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Lapel Varieties: What They Are and When to Wear Them

Lapel varieties example of notched lapels. Both men wear stunning custom suits with perfectly measured lapels.

The lapel is one of the most noticeable aspects of a suit. It works to frame your shape and draw the attention of a viewer’s eye to preferred features and attributes. There are many lapel varieties and they each work for you a bit differently; they are each suited for different occasions and each do different things to work with your shape and features.

Lapel varieties diagram. This diagram shows The Slim Notch, Notch, Slim Peak, Peak, and Shawl lapels

Lapel Varieties: The Basics

Before we get into the different styles, let’s discuss the basics of lapels. Just what exactly is a lapel? A lapel is the matching parts on each side of the jacket, right below the collar, where the fabric folds back towards the shoulders. The average width for a lapel is 3.5 inches, but they can range anywhere from 2 to 5.

Which Width?

Slim lapel varieties

Skinny lapels have rapidly risen in popularity in recent years: they are very on trend, but it’s important to know what width is best for your body. Slim lapels work best on slim guys. If your frame is more on the broad side, avoid the slim lapel, as the proportions will be off and your body will overwhelm the lapel, making it look like it doesn’t fit properly.

Wider lapel varieties

Wider lapels – in the 4 to 5 inch range – typically work best with broad frames. However, that’s not to say skinny guys should avoid them entirely. If you go slightly wider than average with your lapel as a skinnier guy, you can broaden your frame. Just don’t go too wide since that can let the lapel swallow your look.

Lapel Varieties: A Lapel for Every Man

Now that we’ve covered how to find the correct lapel width for your body and situation, let’s talk about lapel varieties, or the different styles of lapels. The three types of lapels are notched, peak, and shawl. They each best work with different suit styles and on different shapes. Here are the need-to-know basics of the different styles.

The Notched Lapel

A notched lapel is the most common type of lapel. It is called notched because the two layers of the lapel meeting together form a sideways V-shape, or a ‘notch’. It’s the easiest to produce, and therefore the cheapest, but it’s also preferred for most everyday suits. 

When to wear it

You’ll want to wear a notched lapel on a single-breasted suit. It is the standard lapel found on most suits directly off the rack. It is wonderfully versatile and works for most business attire, nice dinners, and other semi-formal events. If you only have one suit, make it a notch, as it will work for most events.

What to look for

When selecting a suit with a notched lapel, you want to look at the size of the notch in comparison to the width of the lapel. They should be in even proportions: if you have a slim lapel, you want a smaller notch. If the lapel is bit wider, look for a larger notch. This helps keep the look balanced, and ensures that the lapel doesn’t overwhelm the jacket.

An example of a peak lapel. Though you have many lapel options with HM, we favor peak lapels as standard for most of our suits.

Peak Lapel Design

The second lapel variety is the peak lapel. It is called the peak because the lower half of the lapel has corners that angle upwards towards the shoulders. Those corners form a “peak” on each side of the jacket. It’s the most expensive style because of all the angles involved in production, but it’s got an edge to it that will always make you stand out.

When to wear it

The peak lapel is excellent for shorter frames because the upward angle of the peak draws the eye upwards, visually adding more height to your frame. It’s also good for more heavyset gents, for the same reason – drawing the eye up and lengthening the frame. Peak lapels are great for more formal events or situations: executive-style business meetings or functions, galas, formal weddings, or parties that call for evening-wear.

What to look for

For the width of a peak lapel, you want to avoid going too slim. That’s because it can look cluttered and you can lose some of the detail when making a peak too small.

A man looking more formal in a black shawl lapel

Shawl Lapel: For Men in Black

The shawl lapel foregoes any edges; it rounds out in a continuous curve, no notches or peaks to be found. It is best to opt for a thinner, slimmer lapel if you’re going to be wearing a shawl style jacket – it makes for a sleek look. Shawl lapels aren’t the best choice for heavier guys or those with a round face, as the curve of the lapel can accentuate the curves of the body and face. The shawl lapel is almost always limited to tuxedos and black tie events – it’s used in only the most formal of situations.

