There are particular characteristics that determine if something is more formal or more casual when it comes to formality and classic menswear.
A derby shoe, for example, with an open lacing system, is more casual than an Oxford shoe with a closed lacing system.
A peak lapel is more formal than a notch lapel when it comes to suits.
The overlooked factor when assessing the formality of a sport coat or a suit jacket is its pockets.
Here, I’ll quickly examine three distinct suit jacket pocket styles and discuss how they fit into the various levels of formality for a sport coat or suit jacket.
Besom, jetted, or welted pockets are the three terms used to describe the most formal type of pockets. The opening is reinforced by the welding.
Actually, it’s only a slit in the fabric with a pocket lining hidden underneath. It’s arguably the most formal because it’s so clean and neat.
There aren’t many jutting out of the pockets on the sides. They are essentially unnoticeable and the fabric is clean.
These can also be found on tuxedos or evening wear black tie outfits. That demonstrates the high standard of formality they represent.
As I previously stated, it is essentially a slit with two reinforced edges to prevent fraying or tearing.
- The most formal pocket type is jetted pockets. In terms of both structure and overall style effect, this is the complete opposite of patch pockets.
- A patch pocket is fully external to the body of the jacket, whereas a jetted pocket is almost entirely interior, maintaining the jacket’s lines considerably cleaner and sleeker. Jetted pockets are a must for a tuxedo or dinner jacket.
- You can get a standard suit with jetted pockets. The suit will feel more formal as a result, so just be aware of that.
Flap pockets come next in terms of formality. In terms of scale or formality, they fall somewhere in the middle.
Flap pocket obviously refers to the flap that covers the pocket. Some suits may include a ticket pocket with the flap; a second fairly small flap pocket right above the other.
Due to the fact that they were initially created for country attire, flap pockets are more casual.
The flap is constructed in such a way that it prevents dirt from entering the pocket and also prevents items from falling out of the pockets.
The flap pocket is more casual simply because of its country connotations.
Another element that contributes to the suit’s informality is the inclusion of the ticket pocket.
Originally, these were used to insert tickets when men traveled the train to their country houses or to pursue their country activities after being in the city. You still have a connection to the countryside.
Simply tucking in the flap transforms flap pockets into simulated jetted pockets. It resembles a welted pocket or a jetted pocket exactly.
I strongly advise the flap pocket if you want to go with something that’s in the middle of the pack because of its versatility.
You can tuck in the flap to make it appear a little more formal. Just pull the flap out of the pocket if you want to go for an appearance that is more casual or in between, or if you are concerned that things will fall out of your pockets.
These suit pocket designs are arguably the most common ones available today.
This pocket type has a middle position on the scale of formality due to the flap. The first is a jetted pocket, while the second is a flap pocket.
- A very versatile, traditional, and middle-of-the-road pocket design is the flap pocket. They make in between formal and casual, making them the most prevalent kind of pocket you see.
- Flap pockets are very functional. They look great whether you’re wearing a business suit or a separate jacket.
- They look great in pretty much any setting.
- Because flap pockets are so versatile, I would suggest choosing them if you are receiving your first made to measure suit.
- Let’s now examine the third type of suit pocket.
As the name implies, it’s basically a patch of the same fabric as the suit put to the garment’s surface.
Of the three pocket styles we’re considering, the patch pocket is the most casual. Most likely because it is the most noticeable. It’s on the outside, it’s an extra part, so they can be seen more clearly.
Overall, wearing patches would be more casual than wearing something you don’t see as often. Other styles of casual jackets, sport coats, safari jackets, hunting jackets, riding jackets, and so forth all frequently feature patch pockets.
Patch pockets can be found on the more casual and sporty versions.
A patch pocket will make any suit jacket more casual, even if it is a little more formal or suitable for business use in the city.
- The most casual choice for a suit is patch pockets.
- Because the pocket is attached to the exterior of the jacket via sewing, much like a patch, they are known as patch pockets.
- If you look at the jacket from the front, there won’t be as much of a neat line as there would be if the pocket had been sewed on the inside. The effect is that the suit loses some of its formality.
- Patch pockets are a great choice for a sport coat or blazer because of how much more casual they are, especially if the fabric is tweed or cotton.
- They can also be a great choice for a suit, especially if the fabric is hopsack. In particular, when you are thinking about wearing the jacket separately, this will help make your suit more versatile.
That’s a brief summary of how pocket styles might influence how formal a suit or sport coat is.
When determining the formality of what you’re wearing, the spectrum includes the jetted pocket as the most formal, the flap pocket as an intermediary, and the patch pocket as the most casual.
Consider this when choosing a suit or sport coat, keeping in mind the setting in which you’ll be wearing it.
You should lean toward the more formal end of the range if you’re wearing it in a strictly professional setting.
Go for a patch pocket if you’re wearing it for fun or if you want to separate the suit into a weekend-appropriate piece because patch pockets resemble separates in sport coats. The jetted pocket, however, appears to be a component of a suit.
You should keep it in mind while you plan your clothing.