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What is a Hacking Pocket?


Dubiously Honored
Apr 20, 2002
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Mike C. is right: tailors are more likely to do this than upscale RTW makers because tailors are more likely to be asked to do it by clients who, let us say, do not have as their first priority the adherence to sartorial tradition.  So the fact that a bespoke tailor makes a suit in a particular way is not evidence that said way is correct.  With bespoke you can get anything.  You can even get notched lapels on a DB coat (shudder).  That doesn't make it right.

The exception would be if some maker on year makes a whole line of suits with hacking pockets. This happens occasionally. Then the following year they make them without. The wheels of fashion must ever be turning.


Senior Member
Jul 3, 2004
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Not to nitpick too much (though what else is a forum like this for?), but I think there is a legitimate Savile Row tradition of making suits with hacking pockets. I agree that too often it can be the mark of the parvenu, but done right it can be a nice subtle touch. I've just seen it too consistently on suits by SR tailors who would not likely be cowed into doing something improper just because the customer wants it to think it crosses some kind of line. As long as the suit is not intended to be too formal (and there is not always a bright line between formal city suits and tweedy country ones), the fabric is appropriate, and the execution is apt, I really don't see what the problem might be.
Anyway, pocket decorum must be in constant flux. I love the crescent pockets sometimes seen on older tailored clothing, though what was perfectly acceptable in an earlier era would likely be seen as hopelessly eccentric today. I have a Meyer & Mortimer jacket from 1936 with really wonderful bellows pockets that button at the top--another detail unlikely to be found on a modern coat (though I wouldn't necessarily be surprised to see it turn up on a RLPL piece).


Posse Member
Dubiously Honored
Spamminator Moderator
Dec 10, 2004
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 BTW, I'm not talking about Men's Wearhouse. I'm talking about any respectable maker Barbera, Kiton, RL, Zegna, etc...
Well, while you are correct in that it is less proper to have hacking pockets, two nits -- Barbera and RL are not makers -- RL is certainly a designer, and his England-made RLPL suits often had hacking pockets -- back in the day (1994-95) when no other American designers was doing that. While he obviously cherrypicks the sartorial indices referred to in his RLPL clothing, it's fair to assume that in this instance the hacking pockets were to his design team a classic Savile Row feature. Of course, that doesn't make it right. Just saying.

Anyhow, I hope that the hacking pockets on my suits don't scream parvenu to the world as I don't think I've arrived anywhere -- I'm just a middle-class wage slave who spends too much on idiosyncratic suits. I think I know well enough that anyone called a parvenu hasn't got to where he wanted to go.


Senior Member
Jun 15, 2004
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I was thinking about this this morning...

Chester Barrie - now Cheshire Clothing - has for years had hacking pockets on their RTW city suits. As the regularly heralded best RTW manufacturer in the UK, I think that fact says something for hacking pockets (for better or worse).


Distinguished Member
Aug 10, 2006
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Originally Posted by Mike C.
Hacking pockets only look good/appropriate on non-business fabrics, such as tweeds, cords, and heavier, coarser fabrics. On a high twist, flat wool, like serge they'll look out of place. So, I doubt you wear tweed to the office, so the question is irrelevant.
I have a suit that I intend to use for "business" and I am actually carrying it to work today. The pockets are at an angle of about 30 degrees with respect to the horizontal plane. Is that wrong? If so, I fear that I may have more than one suit with "wrong" pockets. If so, does this mean that the tailor is useless?


Distinguished Member
Mar 23, 2006
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Just to throw one more entirely subjective and completely indefensible opinion into the mix, I would never get hacking pockets on a flannel suit or on a suit any with even so much surface interest as a pinstripe. But on a plain navy or maybe even charcoal worsted, I think either hacking pockets or a ticket pocket (but not both) add a needed bit of interest that would otherwise be lacking.

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