A Guide to Suit Lapels and Buttons

A well-dressed man knows not only style, but also manner especially when it comes to suiting. It can easily get overwhelming with so many options and styles from cutting, collars, lapels, to details as small as pockets, cuffs, and buttons. If you have no idea how to choose the right suit, perhaps today you can start with the lapels and learn how to properly button your buttons.

Types of Suit Lapel

One important element of a suit jacket is the lapel. There are 3 types of suit lapels: Notch Lapels, Peak Lapels, and Shawl Lapels.


Notch Lapels: The most common lapels on most single-breasted suits and blazers. The notched lapel is when the lapel is connected at 75 – 90 degree angle.

Peak Lapels: The lapel has an upward pointed tip that makes the overall look more masculine and powerful. It is often used in double-breasted jackets design.

Shawl Lapels: A classy lapel design with a sense of formality and is often found on tuxedos.

The Importance of Buttons

The tradition of suit buttons dates back to when King Edward VII was the Prince of Wales and suits were becoming in vogue. King Edward VII got too fat for his waistcoat, so he stopped buttoning the bottom button to make it fit better. Eventually, everyone else in England and the British colonies followed the trend, stopped buttoning their bottom buttons, too.

Without a doubt, buttoning the button affects whether the style is formal or casual, fashionable or old-school. So how you should button your buttons?

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One-Button Jacket: A traditional suit designs are often cut shorter than other types of suits. It should be buttoned while standing and unbuttoned when you sit down.

Two-Button Jacket: The top button on these jackets should ALWAYS be buttoned when standing. Unbutton the jacket only when sitting down to avoid creases. Fasten it again as soon as you stand up from your seat. NEVER button the bottom button.

Three-Button Jacket: The three-button suit comes with a simple rule: "sometimes, always, never." It means you should sometimes button the top button (if you feel like it), always button the middle button, and never button the third.


Shop the Look

Notch Lapels

Peak Lapels

Shawl Lapels

by Olivia Lau @ FRESTYLE Team