Judging by our clients’ most commonly-asked questions, the lapel may be one of fashion’s biggest mysteries. Questions include: “what tie should be worn with what lapel?” and “when should one wear a peaked or a notched lapel?” Thankfully, I’m here to give the answers.
Wisdom states that the width of your collar, the widest part of your tie and the widest part of your lapel should all be roughly the same. To spell it out, this means pairing your skinny tie with a narrow-collared shirt while reserving your power tie for a shirt with a wide collar or a jacket with peaked lapels. Follow these rules and you’ll look great, just like Hannibal (below) who always gets it right.
As for the second most commonly-asked question: when should one wear a notched or a peaked lapel? Some say the slimmer notched lapel looks better on slimmer guys whereas the wide, peaked lapel is better on heavier set guys. While this may be true in some cases, I’ve seen so many successful examples of the opposite that I tend to doubt it. The notched lapel can be worn by anyone and will look great on any type of suit except the double-breasted (which requires a peaked lapel). It’s perhaps better suited to formal events that aren’t overly fancy and it makes a perfect business look. The peaked lapel, on the other hand, is suitable for more formal occasions or, in terms of work, industries such as media, marketing or the stock market. It can be worn on a single or a double-breasted suit and looks great with a bold pin-stripe. Don’t be afraid to wear the peaked lapel at work, either: it may give you a more dynamic aura. While there’s no reason to favor the peaked lapel jacket, you may want to have at least one in your wardrobe to whip out on those days when you’re feeling extra fancy. Click on “Get the Look” for a Hannibal-esque jacket if ever there was one.