A Final Note About Lapel Varieties

As we’ve discussed here, lapels are important. They are one of the most stand-out aspects of a suit and the lapel varieties require quite a bit of consideration when you’re browsing for your look. There are many things to consider, the most major ones being your shape, the lapel width, and the lapel style. Now that we’ve discussed the basics, and some of the more in-depth concepts surrounding lapels and the lapel varieties that are available, you’re armed with all the info you need to find the perfect lapel, just for you, right here at HARTTER MANLY. Check out some of the lapel varieties on our Suits or Sports Jackets.

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Custom Suit Online: Build A Suit Just for You

Detail photo of custom suit

Every guy needs at least one quality suit, for all the important events in his life. When it comes to quality, you can grab something off the rack, or you can get a custom suit online. If you want to look and feel your best, then a custom suit is the way to go. When you go custom, you will have a sharp-looking suit that is perfectly made specifically for you. Perfect for both your body, and perfect for your personal style.

One-of-a-kind suits for one-of-a-kind men

When you’re looking to invest in a custom suit, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. The first is where you will be wearing this suit. If you’re only looking to keep one suit in your wardrobe, you will want to have something made that is suitable for most events. In that case, versatility is key when you go custom. If you’re looking to add a new suit to an existing collection you already have, you’ll have to consider what sort of events this suit will be worn to. 

When to go for the custom suit? It all depends

Different occasions call for different styles and elements. The same goes for different seasons. For instance, Fall Fashion varies considerably from Summer Fashion. Additionally, some design elements are better suited to more casual events, while others should only be worn in the most formal of situations. Check out the articles we have in our Gentleman’s Cafe for more information on picking styles and elements for any occasion.

two men in different styles of custom suits. One is wearing an overcoat.

What to consider when you go custom

Go Custom: Your Build

Besides the purpose of the suit and the occasion, another thing you want to consider is your frame and face shape. The benefit of investing in a custom suit over grabbing one off the rack is that your suit will be designed with your shape and structure in mind. A well-made suit can work wonders on a man. For instance, it can accentuate features you love about yourself, and minimize the features you don’t. 

Go Custom: Your Design

The design elements can also speak about who you are as a person and what kind of things you value. Are you a cigar and whisky kind of gentleman, or do you prefer craft beer? Do you prefer to be a quiet observer, or do you want to be the center of attention? The design elements of a suit – like the lapel style and width, or the button layout – are vital details. That’s because they can all send subtle, silent signals to the people you meet about what kind of man you are. 

Buying Your Custom Suit Online

When you go custom with HARTTER MANLY, you are in charge of the design and construction process. You’re in control from start to finish. And what you get is a one-of-a-kind suit for you, a one-of-a-kind guy. Our stylists walk you through all the steps of designing your suit, from the fabric, buttons, accents, and more, all online.

Can You Really Buy a Custom Suit Online Though?

HARTTER | MANLY Custom Suits Online: Superior Quality

Here at HARTTER MANLY, we create a custom suit experience that leaves you with a suit of impeccable quality, designed with your stylistic choices and measurements to ensure the best fit possible. We use European fabrics and have over 3,000 swatches available to choose from. Most of our suits are 100% wool, but we also offer cashmere and silk blends, to build a suit for you that makes the exact statement you’re looking to put out into the world. Our suits come with a half canvassed interlining (check out our article in the Gentleman’s Cafe for more information on interlining), but you can upgrade to a full canvas suit for an even better fit that will mold to your body with more with time and wear.

