Choosing the right jacket vent style

Suit jacket vents allow you to move and come in 3 styles; single vent, double vent and no vent. Single suit jacket vents have a center slit in the back panel of your sport coat or suit coat. Double vents have two slits on each side. Maybe there’s no vent at all! How are you supposed to know which style is best for you?

As with most garments, suit jacket vents were introduced for practical purposes more than style. With horses as the main mode of transportation, wearing a buttoned coat to keep warm was a necessity. The problem? You could hardly move your arms to handle the reins! Having a vent eased the pull on the fabric to allow for more mobility and comfort.
illustration of center suit jacket vents

Single Suit Jacket Vents

We’re beyond the days of the horse and buggy but the single vent—often referred to as “American” style coat—has remained the most common model today. It’s less expensive to manufacture and readily available as an off-the-rack garment in department stores. It can be worn by most men and is a particularly good choice for anyone who has a “prominent” bottom. Just be sure the vent closes all the way. Otherwise, the jacket is not fitting properly.

illustration of Double suit jacket vents

Double Suit Jacket Vents

The double vent or “English” style coat is more costly to make, as it requires more fabric, workmanship and time. It covers your backside completely whether you’re reaching into a pant pocket for change or limbering up to play the piano. Jackets with double vents tend to be a bit longer so they’re especially well suited for the taller man who is trim. If your bottom is rather noticeable, stay away from this model—the vents will stand out like the flap of an airplane!

illustration of no suit jacket vents

No Suit Jacket Vents

A jacket with no vent or “Italian” model is more fitted and considered more formal. It’s best for the man who is slim and trim with a smaller frame. On the other hand, it also works for the man who is short and slightly stout where attention is drawn away from the hips. Unfortunately because there is no vent, the fabric has little give, creases easily and greatly restricts mobility. You may want to think twice before purchasing this model.

So there you have it. Single vents are fine and readily available but personally, I’d go for the double vents. The look represents high quality and design. If you weren’t blessed with the perfect off-the-rack body, we can help. Our custom clothier will come to your home or office and take your measurements, then help you select the style, fabric, and price point that’s right for you.




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