Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Proper summer jackets have patch pockets, meaning the pockets are sewn onto the outside of the jacket like the ones in the illustration. They may have flaps or they may be unflapped but there they are, for in a proper summer jacket there is nowhere to hang them on the inside of the coat.
You see, those non-patch pockets on 99% of the suits walking by you on the street are attached to the lining inside the jacket. That is as it should be, except that linings wear hot, and proper summer jackets have as little lining as possible. Not enough to hang a pocket, that is for certain.
The secret to staying cool in the heat is the permeability of the cloth, for air flow is cooling and the most effective summer fabrics cause a man to look down to check that he still has his clothing when a breeze pops up, for the air feels as though it is flowing unhindered past his skin. Lining is an air blocker, and more of it than a bit in the shoulders is a convenience for the tailor rather than the customer (sleeve lining is controversial since it does make a coat easier to put on and off, however if you show me a summer jacket with lined sleeves I will show you a man who has sweated through his shirt sleeves).
It is in the making of summer jackets that one separates wheat from chaff, tailoring-wise. I am unable to convince two of my three tailors to make anything much less than a half lined jacket, for lining hides the unfinished interior of a coat and they do not want to take the time to clean up the seams that is required for a proper summer jacket (one would think they would simply have a surcharge for the work, but there must not be enough demand for them to pay attention). Fortunately, I live in a place that rarely gets hot, so it is less of an issue than it would be if I spent summers in Manhattan.
Summer jackets have patch pockets.