Go custom online with HARTTER MANLY for the options

Your suit from H|M will be a lasting investment: half and full canvas suits last much longer, and don’t lose their shape the way fused suits do. And the interlining of your suit is not the only choice you get to make. Designing your custom suit online through H|M, you will make all the choices: do you want your side-arm buttons glued or stitched? What color do you want your stitches to be? Do you want them to blend in or stand out as an accent? Need a suit to perfectly match a bridesmaid’s dress? We got you. Every style and fit choice is up to you, ranging from lapel types to button layouts to vents. Make those choices and watch your perfect suit come to life.

Here's an example:

Custom Suit Online Tool

With our online customizing process, you choose everything. From the number of buttons, down to the slant of the pocket and more. You’re the boss when you go custom.

Go custom with HARTTER MANLY for the fit

We fit better

Everyone is different, in endless ways. We go beyond chest, waist, and shoulders, because even if two people have the same basic measurements, no two shapes are identical. Bespoke suits are considered the top-of-the-line in menswear, but they have some drawbacks. They’re expensive (we mean expensive) and they’re a hassle. They take multiple fittings and require you to head into the tailor at least three times before your suit is complete. (Compare to no visits when you buy your custom suit online!) 

They work from scratch, not from a pattern, for a better fit. However, if you get your suit designed with a menswear provider that uses many measurements, you’ll get just as great a fit. Most importantly, it’s at a much friendlier price-point and comes with a lot less hassle. 

Our suits have that perfect-fit-feeling

In addition, having a suit tailored to your body and shape will do more than fit great – it will give you a unique wearing experience that you won’t find with any suit you grab off the rack. Not only do our suits look fantastic, they feel fantastic. You will find it easier to move in and it won’t feel claustrophobic or hot.

Made-to-Measure

HARTTER MANLY custom suits online are made-to-measure. Specifically, they build off of existing patterns and use your personal measurements to make the required adjustments. In addition, we use 70+ measurements where most M2M suit providers will use 10 to 15.  That brings you a perfect fit that doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t take multiple fittings. Using this many measurements minimizes the likelihood that you’ll need it adjusted. Since you don’t have to take your new suit in to a tailor, there’s no waiting. You can take your suit out on the town as soon as it arrives at your door.

Examples of hair styles on longer faces

Make a statement

At the end of the day, investing in a suit is important. So why should you buy a custom suit online? A custom suit can make you stand out at any event. With fit and design crafted to your exact specifications, going custom makes a statement about your identity and your personal style. Moreover, it will fit like a second skin and make you look and feel like the best version of yourself. A suit says a lot about a man. What is your suit saying?

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Your First Custom Suit

Custom Suits, Made to Measure

HARTTER MANLY has one goal above all: to create a one-of-a-kind tailoring experience for the modern gentleman. Our hybrid method combines bespoke craftsmanship and the speed of made-to-measure.  By doing so, we handcraft each piece to your unique style. Most importantly, we make sure your custom suit tells your story.

Get a Great Fit From Home

The first step towards your perfect custom suit is perfect measurements. With our new technology, you can measure yourself from the comfort of your own home using only your smartphone.

Mobile tailor by Hartter Manly how it works

Custom Suit Measurements, No Photographer Necessary

With our HARTTER MANLY Mobile Tailor‘s hands-free option, you don’t even need a friend to take the photos for you. Get every measurement down to the millimeter without a tailor or a tape measure. After that, we are ready to build!

home-book-an-experience-min

One-of-a-Kind Suits for One-of-a-Kind Guys

With your custom suit through HARTTER MANLY, you will make all the choices. For instance, do you want your side-arm buttons glued or stitched? Additionally, what color do you want your stitches to be? Furthermore, do you want them to blend in or stand out as an accent? Need a suit to perfectly match a bridesmaid’s dress? We got you. In other words, every style and fit choice is up to you, ranging from lapel types to button layouts to vents. After you make your choices, watch your perfect suit come to life in superb quality.

Design a Custom Suit That Can Do It All

These suits feature modern twists on classic styles. Because of their versatility, you can wear them to any event, any way you want.