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Tuxedo: Peak vs Semi-notch?

the_state

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I'm having a tuxedo made and have been told that for shorter, stocky guys (I'm 5"8, ~190lb), peak lapels should really be avoided. I was advised to go with a semi-notch lapel. What do you guys think? I've heard some traditionalists say that tuxes should all have peak lapels, but I've also read a lot of advice to the contrary.
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by Will
If you are truly afraid of peak lapels get a shawl collar and avoid the taint of the notch.

+1. Though I don't know where he got the idea that peak lapels shouldn't be worn by short and/or stocky people; I imagine in theory the peak will, if anything, be elongating and therefore best for those people. In reality it won't make the slightest difference either way.
 

cptjeff

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Where's that Rockefeller pic when you need it?

All three options are technically correct, but go with peak or shawl, as notch has taken on a connotation of low class rentals and cheap polyester. And any tips about shortening, elongating or whatnot are largely BS. Wear what you like. Peak looks best IMO, if you're really worried about adding too much weight to your chest find one with a narrower lapel or go with shawl.
 

the_state

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interesting... what about semi-peak? is this frowned upon?
 

TheFoo

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Why would peaks be bad for someone short and stocky?
 

OttoSkadelig

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any deleterious consequences of a peak on a short guy (which i don't get, BTW) will be trumped by the faux pas of a non-peak tux.
 

Johnny24

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Personally I tend to be a rule bender on a lot of things, but this is one where I want to stick with tradition.

Go peak or shawl, both are correct and while a tuxedo is not intended to stand out in a way that an orange zoot suit is, they are expected to be of a higher style than a standard suit and that fits the peak lapel or shawl collar concept. Most SB suits are sold with notch lapels so the peak is something a bit more refined and the shawl I believe is original tuxedo collar (I might be wrong on that).

The rally against notch seems to be from the idea that most OTR makers these days just use a suit shell to make a tuxedo jacket to save money (hence the notch lapels and 2-3 buttons on a lot of jackets). Tuxedo's are supposed to be subtle and refined but different than the standard suit you would wear daily in design and tailoring. There is the view also that notch collars are reserved for waiter/bartenders, and cheap rentals.

It sounds like you are well off enough to have a MTM/bespoke tuxedo made so I would do all that you can to make sure that it is correctly done. Get the peak or the shawl, make sure it is one button and that you show enough cuff to let your links be noticed. Being that it is made for you the tailor should allow the cut of the jacket to fit your shape, if you don't mind me asking are you 5'8 190lbs of muscle or more of full and round shape? If you are rounded the shawl might not be as becoming on you as a peak. If you want to add a dash of style get the tuxedo in midnight navy blue. I have a shawl collar midnight that is vintage from the 1940's that I had it tailored to perfection, it has been a major hit whenever it has been worn.
 

RSS

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Originally Posted by the_state
I'm having a tuxedo made and have been told that for shorter, stocky guys (I'm 5"8, ~190lb), peak lapels should really be avoided. I was advised to go with a semi-notch lapel. What do you guys think?
I think someone gave you bad advice.
 

Simplicio

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I agree: peak or shawl. If this is bespoke, you should be able to adjust the size and position of the lapels to best suit your build.
 

bowtielover

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Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum
+1. Though I don't know where he got the idea that peak lapels shouldn't be worn by short and/or stocky people; I imagine in theory the peak will, if anything, be elongating and therefore best for those people. In reality it won't make the slightest difference either way.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with notch lapels, they work just as well as peak or shawl in terms of formalwear and it really comes down to personal taste on which ever style you prefer.
 

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