Why are Men's Suit Pockets Sewn Shut?

Suit pockets are sewn shut by the manufacturer in order to help the suit retain its shape during transit and when being tried on by a potential buyer.  Pockets can be opened by removing the stitching with careful use of a knife, scissors, or a seam-ripper.  

When Should Suit Pockets Be Opened?

If you have small items that you want to carry on your person, consider removing the stitching and making the pockets usable.  Before removing the stitching check to be sure that your jacket does have real pockets.  Some suits are manufactured without real pockets in order to minimize unseemly lines and bulges in the fabric.  If the pocket is held closed by a single thread, then your suit jacket probably has real pockets.  If the pocket has tight stitching that appears difficult to remove, then your suit jacket most likely has decorative pockets.

When Should Suit Pockets Be Left Closed?

Leave suit pockets stitched closed if the stitching is tight and uses multiple threads – this indicates that your suit has false pockets and they should be left sewn closed.  If you do not intend to use the pockets or want to avoid stretching them over time and potentially ruining the clean lines of the suit, then leave the pockets closed.

How to Open Suit Jacket Pockets?

Once you have determined that your suit has functional pockets you can use a knife, scissors, or a seam-ripper to remove the tack stitching.  Tug gently at the corner of the pockets as if you were opening it, you should see a single thread that appears to be loosely holding the pocket closed.  Gently cut each stitch and work the pocket open. Tug free any loose threads left over from the tailor stitching and there you have it – functional suit pockets.