Why Suit Jacket Pockets are Sewn Shut

September 13, 2010 at 5:00 am 6 comments

By Chad Upton | Editor

Men’s suit jackets have their pockets sewn shut at the factory.

They do this so the pockets aren’t deformed by countless men as they try on the jackets. In some cases, there aren’t any real pockets anyway, but the flaps, buttons and seems are sewn to look like pockets are there.

If the jacket does have real pockets, the question is: to use the pockets, or not to use the pockets?

There are two camps on this issue.

Some say the pockets are there to be used for movie tickets, opera programs, cigars and other sleek items. In other words, definitely open your pockets up.

On the other hand, using the pockets can stress the seems and ruin the jacket over time. The jacket can also be easier to press without open pockets. So, you’ll have to pick a side.

If you’re on team open pockets, then you can ask your tailor to open the pockets, especially when you buy the jacket. If you’re a DIY kind of person, you can use a seam ripper to, well, rip the seam. You could also use a pair of nail clippers or fine scissors to cut the threads.

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Sources: Mens Warehouse, Ask Men

Entry filed under: Demystified. Tags: , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carmen  |  September 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I used to work in retail and people would go into the stalls, take off the sensors, steal things, and hide the sensors in pants that they leave behind. I always thought they sealed pockets to stop that!

    Reply
  • 2. Aaron  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I once dated a woman who was a fashion designer and I recall her telling me the same thing when I questioned why my suit jacket pockets were always sewn shut. Great article!

    Reply
  • 3. stiemogo  |  September 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Well, at least you spelled “seam” correctly once. You had me until the nail clippers were mentioned.

    Reply
  • 4. Walt  |  December 30, 2012 at 6:44 am

    If anyone else is considering cutting open the pockets then I strongly recommend that you ask the retailer to do it for you. I recently bought a Tweed jacket and attacked the wrong seam. It really isn’t that obvious! I bought an overcoat yesterday and again I can’t tell which seam I should be aiming for!

    Perhaps Chad could post some “how to” photos?

    Reply
  • 5. Willem  |  February 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    You can usually unpick the stitch holding the pocket closed, you shouldn’t need scissors or anything sharp.
    I’m in the pockets open camp, obviously, but the worst stress on pockets is on the trousers, which bare always open, so I’m not entirely sure this theory is correct.

    Reply
  • 6. Rob  |  March 24, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Nice work fellas. Stayed up countless nights trying to figure this one out.

    Reply

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