Peak lapels vs notch lapels – The guide

Notch or peak lapels? What is the difference and when should you wear the different types of lapels? Lapels is referring to the folded flaps on the front of your jacket and are connected to the collar. Since the lapels actually have little functional purpose it doesn’t mean that you should take lightly on this design choice. The choice of the notch, shawl, or peak lapels for your suit will play a big part in the overall approach.

Are you looking for a suit to wear in a work environment? Are you getting married or going to attend a wedding that requires a suit? Or are you looking for a more casual suit or a jacket that you can combine with a lot of other garments? Depending on the area of use it’s a good idea to carefully consider whether to choose notch or peak lapels.

In this article, we want to take the opportunity to help you navigate between what lapel to choose for your jacket.

Peak lapel or 2 button notch?

We offer 4 different lapels and closures where we also consider two different lapel widths. All suit lapels have their advantages from a purely aesthetic perspective, while the width of the suit lapels contributes to achieving better balance and proportions in relation to your body. Let’s go through each lapel option and detailed information about their different meanings and designs.

2-button notch lapel

This type of closure and lapel can be considered the most commercial and therefore something that many might associate with the most classic type of jacket.  The jacket is designed in such a way that it has two buttons, where you, of course, only button the top button. Never close the bottom button, it will affect the fit and fabric of your suit jacket and not in a good way. The lapels of this design choice are, just as the name implies, notch. Notch lapels are in all cases the most classic ones you can choose and therefore very versatile. You can never go wrong with notch lapel.

2 button peak lapel

The next type of closure and lapel can be seen as directly related to the 2 button notch lapel as this variant is also designed with two buttons of which only the top button is buttoned. What distinguishes the 2 button peak lapel compared to the previous one is that the lapels are, hence the name, peak, which means that they go a little longer over the chest and collarbones. The peak lapel suit might be considered slightly more formal and mostly seen on a double-breasted jacket.

2,5 buttons notch lapel

This variant is really a favorite at Blugiallo, which has become a bit of our signature when it comes to jacket design. This can definitely be seen as a perfect option for someone who wants to add some novelty value to their wardrobe. In fact, this is relatively similar to the 2 button notch lapel while adding that little something extra! 2.5 buttons notch lapel means that you actually have three buttons in the closure of the jacket, of which the top button is pressed under the lapel. By pressing the button under the lapel, this means that you get a little more volume in the particular lapel, something we call “roll”. By achieving a good roll in the lapels, this gives the jacket a somewhat softer overall impression that permeates our vision of “Soft tailoring”. A nice tailored detail with the top buttonhole visible is also formed.

6 buttons double breasted

If you feel that you would like to try something new to contribute to a statement piece in the wardrobe, it is always a good idea to invest in a double breasted jacket. Just like a 2 button peak lapel, the double breasted jacket has peak lapels as well. The design of the jacket as a whole is in a wrap design with 6 buttons, of which you only button the middle row.

Peak lapel

The width of the lapels

The width of the lapel comes in two different options, standard lapel and wide lapel. When making the decision there can sometimes be a little confusion about which type of width to choose. Of course, this is a matter of finding the right proportions in the jacket, but it is also a matter of taste and preference.

Width of notch lapels

When it comes to the notch lapels, the standard lapels are 9,5 cm, while the wide ones are 11 cm. In order to achieve the right proportions, we usually recommend that if you are slightly smaller over the shoulders, choose the standard lapel. Instead, if you have slightly wider shoulders, the recommendation is to go for the wide ones.

Width of peak lapels

Given that the pointed lapels go a little further over the collarbones and shoulders, this means that the lapels are automatically wider than notch lapels. The standard lapels for the peak lapel are 9.2 cm, while the wide peak lapel are 11,5 cm. Both standard and wide peak lapels suits are truly a statement in the wardrobe!

Width of peak lapels as double breasted jacket

Keep in mind that a double-breasted blazer is always designed, as previously mentioned, in a wrap-around closure, which means that the scope of the lapels is always wider. The standard lapels measure 9.6 cm, while the wide lapels have a more of rounded form to it, which gave them the width of 12 cm.

Width compared to your body

Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to define narrower/wider shoulders. Thus, a good rule to keep in mind is to start from your standard size. If you normally start from size 46 and larger in a jacket, it is always a good idea to choose the wide ones. If you start from a size smaller than 46, the recommendation is always to go for the standard lapel.

Wide notch lapel

How to wear peak lapel vs notch lapel

When it comes to choosing the right type of lapels for specific jackets, it is first and foremost important to look at the context in which the jacket will be used. In this way, it is also important to keep the fabric in mind. Are you aiming for a classic worsted wool in, for example, a traveller, or are you looking for a more of a casual jacket? You can also segment the jacket into different degrees of formality, where one becomes more formal than the other.

Formal attires

If you’re going to a wedding, or maybe you’re getting married yourself, it’s always a good idea to aim for as formal a look as possible. Of course, this is based on the specific dress code. Thus, it is a very nice choice to dare to try the peak lapel, either in a double-breasted, or single-breasted version. Combining peak lapels with a formal fabric is incredibly nice, such as a midnight blue suit. When it comes to tuxedos, the choice around peak lapels can be considered self-evident. The dressed lapels in either satin or ottoman work very well as peak lapels to take formality to the next level!

For a tuxedo there is also the choice of the shawl lapel. This lapel has no notch or peak instead it has a rounded edge. The shawl lapel is only to be used for the tuxedo and therefore, obviously, only seen in formal occasions.

Midnight blue tuxedo with peak lapels

Semi-formal attires

If you are looking for a suit/jacket that you will wear in a work environment, where the color choice is between a dark blue, grey or brown, invest in a jacket with notch lapels. Depending on how comfortable you feel with going from the commercial circle, the recommendation in this situation is to dare to test a 2.5 buttons notch. Through this choice, you can easily combine the jacket as a full suit, but also easily break up the jacket and go with a pair of odd trousers.

Casual attires

Have you started looking for a jacket that you can combine very freely, either during autumn/winter or spring/summer? You may feel that you want a jacket in flannel or possibly cotton, alternatively linen. This particular jacket is up to the wearer to design, where you can choose any type of suit without any problems. It is important to keep in mind, however, that a peak lapel always becomes a little more formal, but if you put it with a linen blazer, the expression “cocky, yet elegant” has never fit so well! In this situation, you should also not be a coward to try a double-breasted jacket. The tip here is to dare to have the jacket unbuttoned and flutter freely in the wind to tie together the dressed, yet relaxed look!

Lapel coats

Even though the choice of notch or peak lapels often are considered for the suit or tuxedo the choice is also available when it comes to designing your coat. The different coat lapels are similar to the ones for a jacket but not quite as many.

  • 3-button notch lapel
  • 3-button peak lapel
  • 6-button double-breasted

The choice of closure and lapels for your coat is only a question of personal preferences. For the single-breasted, 3-button closure you can choose either notch or peak lapels. The double-breasted wool overcoat might be perceived as more ‘dressed’ but either way, you can be sure to look stylish during the colder seasons with a tailored overcoat.

Dark brown wool overcoat