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October 22, 2006 at 10:53 am
The suit is handsome, but the pocket square in a protect you against the elements coat, hmm? I don’t think so. Looks out of place, but I imagine that the store person said it might be sewn in. They might be attempting some new trend? Uuuuhhhhh, no. Take it out and just wear it in the dress coat.
October 22, 2006 at 10:58 am
Of course… just my opinion…but I think for a display window, this is acceptable. There are more eccentric liberties for display (i.e. arching the tie far out).However, in real life, I feel keep the pocket square for the suit (esp. if it’s white). Leave the coat pocket empty and when you feel the need, you can stick your nice leather gloves in there.
October 22, 2006 at 11:06 am
The pocket square is supposed to be a handkerchief so for practical reasons I’d remove it from the coat and put it on my jacket. I’d feel weird having two pocket squares hahaha
October 22, 2006 at 11:17 am
Of course you add another one underneath… The outer look and the INNER look– even though they might be coordinated!
In NYC, maybe you switch, but in Providence, we go for luxury!
October 22, 2006 at 11:26 am
While the pocket square in the overcoat is very fresh, it seems to me that it is really just an exciting display idea, rather than something for actual practice. Having two pocket squares or moving a pocket square from coat to coat seems like quite a hassel.
October 22, 2006 at 11:47 am
I would definitely think that you would have a separate square already in your suit jacket. However, I think squares in both over and under coats are overkill. I would do one or the other not both. Can’t wait to hear the shop owners approach. Beth
October 22, 2006 at 11:59 am
Take the square out and put it in your suit.
I can only venture a guess to this question. I would say that you should have one pocket square, remove it from the topcoat when you take it off, and place it in your suit jacket.
October 22, 2006 at 12:00 pm
Neither.If you put the square in your coat you’re committed to it. You arrange it once, and go without in your suit pocket.You would never have two, especially if the coat was open, and to be seen moving it from the coat to the suit would make you look prissy overly obsessed.
October 22, 2006 at 12:23 pm
My guess is you take it out of the outside pocket of the overcoat and place it on the inside pocket while hanging up the coat. This avoids sending the message that the white pocket square is superfluous.
Then you can have another pocket square in your suit jacket. It can accent your outfit more subtly and it does not have to match the overcoat, which you don’t see if it is hung up in a closet.
Esto es otra historia
October 22, 2006 at 12:25 pm
Hi Scotthere’s Jorge blogging from Spain.
Ummm, my betting is that a second pocket square will appear.
alea jacta est!
October 22, 2006 at 12:28 pm
I think you need two one for the coat and one for the jacket. The shop owner should agree as he as the chance of selling twice as many and build bigger sales,
October 22, 2006 at 12:48 pm
i would take it out and put it in my suit pocket.
interested to hear what the shop owner says. i did a search for the proper pocket square etiquette, but was unable to find an answer
October 22, 2006 at 12:50 pm
take it out and place it in you suit
October 22, 2006 at 12:52 pm
A different one for each and they don’t have to be the same. However, I personally think it can be overkill to use one with the overcoat so one needs to be careful – less can definitely be more in this case!
October 22, 2006 at 12:56 pm
Cotton pocket squares only became availible in the middle of the seventeenth century,and they boomed in popularity with the craze of snuff.Printed squares were acceptable to disguise the snuff stains,but then as now,white remains the proper colour for gents.
As for a square in an overcoat,it is still very iffy,inserting a square in a brest pocket softens the strict manliness of a tradional overcoat and adds to a sincere impression.
One should certainly leave the square in the pocket and not remove it from the overcoat and have a seperate one to ones liking for ones suit…….imagine,one would be inserting and extracting pocket squares the whole day.
I think a pocket square takes away much of the overcoat and it too distracting…..in a suit or sports jacket,fine,but not in an overcoat.
Can’t wait to hear what the shopkeepers answer is on Monday!!
i’d say you should tuck it into the coat and have another for your suit
October 22, 2006 at 1:23 pm
an overcoat doesn’t need a pocket square.
October 22, 2006 at 1:31 pm
have one for suit and overcoat…too much of a hassel to keep changing it from one to the other.
October 22, 2006 at 1:41 pm
For myself, I think I would have a different pocket square already in place in the suit jacket. Probably a strong color or colors. Perhaps a pattern incorporating red(for the shirt)and a dark blue(tie).
