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Mind the Lapel | The Lapel Discussion Pt.1

Since the 1960’s the suit jacket lapel has undergone a serious evolution. 

Following the sleek and slim look of the 60’s era, we pushed through the 70’s with wild and wide peak lapels. The 80’s and 90’s brought on large jackets with heavy shoulders and low wide notched lapels. Through the turn of the millennium, we saw a surge of the “modern suit” with pencil thin lapels and ties to match. The natural question comes – where does that leave us now? And where is the lapel going? 

At the turn of the last decade we saw the “skinny” suit continue to be a relevant staple for a young guy’s wardrobe. It’s popularity was encouraged by GQ and other like-minded influencers for the majority of the 2000’s. Since then some interesting things have happened in the lapel’s evolution.

Over the past few years a division has grown between North American and European designers on this topic. People like Thom Brown continue to push forward with a shrunken narrow lapel and high gorge, while designers like Corneliani and Tom Ford are showing a wider lapel with a deeper front gorge.  (Left to right)

Moving forward I don’t see the lapel’s fashion trending back towards a narrow look. The influence of Pitti Uomo and the internet’s ability to bring us great photography from people like Tommy Ton and Scott Schuman has put the consumer’s finger directly on the pulse of men’s fashion. Designers are now influenced by a well-educated consumer, and accommodate styles accordingly.  Time will tell the direction we’re going on this topic. If fashion trends continue, we’ll see the wider lapel continue to gain traction. 

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