Your suit jacket doesn’t need to be under stress all the time; it needs to vent.
Despite the emphasis, the suit vents often go unnoticed. Your average gentleman doesn’t bother to care.
But dapper guys are already using suit vents to take their suit jacket silhouette to perfection.
Your suit can look crisp, too, only by learning about different suit vent styles and their usage.
What Are Suit Vents
A suit vent is a vertical slit going upwards from the bottom hem at the back of your jacket.
These vents have a military origin, where they first came for horsemen to not feel constricted while riding.
This functionality, with an aesthetic blend, made the suit vent a quintessential detail.
Now, suit vents come in various styles. The length of the vent can vary too.
Most suit jackets classically feature an 8 to 10-inch vent. However, modern jackets sometimes have 6-inch vents.
Double Vent Suit Jacket
Also known as side vents, these feature two vertical slits, one on each side of the jacket’s bottom hem.
Traditionally, double vents were present on double-breasted jackets. This way, the front and back of the jacket look symmetrical.
Today, everything from single-breasted suit jackets to blazers can have this vent style.
Double vents are also versatile and flatter almost every body type. It creates a fine silhouette that drapes nicely and gives a masculine feel.
When you move or sit, the jacket kind of stays poised, and you enjoy great comfort.
An important detail is that double vents took a descent from European made-to-measure and bespoke suits. Therefore, it will always be a very elegant choice.
If given the option, every gentleman should consider them. The exception is if you’re going too formal or casual.
Single Vent Suit Jacket
This center vent style features a single vertical line at the bottom of the suit jacket hem. As a result, the back of the jacket appeared divided into two.
This vent style looks relatively casual but, at times, can be practical.
For example, a single vent makes room for large guys with big rears, and everything looks proportionate.
You’ll often see single vents on casual blazers and sport coats. Casual suits can have it too.
The single vent is also called the American style because of their history with Brooks Brothers slack suits.
Many off-the-racks suits used to have a single vent. Therefore, this vent style sometimes signals off as “not very exquisite.”
Again, I recommend this style for more casual jackets. However, a single-vent suit jacket seems quite reasonable for older gentlemen or when wearing a classic cut.
No Vent Suit Jacket
The back of the suit jacket here is continuous, thus featuring a “no-vent” style. It’s also the most formal style.
You get a streamlined, trimmed appearance with a tapered silhouette.
Italian tailoring is a big devotee of this ventless jacket style. It emphasizes those narrow cuts and creates a graceful, slim profile.
So, for smaller guys, especially the fans of Italian tailoring, ventless suit jackets seem a good option.
The downside is you don’t get enough room for movement.
Putting hands in the trouser pockets would contrast this trimmed silhouette. You can’t move as freely as other vent styles because of a snug jacket around the lower back.
Why Do Suit Vents Matter?
Suit vents primarily matter because of their functionality. The type of suit vents you choose determines the comfort, movement, and, ultimately, how you feel in the suit.
Suit vents are also a determiner of formality. The general rule of thumb is that no vent is the most formal, and a single vent is the casual one.
This formality helps you be occasion-appropriate and complement other formal suit details.
Keep in mind that double vents are the most versatile and can work in most situations.
Often, the suit vents you choose to express your personal choice. So if nothing else matters, you can choose the suit vent merely for aesthetics.
Cut the Tacking Stitch Off Your Suit Vents
When you first buy a suit, the vents are often sewn shut with a loosely stitched “X” or cross stitch, known as a tacking stitch.
You should remove these stitches on the back of the vents. Their purpose is to prevent the jacket from getting wrinkled during the shipping process.
To remove stitches, use a small pair of scissors, taking care not to cut into the fabric of the suit jacket itself.
Want to know more? Read about other suit basics here.
Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.