October 22, 2006 at 1:43 pm
have 2 pocket squares
Separate pocket squares, of course… What if your suit is a different colour theme than the coat? I often wear a Thierry Munger black suit with a purple pocket square and tie — but if my coat is herringbone, I might be wearing a paisley pocketsquare.
October 22, 2006 at 1:45 pm
Right answer is the pocket square on the coat is just there for decoration. In real life you don’t put pocket square in your over coat pocket.
October 22, 2006 at 1:48 pm
And I suppose it depends where you plan to go and how long you intend to keep the coat on.If the coat is to be kept on for a longer period of time, then the suit pocket square is superfluous.
October 22, 2006 at 2:06 pm
You have a separate pocket square for your coat and jacket and it would be great if the two pocket squares where different colors. I love a man who can keep me intrigued!
October 22, 2006 at 2:13 pm
Hello. A pocket square is a functional object more than an aesthetic one, so I would imagine that one would remove the square and place it in the suit pocket.
Come to think of it, I find it a rather original idea to have a pocket square in an overcoat…
October 22, 2006 at 2:27 pm
Thats tough. It’d be easier to have one in both, but that might look strange. I think it would look better if you had just the one and moved it. But at the same time that would look vain when you’re putting your coat back on, and take out your pocket square and put it in the coat so it can still be seen.
I’d stick to the one pcket square in my jacket, and something like my gloves in my coat.
October 22, 2006 at 2:28 pm
I think it’s probably ok for the window but wouldn’t that be odd to see someone take it from their overcoat to their suit?
October 22, 2006 at 2:30 pm
OK, my guess is that the store suggested that the handkerchief remain in the overcoat–and that another (non-duplicating) one be used in the jacket breast pocket.
The guiding principal here is that the handkerchief is non-functional–it’s decorative. So one would apply the logic/aesthetics of decor here, and try to make both handkerchiefs complement one another inconspicously.
But there’s something absurd about wearing two handkerchiefs, even if one goes completely “offstage” once one’s coat is removed. It’s just too fussy, too contrived.
Good taste would, I think, decree that one ditch one or the other handkerchief–I’d let the overcoat one go in favor of the jacket square. Second choice: wear an overcoat handkerchief only–but that leaves the jacket looking naked!
What to do? At times like this, remember Vreeland’s dictum: elegance is refusal….
October 22, 2006 at 2:45 pm
I believe you leave that particular pocket square in the overcoat.
October 22, 2006 at 2:46 pm
I would have a separate one for my suit since the suit might work better with a pocket square of another colour or patterning. If we’re only talking about white pocket squares I might consider using the same one.
October 22, 2006 at 2:54 pm
You take it out and put it in.
October 22, 2006 at 2:59 pm
One for coat, one for jacket.
I say you should never be putzing with your pocket square in public, so switching it from jacket to coat is out of the question.
October 22, 2006 at 3:10 pm
Curious to know the answer !
I noticed in several fashion shoots over the years that once in a while an overcoat gets a pocketsquare. Always thought it looked kind of strange.Never actualy seen anyone carry off that look on the streets – more a look to grace the fashionpages or the shopwindows.You can’t wear two squares – wouldn’t be right?
I always wear a square in my suit’s breastpocket but never in the overcoat. Guess that’s how it should be.
October 22, 2006 at 4:09 pm
October 22, 2006 at 4:13 pm
My feeling is that, just as the overcoat is for function (keeping you warm) so is its ‘pocket square’ tucked in the breast pocket. Not for decoration, but for actual use – A crisp white handkerchief. It’s there to wipe away your girl’s tears or to wipe away your running nose on windy, chilly days. Leave it there until you need to use it. After it is used, fold it and place it (hide it) in the inside overcoat pocket. The inside (suit) pocket square is for fashion. The outside (overcoat) pocket square is for function. I can’t imagine that a man would take the time to move pocket squares around during his busy day. A girl has to love a man who carries a cotton handkerchief every day…like a gentleman, always prepared.
October 22, 2006 at 4:22 pm
From my point of view two squares is too much. You have to choose whether to be trendy in the streets or in the office (or wherever you’re going).
