A beautiful lapel roll is a sight to behold, one of the touchstones of a high-quality jacket. Unfortunately, some dry cleaners simply press lapels as flat as they can with a commercial press, destroying the roll. If you buy your jackets from a high-quality outfit, they may offer a “sponge & press” service, which involves hand-pressing the garment to its original shape. That service can be very tough to find these days, though, so it pays to know how to get that roll back at home.
To regain the shape of the lapel, StyleForum veteran Sator recommends the following procedure (which can, in my experience, also be roughly replicated with a steamer):

Try lying the coat down with the lapel lying flat, wrong side (the  underside of the lapels) upwards. The collar should be standing up - as  when you “pop” your collar. Place a press cloth over the roll of the lapel, near the buttoning point. A tea towel might do the trick. Lightly dampen the roll of the lapel. Press over the roll line near the buttoning point, ensuring you always iron with the press cloth under the iron. You may need to put a bit of downward force on it. In the tailoring  workshop you would use a heavy iron but you might just have to use a  strong arm. You may need to repeat this again the next day, especially if a heavy duty laundry press has been used on your lapel roll line.

A beautiful lapel roll is a sight to behold, one of the touchstones of a high-quality jacket. Unfortunately, some dry cleaners simply press lapels as flat as they can with a commercial press, destroying the roll. If you buy your jackets from a high-quality outfit, they may offer a “sponge & press” service, which involves hand-pressing the garment to its original shape. That service can be very tough to find these days, though, so it pays to know how to get that roll back at home.

To regain the shape of the lapel, StyleForum veteran Sator recommends the following procedure (which can, in my experience, also be roughly replicated with a steamer):

Try lying the coat down with the lapel lying flat, wrong side (the underside of the lapels) upwards. The collar should be standing up - as when you “pop” your collar.

Place a press cloth over the roll of the lapel, near the buttoning point. A tea towel might do the trick.

Lightly dampen the roll of the lapel.

Press over the roll line near the buttoning point, ensuring you always iron with the press cloth under the iron.

You may need to put a bit of downward force on it. In the tailoring workshop you would use a heavy iron but you might just have to use a strong arm.

You may need to repeat this again the next day, especially if a heavy duty laundry press has been used on your lapel roll line.

Q and Answer: The Three-Roll-Two
Benjamin writes to ask: I inherited a handful of my grandfather’s tasteful suits a few years ago  and am slowly having them tailored and integrated into my wardrobe.  Among my favorites are a very classic Brooks Brothers navy blazer and a  cotton khaki suit. Both include three-button jackets, however the lapels  were folded as two-buttons leaving the third button hole exposed on the  lower part of the lapel. Being under 6’, I tend to prefer a two-button  jacket, so I would like to keep them folded the way they are now. But I  would also like to know a little more about the style, what’s the deal  here? Was it a style years ago? Is it considered tacky?
What you’ve got is probably the most classic suit buttoning style, the 3-roll-2:  three buttons, with a roll in the lapel that rolls under the top button, making the coat functionally a two-button.
Three-button suits were the style of the “Friends” era, and two buttons the style of the “Cheers” era.  The 3-roll-2 is a compromise.  It’s found on many Savile Row single-breasteds, and is the classic buttoning for the undarted Ivy League-style “sack” suit.  It’s the opposite of tacky - the epitome of class.
The great challenge will be preserving the lapel roll as such.  On cheap and mishandled suits, the lapel doesn’t roll at all - it folds.  Often dry cleaners will press the lapel down into the chest of the suit, flattening out the suit’s three-dimensional shape.  They’ll also often press a 3-roll-2 into an awkward three-button, so be vigilant.  A good tailor can steam the lapel roll for you to preserve its shape.

Q and Answer: The Three-Roll-Two

Benjamin writes to ask: I inherited a handful of my grandfather’s tasteful suits a few years ago and am slowly having them tailored and integrated into my wardrobe. Among my favorites are a very classic Brooks Brothers navy blazer and a cotton khaki suit. Both include three-button jackets, however the lapels were folded as two-buttons leaving the third button hole exposed on the lower part of the lapel. Being under 6’, I tend to prefer a two-button jacket, so I would like to keep them folded the way they are now. But I would also like to know a little more about the style, what’s the deal here? Was it a style years ago? Is it considered tacky?

What you’ve got is probably the most classic suit buttoning style, the 3-roll-2:  three buttons, with a roll in the lapel that rolls under the top button, making the coat functionally a two-button.

Three-button suits were the style of the “Friends” era, and two buttons the style of the “Cheers” era.  The 3-roll-2 is a compromise.  It’s found on many Savile Row single-breasteds, and is the classic buttoning for the undarted Ivy League-style “sack” suit.  It’s the opposite of tacky - the epitome of class.

The great challenge will be preserving the lapel roll as such.  On cheap and mishandled suits, the lapel doesn’t roll at all - it folds.  Often dry cleaners will press the lapel down into the chest of the suit, flattening out the suit’s three-dimensional shape.  They’ll also often press a 3-roll-2 into an awkward three-button, so be vigilant.  A good tailor can steam the lapel roll for you to preserve its shape.

A Guide to Men’s Jacket Lapels

Many of our readers are style aficionados.  We know too, though, that many are just learning the ropes.  A reader emailed me the other day, saying he’d appreciate some information on the various types of jacket lapels.

The peaked lapel has a lower blade which extends beyond the upper blade.  In British English, it’s known as a pointed lapel.  This lapel is traditional on double-breasted suits, and on more formal single-breasted suits.  A single-breasted, peak-lapel suit is the most formal informal suit a man can wear.  It is also the lapel on most evening and formal wear.

The notch lapel has an appropriate name, as it has a notch cut into it (the English call it a step lapel).  A bit like what Pac-Man might look like, if he were a lapel, instead of a circle.  This is the lapel configuration of most single-breasted business suits.  You sometimes see it on evening wear, but it is, in our book, inappropriate and inelegant in that context.

The least-common lapel style is the shawl lapel.  This lapel features a clean, unbroken line.  In roughly 1993, you might have caught one or two shawl lapels on lounge suits if you watched The Larry Sanders Show closely enough, but generally, you’ll only see them on evening clothes.  Generally, the shawl lapel is a relatively informal style in the formal wear context, often seen on white dinner jackets, which are worn during summer months.

There is also the Nehru jacket, which features no lapel, and should pretty much only be worn if your name is Nehru.