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Suit Insights| Men's suit lapels

When we first started RJ Clothing, we had to train our tailors on appropriate cuts and even more important, appropriate cuts with regard to each individual Gentleman. This last part is, in our opinion, one of the most important factors in the design of any Gentlemen’s suit and one that is overlooked far too often for our liking.

Let us elaborate further.

1 Correct Lapel Width

Like everything in the suit industry, there are no ‘standards’ per se, however, Gents can always revert to a benchmark set by tailors from generations throughout. For lapels, sizing should match that of the Gent’s shoulders and chest.

When to wear slim lapels?

Slim lapels are appropriate for younger Gents and for Gents who are looking for a more modern suit jacket cut.Not suitable for Gents who are medium to large in shoulders, chest and stomach.

When to wear regular lapels?

Appropriate for all types of work suits. Regular sized lapels are neither too thin nor too wide, they are the ideal width when looking to present yourself as conservative, an excellent way to stay under the radar with your look.

When to wear wide lapels?

When Gents want to stand out. A wide lapel is a noticeable one. Not for the faint hearted - But when pulled off, oozes power!

2 Notch vs. Peak lapels

Notch, the perfect balance between casual & formal

There are various versions of lapels that all Gents will come across, but the Notch and Peak versions are the fundamental styles for Men’s suits and ones you will see across all Menswear brands.

A typical notch lapel can be anywhere from 2.5” to 3.5”. Notch lapels in their design and sizing represent suits for more conservative occasions where the Gent is not looking to draw attention or add flair to the suit. Typical occasions can be interviews, meetings, corporate shoots, etc – a perfect balance between casual and formal. Twists on this can be a notch lapel of 4”, which is pushing the limits out towards the Wide lapel. RJ Clothing cut our Notch lapels to 3.3”

Peak, for the man who is willing to dare!

A go-to choice for the gent with a certain style, a taste for flamboyance and a man not afraid to portray his desires via his suit design. The sharp edges of the Peak Lapel exude power, hence why your power Double-breasted suits should always be cut with a strong Peak lapel. Tuxedos cut with peak lapels also tend to offer more flair for a Gent, as standing out in a room full of black suits can be difficult, even for the most exuberant among us. That is why we always stress a wide Peak Lapel with all our RJ Clothing Tuxedos. 4.2” or more for the man who is willing to dare!

In the end, every Menswear brand and tailor will have their own benchmarks and advice on suit cuts, as well as lapel sizing, a principal reason why the Men’s suit industry is an ever-changing adventure. Keeping this in mind, you only live once. So please, the next time you are contemplating having your suit tailor made, go bold, go big and don’t look back. The suit is only is as good as the man who wears it. It’s all you!

“Looking good and dressing well is a necessity.

Having a purpose in life is not.” Oscar Wilde

Until next time gents!

The RJ Clothing Team


We focus on the premium production of exclusive, made-to-measure tailored suits and menswear accessories for our consumer brand in Shanghai and for Businesses in Europe.The RJ Journal is a go-to educational destination for the modern gent. Keep informed and educated with our distinguished articles on suit insights and explore the latest collections from our RJ Gents - hear their stories and their style/fashion recommendations.

For educational videos on suiting, please visit our main YouTube page: The RJ Channel

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