Style Defined: Patch Pockets
The most casual pocket option for your suit, blazer or sport coat
Menswear guys love and appreciate the fact that blazers and sports jackets can be customized to hit pretty much any occasion or dress code just by tweaking the details.
People love picking out their favorite lapels, functioning buttons, linings, you name it. But the aspect that probably has the most significant impact on formality, besides maybe the fabric itself, is actually the pockets.
Starting from the most casual end of the spectrum, patch pockets are your go-to for a more dressed-down or casually tailored look – a favorite here at HSS.
Whereas the pockets of most garments (other than shirts) amount to essentially a slit in the outer facing fabric that opens to an inner, otherwise hidden pouch, patch pockets are merely sewn directly onto the outside of the jacket. In this way, the name makes a lot of sense – basically, they’re just patches with the top edge left unsewn.
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.
From a style perspective, patch pockets are the most casual of the pocket options. This is primarily because they are a rougher version of the alternatives and the version that disrupts the clean lines of a jacket the most. Not that that’s a bad thing at all. It just takes the formality level down a notch and relaxes the whole look.
Patch pockets are also the easiest to create. And while cost doesn’t always dictate formality, chances are a lot of men are going to be more inclined to throw down a chunk of change on, say, a wedding tux than on a casual weekend sportcoat.
While you will definitely see patch pockets on suits, you are ten times more likely to find them on casual jackets – think tweed sports coats, cotton blazers and the like. I highly doubt you’ll ever find them on a tuxedo, and even if you do, you should probably stay away.
In the end, patch pockets are a fabulous way to dress down a look but still stay sharp and tailored.
Thanks for reading.
He Spoke Style