Wedding Tux: Shawl vs. Peak for broad/muscular shoulders

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by BackInTheJox, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    So I've read conflicting reports on which lapel type on a tux looks "better" for someone with broad shoulders. I'm 30 years old, and ~5'7" and 175lbs, as a result of years of regular weightlifting/bodybuilding. I wear size 42S but with a 32 waist, so it's definitely a tapered V-torso look. I'm in the planning portions of figuring out what kind of tux I'm gonna buy for my wedding (in ~10 months), and understand the general rules of tuxes (peak or shawl, one button, no pocket flaps, no vent [although some people do double vent, I know], etc).

    I think that I prefer the shawl lapel look the best; however, I don't want to end up looking silly with a lapel that's too narrow relative to my shoulder width. I've read that a shawl lapel is "slimming" and that a peak lapel helps establish more of a "V" shape to the wearer . . . I'm not sure I really need either of those effects, but I don't want to pick something that turns any positives in my physique into liabilities.

    Here are a few pics of me just in a t-shirt and then with an old suit jacket to get an idea (ignore the jacket's fit and poor tailoring, it's old and I've bulked up a bit since I bought it...and ignore the dirty mirror):

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    Thoughts?
     


  2. Apollotrader

    Apollotrader Senior member

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    I think shawl, timeless classic and says "not a rental"
     


  3. add911_11

    add911_11 Senior member

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    For your build, I will prefer a 4-4.5 inch shawl Lapel, Double breasted four button jacket.

    BTW, your suit jacket looks off with your body. I think you are those who need bespoke for everything.

    What a great shape you are in your thirties....
     


  4. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    Yeah it came out looking real weird in those pics . . . it doesn't always look that awful, although I agree that it doesn't fit me exactly the way it should. I'm afraid I'm currently too poor to rely on bespoke for any regular clothing. But I will certainly try to take advantage of that in the future. And thanks for the suggestion, especially giving a specific width.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012


  5. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    Thanks! I've noticed that some shawls "start" fat/thick at the bottom (near the abdomen) and just sorta follow an odd contour up the shoulder (like this one http://www.josbank.com/menswear/shop/Product_11001_10050_101461 ). That looks pretty bad to me, and I'm assuming a more tapered look is preferred? Where it comes to more of a tapered V at the button (but remains thicker towards the shoulders).
     


  6. afreegreek

    afreegreek Well-Known Member

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    yup, go with the shawl collar.. peaks will make your shoulders look even wider.. the V is the look to have but there's a limit.. if you go too far it looks cartoonish.. since you're already a wide V you need to tone it down a little to get the 'balance'. I also agree with the other poster about the double breasted 4 button..
     


  7. afreegreek

    afreegreek Well-Known Member

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    you can't always know what will look good until you try in on.. for example, I've never been a fan of double breasted blazers either in pictures or on the hanger, that is until I put one on and found it works well for my body type.. I also have wider than average shoulders.. I found the same with colour.. I went to Brooks Brothers looking for a sport coat, the lady there picked one out in sky-blue cotton.. it was the last jacket on the rack I would have picked myself but it's my favourite summer coat now..
     


  8. BackInTheJox

    BackInTheJox Senior member

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    Interesting take. Yeah I must say, I've never been a fan of double breasted coats . . . but I'm not sure I ever tried one on either. Might have to visit a local suit dispenser and try one on.
     


  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I'm going to disagree with those that suggest shawl. Shawl is a very soft, louche, look, and for your body type, no matter how wide the lapels, it will just look incongruous IMHO. Go peak. Embrace your broad shoulders. Check out pictures of Shannon Sharpe, he wears peak lapels from TF often.
     


  10. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    This!

    Go peaks.
     


  11. EriQ009

    EriQ009 Senior member

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    Try on some different jackets and decide for yourself what you believe looks better. Maybe take some photos and post them up. That will give us more to go on.

    I also have a large drop, with a 46 jacket and 34 pants. I like wider peak lapels on my jackets, and think that it most complements my body type. However, I have a friend with a similar drop, and he swears by shawl lapels and looks good in them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012


  12. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    You may begin by donating this jacket to a thrift store.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012


  13. afreegreek

    afreegreek Well-Known Member

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    you have to consider the shape of the body and not concentrate only on the numbers.. I'm very wide shoulders but not thick front to back.. my width comes from bone structure not big muscles.. looking down from the top I'm very oval.. some guys with the same measurements are more round.. this makes a difference.. if I wear peak lapels I look like I'm shoulders on two sticks.. this guy has got big muscle mass.. with him the shawl will (usually) show more shirt as well as take away from his V shape, visually balancing his legs and upper body and balancing out the amounts of fabrics showing on his upper body.. shawls are also a notch up on the formal meter.. either way, the fit and accessories are going to make or break the look no matter the lapel style.. the devil is in the details..
     


  14. imanewbie

    imanewbie Senior member

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  15. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    The correct shape for shawl lapels can be seen here (about 1.50) -


    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]


    As you can see, they do get narrower as they go up. For someone with broad shoulders such as yourself, there's a risk that this will leave you with acres of empty cloth between the lapels and your shoulders, which could make you look even wider. Well-sized peak lapels stand a better chance of filling up that space and creating a balanced look overall, and may be easier to find off the rack than a good shawl.
    But as others have said, go try both on and see how they look. Then go MTM or bespoke if you can afford to.
     


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