October 22, 2006 at 4:28 pm
the square can’t be the same for the coat & the jacket… their’re not the same color, and even if the fact that it’s white makes it accpetable for both it would be ridiculous to take it off everytime one puts on and takes off his coat
a pocket for a jacket seems kind of odd anyway.
October 22, 2006 at 4:35 pm
A separate pocket square for the suit- the pocket square should always compliment the suit first and not try to match it up with the coat as well I believe.
October 22, 2006 at 5:15 pm
Don’t like the pocket square in the overcoat…but the suit with a silk pocket square and coordinating (not matching) silk tie would be superb…
October 22, 2006 at 5:32 pm
Definitely two, one pocket square for the coat and one for the jacket!
So many opinions! My overcoats don’t HAVE breast pockets! To have a breast pocket invites a decorative element, but I think your buttery-soft brown driving gloves might be more eyebrow-raising.
October 22, 2006 at 5:34 pm
I think that you should have one in the jacket and a separate one in the coat.
October 22, 2006 at 5:41 pm
One, of course.
Curious, what store front is this?
October 22, 2006 at 5:51 pm
Answer is simple: You should never, in a million years, have a handkerchief in the pocket of an overcoat. That’s a disaster. Anyone who says otherwise is a a Dandy. The question is therefore invalid. Sorry Scott. You keep the pocket-square for your suit pocket – and have a non-starched version in your trouser pocket to blow your trumpet into. Hence me old mother’s dictum: ‘One to show, and one to blow…’ This example is nonsensical, and I suspect a mistake by some daft, over-the-top Ralph Lauren-type who’s never set foot in Europe where the tradition started.
October 22, 2006 at 6:09 pm
I think the shopkeeper will say to have a square for each so he can sell more squares! “But of course, sir, the MOST fashionable men nowadays wear one in each pocket!” Personally, I think your fabulous big scarf would cover the outer pocket square anyway…
October 22, 2006 at 6:20 pm
I know! It is a trick question! The suit jacket pocket square is drawn through a slit in the overcoat slightly below the pocket seam and up through the opening in the overcoat pocket.
October 22, 2006 at 6:53 pm
Having a breast pocket on the coat is what is throwing me off. What ever could it be for? I’ve never noticed one before. Have they been there all along? Is the pocket square placement in the window just to bring attention to that detail of the tailoring? Iou must say, Sart, I’ve never paid so much attention to men’s clothing as I have since you came along. I await enlightenment.
October 22, 2006 at 7:12 pm
i think you don’t wear it in the coat in the first place, you wear it in the suit pocket only.
it’s only in the coat pocket here for visual merchandising purposes…
that’s my guess!
October 22, 2006 at 7:25 pm
Personally, wouldn’t have one in the overcoat in the first place, but since an answer is needed: One for each.
October 22, 2006 at 7:28 pm
It seems foppish to me, but, what do I know? I’m from Kentucky.
October 22, 2006 at 7:41 pm
Can you believe that I counted the votes?
Separate: 15Shared: 9Other: 23
I, too, sit snugly in the “Other” camp as this brings me a bit too close to the circus. Remember the clown with the never ending hanky? Have one in your suit and be done with it. The idea of putting the driving gloves in there is alright…I suppose from a functional POV don’t know if it would actually look polished though.
October 22, 2006 at 7:49 pm
When you take off the overcoat you remove the pocket square, blow your nose in it, and stick it in your pants pocket.
October 22, 2006 at 8:05 pm
I think the rule is: Decorative pocket square for suit; Kleenex for overcoat pocket.
October 22, 2006 at 9:00 pm
Upon entering the restaurant or theater, a gentleman would use the pocket square to attend to his composure before checking his jacket. If a rainy night, he would gently dab his forehead with the unfolded square – If he was accompanying a lady, he would unfold the square, quickly refold into loose quarters, and offer it to her to dab rain or perspiration from her forehead. It would then be placed neatly in the inside pocket of the jacket he is wearing underneath. No pocket square would be in the inside jacket pocket.I learned this from a well bred European Cellist I used to date.
October 22, 2006 at 9:13 pm
Two square pockets I think lt’s too much. In my opinion, just one, for the suit or for the coat.
