Should the suit jacket’s pocket flaps be worn in or out?

How many times have you had to go out in the evening in your work outfit, simply because there wasn’t enough time to go home and change? Imagine you’re invited to an elegant evening reception and would like to change into a dressier suit, that’s more appropriate than the one you’re wearing for work but your schedule doesn’t allow it? Well, here’s a very simple way of turning a business suit into one that looks more formal – and it’s all about the jacket’s pockets.

Nowadays, most suit jackets’ pockets are flapped. The actual opening is concealed by a rectangular flap that was originally intended to keep items from falling out of the pockets, as well as keeping them from getting wet when raining. Today, there is little practical use for the flap apart from distinguishing a business suit from a formal one, which in contrast, features jetted ‘slit’ pockets.

These consist of a neat horizontal slit with piping (rolled fabric) on both sides of the pocket opening. Based on the notion of ‘less is more formal’, the minimalist appearance of jetted pockets makes them the more elegant of the two pocket styles. In fact, in addition to the lapel, one of the main features of a dinner jacket are its jetted pockets.

However, dinner jackets are rarely required these days. Yet, turning up in your office suit at an evening event, such as a reception, or a classical concert can give you the feeling of attending more of a professional than a social event – as though it’s an extension of your working day. A quick and easy way of transforming your work suit into one that looks dressier, whilst still keeping it a notch down from the formality of a dinner jacket, is by tucking the flap into the pocket, effectively turning the pocket into a jetted one. Worn with a plain white shirt, cufflinks, a dark neck tie, and a simply folded pocket square, the result can only be one of effortless refinement.

There is one important point to keep in mind. Flap pockets typically include a welt (piping) just above the flap. However, top quality suits, such as those available at KIR ROYAL, also feature a welt on the other side of the pocket opening i.e. concealed by the flap. The double welt is a distinguishing feature of quality suits and without it, a tucked in pocket flap will result in the pocket opening looking incomplete. 

In that case, there is no option but to wear the flap out of the pocket, as that is how that particular suit jacket’s pockets are intended to be worn. 

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