The peak lapel is an elegant variant on the notch lapel, distinguished by the sharp angulation of the lapel’s upper edges above the collar. It’s most often seen on double-breasted suits, making it a regular at black-tie affairs. This style of suit lapel isn’t quite as flashy as the shawl lapel, but it still exudes opulence and refinement. Keep that in mind when donning it.
Key characteristics: distinctly pointed shoulders, the prevailing fashion since the 16th century.
Single Breasted Suit
A single-breasted suit is the most common style for men to wear. You can tell if a shirt has one, two, or three buttons along the seam, or you can just look around you at the uniform that 99 percent of working men wear. A single-breasted suit has fewer buttons than a double-breasted one, so it gives the wearer the impression of being slimmer and more trim. Notch lapels are the most common accessory choice for these suits.
When it comes to a single-breasted suit, there are strict regulations regarding button placement. When wearing a suit with only one button, it’s proper to fasten it while standing and unfasten it while seated. When wearing a suit with two buttons, the top button should be fastened at all times while standing and unfastened when seated. If you happen to own one of those extremely unusual suits with three buttons, you should always fasten the middle button (while seated or standing) but never the lower one. Suits without a breast pocket can look great on a wide range of men.
There can be a maximum of three buttons, but usually only two are used.
There are three main types of lapels: the notch, the peak, and the shawl.
Double Breasted Suit
The double-breasted suit, as opposed to the single-breasted, has decorative buttons on both sides of the jacket. You can find anywhere from four to eight buttons, with six being the most common. Since there are now more buttons to draw the eye to, the attention is drawn away from the seam and toward the sides, giving the impression of a more proportionately broad body. The benefit of this sort of optical trickery is often dependent on the wearer’s body type, with stockier men being better off with a traditional single-breasted suit.
The double-breasted suit, once reserved for black-tie affairs, is now popular among trend-conscious men everywhere, but especially in Europe. The jacket of the updated suit typically has peak lapels, but works well with other colours as well. The rules for buttoning a double-breasted jacket are straightforward: whether you’re sitting or standing, leave the bottom button undone and the top button(s) fastened.
Typically, there are six buttons, but four or eight are possible.
In terms of lapels, you can choose between peak and shawl styles, with the former being more common.
Some males assume that fashionable blazers and padded interiors go hand in hand. The unstructured blazer for men, however, is here to dispel any such notions. In contrast to its structured counterpart, the unstructured blazer has no padding on the inside, giving it a looser, more comfortable fit and a more casual air.
The unstructured blazer, typically made of a single layer of material, is perfect for the warmer months of the year. There is, however, a fine line between men’s casual suits and looking unkempt, so they should proceed with caution. To achieve this look, look for a casual blazer that still reflects your sense of style while also showing off your personality. Just the right amount of slack.
Notably, it has no padding on the inside and is therefore more suited to informal and semiformal settings.
Patch Pocket Blazer
A patch pocket is an exterior pocket that is cut from a different fabric and sewn onto a sport coat or blazer. Patch pockets, like the unstructured blazer, are a great way to add a touch of individuality to an otherwise straightforward outfit. One quick note: if patch pockets are to be used, they should be used consistently across all outer pockets and not just a select few. Check that the colours and patterns are consistent throughout. These contemporary, casual men’s blazers are a great way to top off a low-key, on-trend fall or winter ensemble.