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What Is a Notch Collar?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2014
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A notch collar is a type of jacket or shirt front that typically tops a row of buttons in the garment's center. The notch detail is actually in the lapels that attach to each side of the collar portion that fits around the neck. Rather than a plain straight or curved lapel section added to the neck portion of a collar, a notch, or cut out section, accents each of the lapels. The V-shaped notch tends to give clothing a formal look that has become popular for suits and office wear.

Both men's and women's suit jackets may feature a notch collar. The formal men's evening suits called tuxedos often have a notched V-shaped lapel collar. Suits, shirts and coats with a U-shaped, rounded notch cut from the lapels usually look much less formal than garments finished with a V-shaped lapel notch style. The straight angles appear less relaxed than softer fabric curves.

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A fairly stiff, dense fabric is needed to make either type of notch collar, as otherwise the material would tend to curl under rather than remain flat on the upper chest area. Many notched collar garments are made with a piece of fusible interfacing sandwiched between each side of a lapel fabric section. Fusible interfacing is a synthetic material sold in sheet form that fuses, or bonds, to fabric when it's ironed onto it. Non-fusible interfacing made to be sewn on is also available. Dressmakers use interfacing to add stiffness and shape to waistbands, pockets and other clothing details including collars.

Suede and thicker leather jackets may not require interfacing in their collars. A notched collar style on leather or suede outerwear is mainly seen on dressy button-front coats rather than more casual short jackets with zippers. Business appropriate versions of the classic mandarin collar motorcycle, or biker, leather jacket almost always feature a notch collar.

A notch collar coat or jacket can make a good dress wear addition to many wardrobes. Many notch style collar garments are versatile and could be worn with more casual wear such as jeans, as long as the denim jean color is dark and there are no rips or tears. Jackets with notch collars may be more expensive than ones with another type of collar — not because of the collar style, but due to a dressier type of material.

Lab coats often have a notched lapel collar. It's the classic styling for the traditional white laboratory coat. The notch lab coat collar adds a professional look to the plain white jacket while also providing stylish detail. Some women's lab coat styles feature embroidered details on the notch collar.

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seag47
Post 4

My mother has a beautiful polyester blend blouse that has an embroidered notch collar. The blouse is deep purple with a light blue and silver paisley design on the front, and light blue thread was stitched around the edge of the collar.

An embroidered paisley design lies just inside the notched area on both lapels. This really accents the notch. The light blue thread contrasts with the dark purple, so it really stands out.

A few silver sequins have been sewn on here and there, so the blouse sparkles a bit. This is her favorite blouse, because it makes her feel glamorous.

OeKc05
Post 3

My husband wore a notch collar tuxedo at our wedding, and that was the most dressed up I have ever seen him. The jacket was black, and it came with a black vest to match.

With all that black going on, you couldn't see the notch collar from a distance. However, when we were dancing at the reception, I got a good look at it. It really did something for the suit.

I may never see him in a notch collar suit again, but at least I have pictures to remember how he looked in it. He dresses very casually around the house and for his job, so notch collar items are not in his wardrobe.

StarJo
Post 2

@lighth0se33 – I know what you mean. I only have one notch collar blouse, and I wear it only on special occasions. I do have a notch collar blazer that I wear more frequently, though, and I feel like I am getting my money's worth out of it.

The blazer has a long lapel with a V-shaped notch in it. It is charcoal gray, so I can wear it with almost anything. I wear it at work to stay warm, because even in the summer, they keep that place too cold for me.

The lapel is sturdy and stays in place very well. I can throw this blazer on over even a casual dress and suddenly feel more professional.

lighth0se33
Post 1

I always feel more dressed up and professional in a notch collar shirt than in any other type of blouse. I generally reserve these tops for formal business meetings or job interviews.

There is something about the stiffness of the collar that just lends a certain air to the blouse. I know that it won't get wrinkled throughout the day, and whenever I touch it absentmindedly, I suddenly feel important.

I have two of these blouses in my wardrobe. They cost more than most items of clothing that I buy, so that is why I don't have a lot of them. I figure that two should be enough, since I don't have formal meetings every day.

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