Where did lapels come from?

Have you ever wondered where lapels came from? Who decided that two front panels should be folded over at an angle and fastened to the collar? Furthermore, when did this become an essential part of any formal jacket? Well, back in the day, mens’ coats used to button straight all the way to the neck. When inside, or in hot weather, they would unbutton the top of their coat and fold it over the front of their jacket. And that’s how jacket lapels were born.

There are numerous different lapel types – notch, fish mouth, clover, half clover, peak, shawl, collar peak; we can go on and on. But the most popular lapel types usually are a variation of the following three: notch, peak, and shawl.

Notch lapels look like a Pacman-shaped mouth between the collar and the jacket flap. The angle is usually between 75 and 90 degrees. It’s the most evergreen and classic type of lapel suitable for most body types. If you’re only going to have one coat, this is the lapel you want to go for. Its versatility allows you to wear it to both casual and formal events, from job interviews to weddings. The notch is usually what you see with sports jackets as well.

Notch lapels look like a Pacman-shaped mouth between the collar and the jacket flap. The angle is usually between 75 and 90 degrees. It’s the most evergreen and classic type of lapel suitable for most body types. If you’re only going to have one coat, this is the lapel you want to go for. Its versatility allows you to wear it to both casual and formal events, from job interviews to weddings. The notch is usually what you see with sports jackets as well.

Peak lapels are known for their tips pointed toward the shoulders. They are considered to be a more formal style and are standard on, but certainly not limited to, double breasted jackets and tuxedos. They are now common in business formal wear as well. Peak lapels can add to the illusion of broader shoulders and increased height. Their lengthening effect often results in a slimmer look. The lapel width is determined by a variety of factors and usually depends on current trends. Traditionally, however, the lapel extends for about half the shoulder width. Ultimately, a proper, tailored fit customized to your proportions is the best way to guarantee a dapper and timeless look.

Peak lapels are known for their tips pointed toward the shoulders. They are considered to be a more formal style and are standard on, but certainly not limited to, double breasted jackets and tuxedos. They are now common in business formal wear as well. Peak lapels can add to the illusion of broader shoulders and increased height. Their lengthening effect often results in a slimmer look. The lapel width is determined by a variety of factors and usually depends on current trends. Traditionally, however, the lapel extends for about half the shoulder width. Ultimately, a proper, tailored fit customized to your proportions is the best way to guarantee a dapper and timeless look.

The shawl collar is becoming more and more popular globally. The continuous piece, wrapping its way comfortably around the neck, represents decadence and elegance. Often, this lapel is made with a different fabric, such as satin. It’s typically reserved for evening and wear and dinner jackets.

The shawl collar is becoming more and more popular globally. The continuous piece, wrapping its way comfortably around the neck, represents decadence and elegance. Often, this lapel is made with a different fabric, such as satin. It’s typically reserved for evening and wear and dinner jackets.

There’s a lot of creativity for your own style and taste to shine through with all these lapel types. Customization like lapel width, number of buttons, and neck wear create suave, statement looks.

What style do you prefer?