Have you ever watched (or attended?!?) the Oscar’s? You’ll see a lot of women in fancy evening dresses that look very different, and you’ll see a lot of men dressed in swanky tuxedos that look very much alike. This is by design. Traditionally for very formal occasions, men basically wear a timeless and very masculine uniform known as Black Tie, which ensures they look great, but in a way that doesn’t compete with or steal attention away from the women they’re with.
But Black Tie isn’t exactly a uniform. It’s more of an art form. It’s just that tuxedos vary much more subtly. There are actually several elements that differentiate one tuxedo from another. One of those elements is the type of lapel. There are three different lapel types that tuxedos incorporate, and they each send a slightly different message about the tuxedo that’s being worn.
You’ll find one these three basic lapel types on nearly every tuxedo, with the exception of an occasional trendy fashion tuxedo that has a mandarin collar and no lapels.
Of course there are also variations on these lapels. A tuxedo coat may have a pleated or double lapel, a self lapel with satin trim, a satin lapel with self trim, etc. But the basic shapes are always there. Knowing not only the physical difference between the types, but also the difference in formality will considerably up your game for your next formal event!