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Please Tell Me Where to Put My Goddamn Wallet So I Don’t Ruin the Goddamn Shape of My Goddamn Suit

And why can’t we have suits with more goddamn pockets anyway?

No matter the suit and no matter the occasion, I’ve never known exactly where to store my phone, keys and wallet. Usually, I end up just trying to hold them in my hand or stuffing them in a hidden corner — both of which beat ruining the silhouette of a tailored suit. But I’ve also lost things that way, which isn’t great either. Nor do I love having to keep checking behind fake hotel plants at a wedding to make sure that the three things I absolutely can’t lose are still where I left them. 

My plight is a very familiar one to Art Lewin, a master of bespoke suits who says he’s been asked this question so many times over the years that he started to design pockets into his custom suits as a means of answering it in the most helpful (and pragmatic) way possible. “I added a cell-phone pocket under the chest,” he tells me. “That way, the fabric doesn’t buckle.” He also created a business-card pocket under the cell-phone pocket. Not to mention, he continues, “a pocket for your keys on the opposite panel of the jacket to balance out the silhouette of the coat.”  

Of course, not everyone can afford a bespoke suit with a plethora of novel, ingenious pockets. The problem there is, most off-the-rack suits don’t have extra pockets for you to hide all of your phone-keys-wallet essentials in a form-fitting way (hence all the questions about how to do so). 

In this case, Lewin suggests that you stuff your chunky wallet in your back pocket (“even though the long-term effect is that it messes up your hip”), and then — in the case of ready-made suits at least — place your cell and keys in the inner coat pockets. He is steadfast, however: “Never use the outer coat pockets. They will start to stretch the cloth and the coat will look awful.”

Admittedly, it’s a bargain of sorts: You might not have to worry incessantly about losing your phone, keys or wallet — or burying them amidst a jungle of faux foliage — but you will be tempting sciatica.

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