A Pocket Primer: 8 Suit Coat Pockets

In the early days of suits, the coats had no pockets. Rather, men carried their essentials in small pouches. Typically tied around the waist, these early pockets stowed everything from bullets to brandy, but eventually, as suits became slimmer, these bags became too bulky and unwieldy to wear beneath them. Near the end of the 1800’s pockets began appearing on vests, and by the turn of the century, they were a mainstay feature in suit coats as well. Here’s a look at several types of pockets, many of which have been around 100 years or more.

 

In the early days of suits, the coats had no pockets. Rather, men carried their essentials in small pouches. Typically tied around the waist, these early pockets stowed everything from bullets to brandy, but eventually, as suits became slimmer, these bags became too bulky and unwieldy to wear beneath them. Near the end of the 1800’s pockets began appearing on vests, and by the turn of the century, they were a mainstay feature in suit coats as well. Here’s a look at several types of pockets, many of which have been around 100 years or more.

1. Patch Pockets

 

Often associated with lightweight fabrics, patch pockets are made of the same material as the suit coat, and they are sewn directly to its exterior. In contrast, most other suit coat pockets are small bags or pouches sewn into the lining of the jacket and accessed from a slot on the outside.

2. Flaps and Jets

Originally designed to protect the contents of your pockets from rain, flaps are small fabric covers that rest over the opening of pockets, and they are made with the same material as the rest of the coat. The flap is sewed to the jetting of the pocket, and if the flap is left off, the pocket is referred to as “jetted”. A common feature on tuxedo jackets, jetted pockets create a formal, polished look.

3. Straight Pockets

When a suit coat’s two main pockets feature lines that are parallel with the ground, they are referred to as straight. This is the traditional pocket placement for suit coats, and these pockets are considered slightly more formal than their slanted counterparts.

4. Slanted Pockets

Also known as hacked pockets, slanted pockets are relatively new compared to straight pockets, and they are associated with a sporty look. The lines of these pockets lend a shapelier look to some wearers, and they’ve often been lauded as easy to access – in fact, they first gained popularity among men who needed convenient access to their pockets while riding horseback.

5. Ticket Pockets

A convenient and stylish remnant from the era of rail travel, the ticket pocket is the small pocket above the right hip pocket on a suit coat. Typically covered with a flap and featuring a slim profile, this pocket is variably called a change pocket or a receipt pocket. Particularly popular with Savile Row tailoring and other coats with a narrow silhouette, this pocket can be equally stylish and functional – pop your subway card, money clip, or golf pencils in this pocket so you have them within easy reach.

6. Interior Pockets

Inner pockets serve to increase the storage capacity of a suit coat, and they are typically located on the inner chest area or near the waist. These pockets are useful for stowing wallets, keys, or other items, but you should avoid overfilling them. Too much weight or bulk in these pockets can ruin the integrity of the silhouette by creating unwanted bulges or creases.

7. Breast Pocket

The breast pocket is a small pocket on the left side of a suit coat. Traditionally jetted, this pocket is designed for one thing – to hold a pocket square. This small handkerchief lends a pop of color and panache to a suit, and you can play with different looks such as straight folds, one corner folds, or a puff folds to add a bit of intrigue.

8. Sewn-Shut Pockets

Pockets in off-the-rack suits are frequently sewn shut to keep the pockets fresh and empty for the suit’s eventual buyer. However, even with tailor-made suits, the pockets are sometimes sewn shut – it helps the suit lay better for its final pressing. A thread ripper can help you remove the stitches without marring the suit, or you can ask the tailor to remove them for you.

If you want to learn more about pockets or the rest of the suit, contact us directly. At Mario Rojas, we customize suits so you have the look, the fit, and the pockets that are right for you.

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