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Waistcoat Pockets: Without Purpose?

Discussion in 'Suits' started by SteveN, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. SteveN

    SteveN One of the Regulars


    I have been following the 'Three piece suit' thread with great interest, and am (slowly) developing an idea of the perfect suit to have tailor made. While turning my attention to the pockets of the waistcoat I began to wonder what good these really are.

    Can anyone with a vintage waistcoat comment on the usability of the pockets? From photos (all I've seen; never examined a 'real' vintage jacket in person), they appear quite flat, without much room to keep anything in.

    So, are these pockets intended to be functional, or are they for fashion? Besides perhaps a pen, what would one keep in waistcoat pockets?

    - SteveN
  2. I've kept pens, keys, pocket watch, change, scraps of note taking, and i.d. in my vest pockets.
  3. Dinerman

    Dinerman Super Moderator Bartender

    I find vest pockets some of the most handy, especially with today's technology. They're perfect for a cellphone or ipod. I wear a pocket watch with my vest. Good for change or pieces of paper.
  4. Slim Portly

    Slim Portly One Too Many

    They are perfectly functional for me, but then I carry exactly the items they were designed for, e.g., pocket watch, vesta case, sovereign holder, cigar scissors, etc.
  5. Mr_Misanthropy

    Mr_Misanthropy Practically Family

    Quite functional! I carry all sorts of things ranging from pocket watch, cell phone, to tickets, and of course, plenty of Fedora Lounge matches to pass out!
  6. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

    I prefer a 4-pocket waistcoat, and there tends to be something in each one. Pocketwatch and pipe tool below, pen and pince nez or monocle above, at least. Sometimes a small notebook.
  7. I'm kind of lost without the pockets.

    I'm also a stickler for dress shirts with pockets. Everytime I wear one that doesn't have a pocket I'm at a loss for where to put my cell phone.. i don't want to stick it in my jacket because it changes the drape so i go for the shirt or vest pocket.

    Even have a separate pen pocket for my vest... if you look closely stitched separate from the rest of the pocket.

  8. dakotanorth

    dakotanorth Practically Family

    Welt pockets on a waistcoat?

    How funny, I just tried making a welt pocket for the first time the other night!
    I have to agree, they probably aren't the most versatile thing, but then again, no pockets at all just looks unfinished. It goes with the suit jacket so it should imitate the same features.
  9. Jay

    Jay Practically Family

    I've only recently discovered these pockets usefulness. Yesterday I carried a pen and pencil, matches, pocket watch, some spare change, and cash for the B. Franklin Bridge toll. I think I had some note-paper too. Anyways, it worked fine, and freed up my pockets.

    Hardly teats on a bull, I'd say. Like others seem to say, they're good for small things that you don't want cluttering your pockets elsewhere.
  10. Starius

    Starius Practically Family

    Like Nick D, I like the 4 pocket waistcoats as well.

    Anyone ever see the more modern waistcoats with faux pockets? Talk about annoying.
  11. Jay

    Jay Practically Family

    Really? Faux pockets? Not just sewn shut? What a waste.
  12. KeyGrip

    KeyGrip A-List Customer

    Pocket watch, lighter, knife, loose change, etc. The great part about the placement of the pockets is that no one part of the vest gets dragged down by the weight. If my vest only had one pocket, it would be thrown off by the various chunks of metal which I'd stash there.
  13. Slim Portly

    Slim Portly One Too Many

    Don't get me started. I bought one like that from an eBay store. It was improperly described online, and rather than return it I had my seamstress make pockets for it. She did an absolutely bang-up job, but I did leave negative feedback for the seller.
  14. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    I love the pockets in a waistcoat. Very handy as when I'm in the office, I remove the suit jacket. Waistcoat pockets allow me to have pen(s), cellphone, and the odd note or sheet of paper I need about me in the absence of a jacket. I actually find them much more useful than the jacket pockets themselves....

    Related question: inside pockets on a waistcoat. What were these specifically for - cash? train tickets?
  15. benstephens

    benstephens Practically Family

    I think Edward they are more than likely for cash. My thoughts are they are as safe as a money belt, as very hard to access when wearing the waistcoat buttoned up and a jacket.

    Kindest Regards

  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Thanks, Ben - that would make sense. Not least as (as far as I understand it) when that was a regular feature, the suit would most likely have had a high waist, braces buttons, and no belt loops to facilitate the use of a money belt. Probably also the carrying of larger sums of cash safely must have been more of an issue back in the 30s / 40s - long before the advent of Debit Cards and back when people still regularly carried large sums of cash on a regular basis (wage packets, not having access to an ATM 24/7, etc).
  17. The comments about internal vest pockets make a lot of sense. Such a pocket would be the safest place on the outfit to keep important documents or cash.

    As an aside, Target is carrying six button four pocket vest in a variety of corduroy and pinstriped patterns.
    These are much better than their previous vest offerings.
  18. Beowulf67

    Beowulf67 One of the Regulars

    I looked at those Target vests, they are pretty nice, but sadly they didn't have my size in any of the styles I liked. :rage:
  19. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Online the details on many, but not all, of those vests state that they have faux pockets.
  20. This is a good reminder to read carefully when purchasing online. Also, check the garment in person for faux pockets.
    The following all have working pockets.

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