The jacket's lapels can be notched (also called "stepped"), peaked ("pointed"), shawl, or "trick" (Mandarin and other unconventional styles). Each lapel style carries different connotations, and is worn with different cuts of suit. Notched lapels, the most common of the three, are usually only found on single-breasted jackets and are the most informal style. They are distinguished by a 75 to 90 degree 'notch' at the point where the lapel meets the collar. Peaked lapels have sharp edges which point upward towards the shoulders. Double-breasted jackets usually have peaked lapels, although peaked lapels are often found on single breasted jackets as well. Shawl lapels are a style derived from the Victorian informal evening wear, and as such are not normally seen on suit jackets except for tuxedos or dinner suits. For black tie events, only jackets with pointed and shawl lapels should be worn.
In the 1980s, double-breasted suits with notched lapels were popular with power suits and the New Wave style.
In the late 1920s and 1930s, a design considered very stylish was the single-breasted peaked lapel jacket. This has gone in and out of vogue periodically, being popular once again during the 1970s, and is still a recognised alternative. The ability to properly cut peak lapels on a single-breasted suit is one of the most challenging tailoring tasks, even for very experienced tailors.
The width of the lapel is a varying aspect of suits, and has changed over the years. The 1930s and 1970s featured exceptionally wide lapels, whereas during the late 1950s and most of the 1960s suits with very narrow lapels—often only about an inch wide—were in fashion. The 1980s saw mid-size lapels with a low gorge (the point on the jacket that forms the "notch" or "peak" between the collar and front lapel). Current (mid-2000s) trends are towards a narrower lapel and higher gorge. Necktie width usually follows the width of the jacket lapel.
Lapels also have a buttonhole, intended to hold a boutonnière, a decorative flower. These are now only commonly seen at more formal events. Usually double-breasted suits have one hole on each lapel (with a flower just on the left), while single-breasted suits have just one on the left.