October 22, 2006 at 9:18 pm
more quizzes please, this was fun !
for the quiz: 2 squares
my 2 cents: the overcoat is so beautiful as is the scarf, but the white pocket square looks out of place — too dainty, almost like eyelet. maybe it is how it is folded. it looks like it would melt if it got rained on.
and, i don’t know that i’d like it any better with the suit. so there.
October 22, 2006 at 9:54 pm
Butch,it was not Vreeland that made that quote but Miss Coco Chanel.
October 22, 2006 at 9:55 pm
Pocket square in the coat…flower in the buttonhole of the suit?
October 22, 2006 at 10:41 pm
My Grandmother told me a gentleman can’t have too many handkerchiefs. The one in his left rear trouser’s pocket was for him. The perfectly clean one in his breast pocket is for the next lady who needs one. She said a gentleman always buys good quality plain white cotton ones. She said one should not expect to get the handkerchief back from a lady until some later date, laundered, and with a thank you note. My Grandmother said a gentleman should take a couple extra hankercheifs to weddings, funerals and other occasions when a gentleman might expect the ladies to need them.I don’t think she would have approved of a handkerchief in a topcoat breast pocket. I think she would have thought it ostentatious.I wear one in my suit or sports jacket breast pocket and one in my left rear trouser’s pocket.
October 22, 2006 at 11:12 pm
Pocket square for the coat, pocket square for the suit. Two separate issues.
October 23, 2006 at 12:41 am
What about excess as pure decoration, Is it too obscene to be public?
I think function is not the reason for pocket squares to be on suits at this point in time: at least not for commercial display.
October 23, 2006 at 1:43 am
OMG i was reading through the entire comments section and when i got to the bottom saw Rebecca’s comment and it was what i was thinking all along….so yes
when you take off your coat, pretend to use the hanky then put it in your pants….you would already have a nice looking one that matches your suit in place.
October 23, 2006 at 3:30 am
one for each pocket – you wouldn’t want to be fiddling around with swapping from the outer to the inner.
October 23, 2006 at 4:38 am
It’s a trick question. A pocket square in an overcoat is a faux pas. You see it in try-too-hard shop windows, purely for decorative effect.
October 23, 2006 at 5:25 am
i would go for the suit only, the coat would look better empty imo. heres a wild guess though, maybe they just did it to cover up a mark above the pocket? anyway you excel at posts like this sart and i love reading the replies they create, lookin forward to the answer!
October 23, 2006 at 6:59 am
According to Hollands Stijlmeester, Hans Vos, one shouldn’t wear an overcoat at all. One shouldn’t go out in the rain, except to run to one’s car.
However, peolpe do wear overcoats, and if an overcoat happens to have a breast pocket, a pocket square is allowed. I don’t see how wearing a pocket square in one pocket should stop you from wearing one in the other pocket. A pocket is for shoving stuff into it, and if one should have two pockets, one should be allowed to stuff one pocket square in each of the pockets. Simple as that.
October 23, 2006 at 7:19 am
never have a square in an overcoat, especially a white one like that
October 23, 2006 at 8:06 am
Because of practicality, I think it would benefit the wearer to have a square in place. It would be inappropriate to remove the square from the coat and re-fold it for the suit, which would require the use of the mirror anyway.
Others should not be inconvenienced by the wearings of a true Sartorialist.
October 23, 2006 at 8:11 am
you might have a seperate pocketsquare to the suit, if that is appropriate for the shirt and tie you’re wearing. if not, just make the switch…
October 23, 2006 at 8:18 am
I’d say one pocket square per outfit. So if you are sporting a pocket square in your overcoat pocket, you go w/o on your suit pocket.
October 23, 2006 at 8:40 am
You have a pocket square for your top/overcoat and you have an additional pocket square in your suit/sportcoat/blazer pocket.
October 23, 2006 at 8:59 am
The only guys allowed to wear a pocket square in their trench are those who stand on the sidelines of their sports franchise, those waiting for a train at an outdoor station, reporters and foreign correspondents, politicians and millionaire detectives like Aaron Boulder- and this is only during inclement weather- otherwise keep it in the breast pocket of your suit jacket.
October 23, 2006 at 9:23 am
Very nice as a display idea but not something that would actually work in real life.
October 23, 2006 at 9:49 am
and the prize-winning answer is:
if you feel naked without the coatpick the square and stuff it in your jacket’s pocket.
