What is a Welt Pocket?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A welt pocket is a small, flat pocket that is commonly used on the exterior and interior breast on a man's suit jacket. It is also common for this type of pocket to be used on the back of men's trousers. When one is applied in a men's suit jacket, it is often large enough to accommodate business cards, and perhaps a slim cell phone. Those found in trousers, however, are usually a bit larger and are intended to contain a wallet. Depending on the design of the pants, the pocket may have a button closure.

A welt pocket has a finished edge.
A welt pocket has a finished edge.

Although this kind of pocket is most commonly used in men's attire, it is also sometimes used on women's clothing, mostly in pants. In addition to being used as a back pocket, it is also sometimes put in as as a front pocket to keep the front of the trousers flat. Another key difference between pockets in men's and women's clothing is the angle. In men's attire, the pocket is almost always horizontal. In women's attire, on the other hand, the pocket may be at an angle, especially for pockets on the front of trousers or jeans.

Depending on the design of the pocket, it has either one or two lips. A lip is simply a finishing on the opening edge of the welt pocket. When there is just one lip, it is usually the lower lip. When there are two lips, there are finished edges on the top and bottom of the pocket opening.

The width of a pocket lip can vary according to design and style, but it is common for it to range from 3/8 inch (about 1 cm) to 1 inch (2.54 cm). Wider pocket lips are usually used in jacket pockets that only have a lower lip. Thinner ones, on the other hand, are usually used in trousers — for men as well as for women — and often come in pairs.

In some cases, the lip of a welt pocket is made out of a fabric that is different from the surrounding material. This is most commonly done in women's attire. The color of lip may be used to accent other colors in the garment or to match other details within the garment.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


Why would Lee put two welt pockets in the back of their X-treme Comfort shorts and sew them shut?


Where is the part where the question is answered? Of course it is a pocket! Where is the answer for what kind of pocket? is it a pocket that shows on the outside of the garment, or just a slit with a lining that makes the pocket.

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