Today, we’re going to be talking about the J or the Western Pocket as it’s sometimes called.
This is the question that came in:
“Antonio, I’ve got a quick question I was hoping you could help me with. What do you think of dress pants with J pockets? These are similar to the ordinary pockets you would find on jeans, but on dress pants, in my case, charcoal grey trousers. FYI, I’m six foot, 150 lbs, so I wear slim fitted clothing. The venue I thought this may work at is with casual Fridays at the office then drinks afterwards. I’d probably wear them with a black dress shirt, no tie, and dress shoes. I’m looking for this look to flare up the ordinary. Let me know what you think. Best regards, Alex.”
That’s a great question, Alex. Actually, you don’t normally see J pockets on dress slacks. So most of the time, you’re going to see either the straight or the slanted pocket.
If you’re wearing dress slacks right now, go ahead and take a look at them and you’ll find that some of them are straight up and down and vertical or they’ve got a little bit of a slant to it.
The advantage of these pockets is they’re very easy to manufacture. They’re just very simple to make in this industry’s standards and they work. I like the slanted one better.
The problem with the vertical pocket and why I oftentimes avoid it with a lot of my clients, is that they can occasionally flare out if your trousers are too tight.
Now, once you go horizontal on the pocket, it becomes the J or commonly referred to as the Western Pocket and these are commonly seen on jeans.
Why jeans? Because you can wear them much closer to the body and the pockets are not going to flare out.
In addition, the J pocket is a bit more secure. So if you like to put money in your front pockets and you ever get the inclination to jump up on a bar and do a flip around or something like that, the J pocket does a good job of keeping everything in your pockets in place so that’s another advantage.
So why don’t we put J pockets on dress pants all the time?
Again, they’re less common and they’re a bit more expensive to manufacture. There’s also something in the manufacturing process that involved having to literally turn the machines a different way which actually cost a bit of extra money, especially when you’re making thousands and thousands of pairs.
On custom clothing, I make this for my clients all the times. If someone usually asks for it, I don’t just point them in that direction all the way because it is also a bit more casual.
Since it’s associated with jeans, it is more casual, but for Alex, tall, skinny — it’s going to be a great look.
In addition, he’s not wearing it with a jacket. The point about it being casual is kind of moot because if you think about it, the only way someone’s going to be able to see these is if you are wearing the trousers without a jacket. In that case, you’re going for a casual look.
Hopefully this helps. I would recommend that you go ahead and try this especially if you’re having these trousers professionally made. Just make sure that you get a close fit because J pockets, if they’re on trousers that fit too loose, they start to sag a little bit in the front.
Also, no pleats with J pockets. If you start to introduce pleats, you cannot have a J pocket and no cuff at the bottom either.
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