Deutsch: Revers / Español: Solapa / Português: Lapela / Français: Revers / Italiano: Risvolto

Lapel is the folded flap of cloth on the front of a jacket or coat, which is typically found on suits, blazers, and other formal attire. In the fashion context, lapels are key elements that contribute to the overall style, structure, and aesthetic of a garment. They come in various shapes and styles, influencing the formality and appearance of the outfit.


In fashion, lapels are significant design features that can define the character and formality of a jacket or coat. They are extensions of the collar and fold back against the chest, forming a v-shaped opening. Lapels come in several styles, each suited to different occasions and fashion trends. The primary types of lapels are:

  • Notch Lapel: The most common type, characterized by a small notch where the lapel meets the collar. It is versatile and suitable for both casual and formal wear.
  • Peak Lapel: Features pointed edges that "peak" upwards towards the shoulder. This style is more formal and often found on double-breasted suits and tuxedos.
  • Shawl Lapel: A continuous curve without a break or notch, typically seen on tuxedos and evening wear, lending a sophisticated and elegant look.

The history of the lapel dates back to the 19th century when it evolved from the military uniforms and frock coats. Over time, lapels have become more tailored and stylistically varied, reflecting changes in fashion and tailoring techniques.

Special: Lapel Details and Customization

Lapels can be customized and detailed in various ways to enhance their visual appeal and suit specific fashion preferences:

  • Width: The width of lapels can vary from narrow to wide, affecting the overall look of the garment. Wider lapels tend to create a bolder, more vintage-inspired look, while narrow lapels offer a modern, sleek appearance.
  • Buttonhole: Often a small decorative buttonhole on the left lapel, used traditionally for a boutonnière (flower) during formal occasions.
  • Stitching: Lapels can feature different types of stitching, such as pick stitching, which adds a subtle, tailored detail.
  • Fabrics and Patterns: Lapels may have contrasting fabrics or patterns, such as satin lapels on tuxedos or velvet lapels for a luxurious touch.

Application Areas

Lapels are found in various fashion contexts:

  • Formal Wear: Integral to suits, tuxedos, and blazers, where the style of the lapel can denote the level of formality.
  • Outerwear: Featured on coats and jackets, adding structure and style.
  • Uniforms: Used in military, police, and service uniforms, often with specific insignia or decorations.
  • Casual Fashion: Seen in casual blazers and jackets, offering a relaxed yet stylish look.

Well-Known Examples

Several iconic styles and brands highlight the importance of lapels in fashion:

  • Brooks Brothers Suits: Known for their classic notch lapels on business suits.
  • Tom Ford Tuxedos: Famous for their wide peak lapels, exuding luxury and elegance.
  • Burberry Trench Coats: Feature distinctive lapels that contribute to their timeless appeal.
  • Ralph Lauren Blazers: Often showcase shawl lapels in their evening wear collections.
  • Savile Row Tailoring: Renowned for bespoke suits with perfectly tailored lapels, representing the pinnacle of custom tailoring.

Treatment and Risks

Proper care of garments with lapels ensures their longevity and maintains their appearance:

  • Cleaning: Follow specific care instructions for dry cleaning or washing. Avoid excessive ironing, as it can damage the lapel's structure.
  • Storage: Hang jackets and coats on sturdy hangers to preserve the shape of the lapels. Avoid crushing or folding them improperly.
  • Wear and Tear: Regular use can cause lapels to lose their shape or become worn. Ensure proper maintenance and periodic tailoring adjustments.
  • Alterations: Altering lapels requires skilled tailoring. Ensure any changes are done by experienced professionals to maintain the garment's integrity.

Similar Terms

  • Collar: The part of a garment that encircles the neck, often connected to or including the lapel.
  • Revers: Another term for lapel, particularly used in European fashion terminology.
  • Facings: The fabric on the inside of the lapel, which can sometimes be in a contrasting material or pattern.
  • Blazer: A type of jacket that typically features lapels, used in both formal and casual settings.


A lapel in the fashion context is a crucial design element of jackets and coats, influencing the style and formality of the garment. Lapels come in various styles, such as notch, peak, and shawl, each suited to different occasions. They can be customized in width, detailing, and fabric choices to enhance the garment's appearance. Proper care and maintenance are essential to preserve the shape and elegance of lapels, which are key features in formal wear, outerwear, and casual fashion.


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