One impactful way to make a suit look like you had it made for you instead of bought off the rack is to throw some unique pockets on the jacket and pants. In fact, the pockets you put on your jacket will have almost as much influence on its level of formality or dandiness as the fabric itself. The following is a brief run-down on different pockets and the image that they’ll help you project.
Jacket Pocket Styles
You’ve seen this a million times, and it’s a perfect option with classic business suits.
Another common pocket style, this is achieved by removing the flap. Traditionally the only appropriate pocket style for formal wear, you can get the same look by simply tucking the flap into the pocket.
British in origin, the ticket pocket originated as a way for a gentleman to have his train or opera tickets at the ready so the lady he was with wouldn’t have to worry about them. Nowadays it’s a stylish aesthetic detail that is great for social occasions but may be a bit too fashion-forward for more conservative industries.
Remember, any of these pockets can be slanted (like the ticket pockets above), thus turning them into hacking pockets.
Pant Pocket Styles
Standard with pleated pants, as its placement won’t make the pleat area look cluttered.
1/4 Top Pocket
Standard with flat-front pants, as it tends to lay more smoothly than an on-seam pocket does on a flat-front pant.
Rarely seen on ready-to-wear merchandise, this pocket style isn’t connected to the side seam of the pants and floats independently. More of a custom look, this pocket lays very cleanly with flat-front pants and is easily Mike’s favorite pant pocket style.
Appropriate for very casual pants, this pocket is great for odd seersucker trousers and other cotton pants. It will lend a distinctly 1970’s vibe to a traditional suit, and as such we advise against it for that purpose.
Any combination of what you see above is fair game in the custom world. Have some fun picking things out, and stay tuned for the next installment of the suit series: pleats or no pleats?