Lapel width of 1930s through to early 1950s mens suits

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Benny Holiday, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,093
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    One of the little obsessions I have with my suits, be they vintage or tailor-made to replicate the vintage style, is lapel width. I like them wide - not 1970s wide, mind you - but not continental 50s narrow, either. That said, there appears to be some variation in the width of the lapels even on my suits from the same period (as well as lapel shape, especially with the DB peak lapels, some of which have more belly than others). Anyway, they mostly seem to fall between 4.5-5.5 inches in width.

    Do you gents have a 'perfect' lapel width? What appeals to your eye the most? Here are my favourite single and DB lapel looks - but I haven't measured these exact ones as yet. I will do, though, and report their width on here shortly!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,467
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I like a bit of variety, I like the classic 'medium' lapel width all the way up to flamboyant large lapels. But I can't abide 'stylishly skinny' lapels. They look a bit sad and uninspired to me, and also lack the practicality of being able to fold them closed.
    Alan Flusser says the ideal lapel should be a little less than half the width of the shoulder. I think that this is a good conservative width, but I don't mind a little narrower, or a little to significantly wider.
     
  3. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    A week or 2 ago I watched Step Lively, one of Frank Sinatra's first movies, made in 1944. He was very skinny and the lapels on his suit weren't quite as wide as his shoulders but it was close.
     
  4. Boinciel

    Boinciel New in Town

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Canada
    Here are my sweet spots (I'm about a 37R):

    SB Notch: 3.75" is ideal, though I consider anywhere from 3.25" to 4" to be almost as nice. 3" is the bare bare minimum of what I consider wearable.
    SB Peak: 4" is the best; it can be half an inch to either side of that depending on the cut of the jacket.
    DB Peak: 4.5" is great, 5" is my limit on bold look jackets and 4" width lapels need to have a higher buttoning point to work well.
     
  5. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,456
    Location:
    London, UK
    Width really depends on the chest. Wide is good, but so is relatively narrow on the right suit.
     
  6. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,093
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Thanks for the responses, gents. It's interesting to see how other members' tastes compare with my own. I measured the lapels on the two suits pictured in the my initial post, and found the blue SB suit lapels to be 4 inches wide, while the grey DB lapels are 5 and a quarter inches wide. They're pretty much my ideal look for the balance of a suit coat's details.
     

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