The HSS Guide To Suit Jacket Pocket Styles

The three types of suit jacket pockets and which might be right for you

Next to fabric and lapel style, there’s nothing that effects a suit’s formality and overall style effect than the type of pockets on the jacket. The three types of pockets – patch pockets, flap pockets and jetted pockets – run the gamut from casual to formal. Today, we’re rounding up all three suit jacket pocket styles and helping you choose which one is right for you.

Patch Pockets

suit jacket pocket styles guide

Patch pockets were actually the first iteration of blazer pockets – pockets originated as separate pieces (think of a man-purse). Tailors began to loosely attach them to garments in order to better secure one’s valuables from pickpockets and thieves, and fully attached patch pockets were just the obvious next step to that end.

Style Effect: Casual

REMINDER: Your suit jacket pockets are meant to be used!

HSS Style Advice: Because they’re more casual, patch pockets are a great option for a sport coat or blazer. However, don’t discount them as an option for a full suit. Their casual nature helps make your suit more versatile, especially when considering the jacket as a separate.

Flap Pockets

suit jacket pocket styles guide

The flap pocket is a versatile, middle-of-the-road, conservative pocket style. Its versatility can be liberating in that it doesn’t automatically restrict the garment to a certain dress code. A flap pocket jacket can be equally appropriate in a full suit ensemble in the boardroom or as a separate paired with business casual jeans and a tie.

Style Effect: Conservative

HSS Style Advice: There’s a reason the majority of suits and blazers you see have flap pockets. They look great in just about any situation. In fact, I’d say you can never go wrong with them (except if the event is black tie). If you are buying your first made-to-measure suit, you should get flap pockets.

Jetted Pockets

suit jacket pocket styles guide

Jetted pockets are pretty much the opposite of patch pockets. We’re talking both in effect and in construction. While a patch pocket is 100-percent external to the body of the jacket itself, the jetted pocket is almost entirely internal. By keeping the pocket purely internal, the lines of the jacket are inherently more clean and sleek – perfect for your impeccably tailored tuxedo or dinner jacket.

Style Effect: Formal

HSS Style Advice: Jetted pockets on formalwear are a must. Jetted pockets on a regular suit should be reserved for true sartorialists who understand the rules of style and have an incredibly strong sense of their own personal style. These are they folks who can pull off a jetted pocket with a denim shirt and nobody would question them.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa & Adam Lehman
He Spoke Style

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  • Sean

    Great article, one question though. In your HSS advice you said, “There’s a reason the majority of suits and blazers you see have patch pockets. They look great in just about any situation. In fact, I’d say you can never go wrong with them.” Should that have been flap instead of patch?

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      Yes, good catch. Thank you!

      • Sean

        No problem, just found your site and probably skimmed through about 2 years worth of articles yesterday, lots of great stuff! Thanks!

        • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

          Excellent! Glad to have you as a reader. How did you find us?

          • Sean

            A post over on reddit in the MFA forum, people were listing their favorite sites and I’ve checked out a bunch of them. This one is my favorite so far.

          • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

            That’s great to hear. Love us some reddit love!