October 23, 2006 at 9:53 am
I like a pocket square in an overcoat, but not while linen or cotton. I would use either silk, maybe a polka dot or a paisley madder. For a casual twist, I like a bandana. To keep it subtle, I would make it the same tone as the coat. FOr years, I wore an old Brooks overcoat in navy cashmere and kept a navy bandana in the outer breast pocket.
October 23, 2006 at 10:12 am
If the shopkeeper advocates two squares, it’s got to be to sell more pocket squares. I think a pocket square in an overcoat is bit much.
October 23, 2006 at 10:20 am
I think two.
1) to avoid swapping them around.2) the outside one could well have subway grease or other yucky stuff you encounter in urban environments. You wouldn’t want to dirty your nice suit jacket with it.
October 23, 2006 at 10:24 am
Two pocket squares seems so contrived.
October 23, 2006 at 11:28 am
Gloves!In the breast pocket!Must tell K about this so he can do the same after riding the Vespa to the station…genius.
October 23, 2006 at 1:00 pm
My question is less an aesthetic one. Why on God’s Green Earth do people use handkerchiefs? I totally understand why people want an aesthically pleasing pocketsquare to accent their attire. But for a nose blower? Someone, please explain!
Just an Observation
October 23, 2006 at 2:42 pm
I guess my first comment did not save.
Well i feel the transition should always be smooth when it comes elements of style. so 2 pocket squares for sure.
and gloves in the breast pocket ..interesting ..i personally like it when gloves in a sports jacket with patch pockets that have flaps and bellow…with the fingers peeking out from under the flap….I like it.
thanks for the stimulating Q.
October 23, 2006 at 3:18 pm
Well Scott, believe it or not but some Italian gals also put their gloves in their coat breast pocket…. may be they saw their fathers do the same…uhm this sounds Freudian…
October 23, 2006 at 4:13 pm
Gloves in the pocket — can’t wait to see them! Do the fingers go up or down? When I was a girl, the strict rule for carrying gloves was that the fingers went in the back.
October 23, 2006 at 6:51 pm
one pocket square for each…?
October 23, 2006 at 7:24 pm
Gloves in the coat pocket? Genius! Now that is fresh, stylish AND practical too!
October 23, 2006 at 7:26 pm
I am amazed by the number of responses that say are “Yes, switch them around” and almost as amazed by the number of “TWO? HELL NO” responses!
I am quite happy to wear two and I’ll stick my picture up here to prove it. It can be carried off. It isn’t a scary thing. It’s just a piece of cloth that juts out half an inch. If you believe it should be there and it adds a nice touch to the outfit, then do it and be done with it. The idea of someone switching the pocket square from coat to jacket every time they take off their coat is akin to someone fiddling with their tie every ten minutes, re-tying from a four-in-hand to a full windsor depending on whether you’re sitting down or standing up. I’m a firm believer that you should be creative and individualistic with your clothes but you should never be too fussy with them after you have dressed yourself and left your home.
I’m also surprised by people using their pocket square for function. The pocket square is a decorative item. Carry a handkerchief in your jacket, folded out of sight for use or for a lady. There is a reason why you can get smaller and larger sized squares of cotton. The smaller ones are for your pocket!
October 23, 2006 at 8:42 pm
I don’t care what the shopkeeper says — I’m going with the advice of Anonymous 10:41′s Grandmother. I’d love to hear more of her wisdom in the future!!
October 23, 2006 at 11:51 pm
In any case there should be two pocket squares, it would look too clumsy trying to arrange the handkerchief everytime you taked the coat on or off. However, to have a delicate thing on top a piece of garment that is to endure harsh climate looks so snob that any sartorialist should avoid it
October 24, 2006 at 12:51 am
Gloves! All right, let’s clarify the gloves thing. The only other people I’ve seen with driving gloves in their overcoat breast pocket have just hopped out of their vintage Jag or Aston at Goodwood, Schotten, or the Mille Miglia – there are a lot of Sartorialists who are into old vehicles. I keep mine poking out of the pocket (fingers up!) after I ride one of my old motorcycles, partly because a pocket square will disappear down the road, but let’s face it the gloves look sporty.
October 24, 2006 at 6:46 am
Details is everything so i really like the idea with the pocket square on the coat. Can’t really see it becoming a trend, but surely something nice to spice your look with if not the rest is that interesting.
