Today, the morning coat generally does not feature outside pockets apart from the breast pocket and sometimes a hidden pocket in the lining of the tails.
Flapped Ticket Pocket on Morning Coat
However, in the mid 19th century, ticket pockets were popular on overcoats and even sometimes seen on morning coats. Also, in 1950s, one could sometimes spot a flap pocket sewn into the horizontal seam of the morning coat on a mid grey morning suit. While you usually find one or two pockets on the inside of the morning coat, it is not advisable to use them for anything other than a very slim object. Otherwise, it is easy to disrupt the silhouette of the close fitted body coat.
The Hidden Pocket
At some unknown point in time, a smart tailor created a sewn-in pocket on either side of the morning coat tails. While this is rather interesting, in my experience it is difficult to hide any objects in there without negatively influencing the drape lines of the tails, not to mention the awkwardness of retrieving one’s things from inside them.
Hidden Pocket in Lining of the Morning Coat Tails
The Breast Pocket
Angled Breast Pocket with Piping from 1926
In Edwardian times, the formal black morning coat was often tailored without a breast pocket, while the less formal patterned morning suits already had one. In the mid 20’s, however, almost every morning coat featured a breast pocket. I have seen two morning coats from 1926 in person, and both had very angled breast pockets, which draw the eyes upward and outward, creating unique optical movement. In the 1930’s, breast pockets had less of an angle and they have remained that way to the present. In any case, the breast pocket was cut straight, whereas Italians like to add a rounded barchetta (“little boat”) breast pocket.
Today, it would be very unusual to find someone wearing a morning coat without a pocket square. If you prefer not to wear one, it is better to opt for a morning coat without breast pocket – although that kind of coat may be a difficult to locate. If you have a breast pocket, always make sure to wear a pocket square with it – leaving it blank would defeat the point.
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