jacket (i.e. a tuxedo). Since the dinner jacket is in a world all its own, this blog will focus on the two most common lapels commonly seen in weddings: the notched lapel and peaked lapel.
The notched lapel suit
The notched lapel is the venerable standard in men’s suiting. It’s traditional yet contemporary and will be found on jackets ranging from your weekend sportcoat to your go-to business suit. By definition, the notched lapel is categorized by a ‘notch’ where the jacket collar meets the lapel at a 75 – 90 deg angle. If you have one suit, make it a notched lapel, simply because this style is the most versatile. You can wear it to work, to the bar, to an interview, just about anywhere you like.
However, if your wedding will be relatively formal, you will probably want to consider the alternative: the peaked lapel.
The peaked lapel wedding suit
A peaked lapel is defined by the lapel edges pointing up and towards the shoulder. Traditionally, this lapel was seen in very formal garments like the morning coat or the tailcoat.
Here’s the thing: you can’t really dress down a peaked lapel. But this is perfect for most weddings because your groom should be the best dressed man in the room. That’s why I usually recommend to my clients that they opt for a peaked lapel wedding suit.
However, if your groom wants a suit that he can easily wear to the office after the wedding, then a notched lapel suit begins to win the argument.
So, what’s the best lapel for you? In summary, there are a couple of general rules:
- Notched lapel – casual to semi-casual weddings
- Peaked lapel – formal weddings