October 24, 2006 at 12:03 pm
anonymous 10:41′s answer is the only correct one posted. two pocket squares are an affectation, and a gentleman would *never* blow his nose on his pocket square. a draper is entitled to display as many pocket squares as he wishes – whether in his window or on his person. he is a tradesman and needs to make a living.
October 24, 2006 at 1:10 pm
i don’t like the pocket square in the coat pocket. it seems too fussy, and i also don’t like that it is white cotton. maybe i might like it if it was a rich silk handkerchief not so perfectly folded.
October 24, 2006 at 4:25 pm
I love the idea of the gloves in the overcoat pocket – stylish and handy, too, but of course they would need to somehow coordinate with the whole outfit and they could never have worn fingertips (I’m imagining this as being with the fingers out but the cuff of the gloves could be effective if it’s got an interesting detail on it).
If not gloves, I vote for a pocket square for both inner and outer layer, since my nose runs in the cold and I’d like to have a handkerchief handy without having to open the coat. :-)
October 25, 2006 at 12:33 am
Nice page in GQ.Well done.Big fan of no belt here (adjustable side tabs).
October 25, 2006 at 1:16 am
I like 12:56 A.My experience of a pocket square on a gentle man is something else. Maybe those Eastern Europeans put everything to use as means to impress women. If there were gloves in that pocket, he may have given them to me in order to eat a corn dog walking through Central Park. Nice to know the history. History is the important thing here… as always
October 26, 2006 at 5:30 am
For practical reasons, moving pochettes back and forth is not advisable as they get filthy (especially white ones) and messy (in the case of a coloured puffed one) etc.
Other feallow readers have made comments such as “why a pochette on the overcoat… protect against the elements” etc. The same can be said about the actual coat.
Venturing outside in any woolen garment without an umbrella in rain is never advisable. And if you do, as the coat typically is somewhere between one and two orders of magnitude more expensive than the pochette, you’ve already made up your mind about it…
So, go for what looks nice and gives you a buzz from feeling exquisitely dressed!
Jessica L. Stewart
October 28, 2006 at 11:59 am
My step-father explained to me that this is a very, historically accurate vintage look/way to wear a functional pocket square in one’s coat. This is for wiping off your shoes, covering your nose in a dust storm, etc. This is the way his grandfather wore a pocket square in his overcoat and in his jacket back in the day. I dont know that people actually use their pockets squares today to blow their nose or clean their shoes but I like knowing that they used to. Maybe we should and save some trees.
October 30, 2006 at 10:57 pm
I love the fact that someone is taking a stand on this at 4:38 in the morning. THESE are my people!
I have to side with the idea of the gloves. You still get the texture of something in the pocket, you get a place were you could actually put your gloves fuctionally and it looks like something you could really pull off. Casual effortless elegance. Sprezzatura! (someones been reading his Esquire…)
Love the site. Love the pics and love the comments. Bravo!
August 4, 2007 at 2:48 am
Oh, I think the more hankies the better. One for the outside pocket of the overcoat, one for the suit jacket pocket and yet another neatly folded into the shirt pocket, with just the smallest possible coner showing…a tad foppish? Perhaps, but I like it.
November 4, 2007 at 6:34 am
I think it all comes down to preference, how particular you are about the detail. Personally, I say it’s ALL about the detail. So I’d go with pocket squares in both coat and jacket.
May 20, 2008 at 6:32 pm
firstly pocket squares for your overcoat or completely unnecessary and,actually not very tasteful….you never see any of our classic elegant icons like fred astaire or cary grant with a pocket square in their overcoat. the overcoat is to protect against exterior weather conditions…its style, weight and look are enough….pocket squares perfectly tie together a suit or sport jacket ensemble….and that is all they should be used for…if you must use a pocket square for an overcoat, then it should be a completely separate one than your pocket square for your suit or sport jacket…..
November 16, 2008 at 3:21 am
Square is fresh idea :)it is good to put your glove too
March 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm
Love it either way. So classic. So handsome.
February 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm
Either way it´s a very nice coat. I´m looking forward to see you in Sweden.
Take a look at my blogg and give me some advices.. :)
November 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Definitely 2. I wear a navy chesterfield coat with a burgundy bandana in the breast pocket. It dresses the coat down for khakis and jeans.