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All:

Quick question for the group - I am looking to buy just ONE tuxedo to wear to any formal occasions I have in the future. Most likely this would only include a formal ball or gala (or possibly a black tie wedding).

For versatility, should I get a NOTCH lapel or a PEAK lapel? I'm not a big fan of a "shawl" lapel so I am not considering that as an option.

Let me know your thoughts or, if the answer is, there is really no right answer here and no one will notice and both notch and peak are fine for all black tie occasions, please let me know that, as well.


Thank you all!

Best,

-Michael
 

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Although I tend to deviate from the forum consensus that a notch lapel tux is a sartorial sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance, I am sure that everybody who answers this will concur in recommending the peak lapel. This includes me.

Any reason why you don't care for the shawl collar? I have always rather fancied it, largely because I associate it with the Sean Connery James Bond, who was the ultimate tux-wearer to men of my generation.
 

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Just a personal preference. I, too, am a fan of James Bond. I just always think of the shawl as being on a white jacket with tux pants and more "trendy" than traditional. I could be wrong about that...
Oh, but the shawl lapel is incomparably more traditional than the notch lapel. The shawl lapel goes back to the 19th century and may have its roots in the smoking jackets of that era. The notch lapel was around in the pre-WWI era, then fell almost entirely into abeyance in the Interwar years (the "Golden Age" to most clothing buffs) and only really came into vogue in the 1960s.
 

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Shawl collar doesn't work well on someone, er, wide of girth (not that the OP necessarily is, but I find it a common reason Americans in particular steer clear of it).

That said, peak. Looks aside, how often can you wear a peak lapel these days? Enjoy a more classic look (and dodge fellow guests asking you to refill their glass or usher them to a table...)

DH
 

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I have nothing against a shawl lapel in theory. In practice, though, they tend to be narrow at the top and bulbous toward the bottom. I just don't like the line. If I could find a shawl lapel with a contour that basically tracks the shape of a standard notch lapel, but with curves and no notch, I think it might be fine.

Still, in my book it's got to be a peak lapel.
 

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I wear a shawl myself and it is classic with a clean line. I wear it on my black tux and my dinner jacket (see icon photo) but mine are cut narrower than those depicted on Mr. Bogart and Mr. Leach above. However, my Prince Charlie kilt jacket has a nice peak and it looks great. I am planning on having my next tux made with peak lapels just to mix things up.

Enjoy your black tie adventure!

Cheers,

BSR
 

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There is no tuxedo with a notch lapel! If it has a notch lapel is it NOT a tuxedo. It's a suit being scammed on to ignorant consumers!

See the Dress Code article linked from the Home Page!
The first notch lapel dinner jackets were popular in the 1920's. (not saying I am fond of them, but.....)
Also 2 and 3 button dinner jackets are basically lounge suits, this type introduced only in the 1990,s.

For me, shawl is the way to go every time, peak acceptable, but single button.
 
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