Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Resurgence of the Wide Lapels

If you're one to pay attention to fashion, there is no doubt that you know in the world of fashion, every style and trend that's ever been thought of in the history of mankind will eventually make its way back into the modern times. 

For the past 5-6 years, the two most popular suit cuts around the world have been the British and the Italian styles. Both styles are characterized by the slimness throughout the entire length of the body, with the Italian style being tighter than its UK counterpart.

You've all seen these styles displayed in the windows of large clothing retail stores: undersized to tight-fitting jackets with shirt cuff-exposing jacket sleeves and almost-too-short skinny trousers that hit at or above the ankles. Most often, you'll see narrow lapels adorn these suit jackets.

Lapels. Lapels is the focus of this blog entry. 

There has been a resurgence of the wider lapels visible on catwalks, recent tv shows, blockbusters and magazines. For the first time in many years, I'm being asked by customers to design a suit for them that features lapels that are wider than 2.5" or 2.75". 

The above pictures showcase a custom navy suit that we recently made for a really good-looking young man who has been our loyal customer for years. Notice the width of the lapels? Those are 3.75" wide! I'll call our model, Andrew, since he wishes to remain anonymous due to professional reasons.

During Andrew's earlier visits, he would request simple clean-looking suits in various colours but all of them had the same skinny lapels. With his model-like features and towering height, we knew he would carry our suits well. Our business is to make people look good but Andrew made our suits LOOK REALLY GOOD.

Time passed and we saw Andrew again recently. He said he wanted some new suits made but with wider lapels. "How wide?" I asked. "This wide," he replied. His thumb and index finger indicated four inches of width. 

I smiled. "Wow. That's really wide. Um, why don't we try 3.75" or even 3.5" first?" We discussed this topic for quite some time. There was a lot of uncertainty because he hadn't seen himself in a wide-lapel suit before. He'd only seen them on actors on tv.

I didn't think it would be an issue. I knew it wouldn't be an issue for Andrew to wear wide lapels. He is really tall and has 20" wide shoulders. That's a really broad shoulder width. Most men have shoulders anywhere between 17" to 21". 

Here's a good way to figure out the maximum lapel width for yourself before you end up looking goofy: Your lapel tip generally shouldn't cross the imaginary halfway line of your shoulder. Check out the diagram below to better understand what I mean.

I just want to remind everyone that style is very personal. I simply inform people of what is currently the most popular trend according to the fashion industry and what my customers commonly ask for. But if you have a preferred style, say you like the skinny lapels, by all means, rock it and keep rocking it!

So there you have it. Wide lapels aren't out of style anymore. They have come back and is starting to make their way back into men's wardrobes! 

Perhaps try out a new style?