Pocket vs Pocketless Dress Shirt: Which Is Best for Suits?

Pocket vs Pocketless Dress Shirt: Which Is Best for Suits?

A dress shirt is an essential garment for a suit. Whether you're planning to wear a two- or three-piece suit, you'll need to wear a dress shirt under it. All suits, in fact, require the use of a dress shirt. There are many different types of dress shirts available, however, including pocket and pocketless styles. Pocket dress shirts typically have a single pocket on the front right or left side, whereas pocketless dress shirts are designed without any pockets. So, which style should you wear with your suit?

Store Pencils or Pens

A pocket dress will offer additional functionality -- more so than a pocketless dress shirt. Dress shirts were originally designed with pockets for the purpose of holding small items, the most common of which being a pen or pencil.

If you work in an office or similar commercial workplace, you may spend a large portion of your day signing or writing documents. A pocket dress shirt offers a convenient place to store your writing utensil. You can slide a pencil or pen into the top of your shirt pocket, which could have a positive impact on your productivity.

Secure Sunglasses or Glasses

Another reason to consider a pocket dress shirt when wearing a suit is to secure your sunglasses or glasses in place. Statistics show that roughly three in four U.S. adults wear some form of corrective lenses. If you wear prescription glasses, you'll need to keep track of them at all times. Thankfully, a pocket dress shirt offers the perfect place to secure and store your prescription glasses. Simply slide your glasses into the top of your shirt pocket, at which point they'll stay in place.

Even if you don't wear prescription glasses, you can use a pocket dress to secure your sunglasses. Most people wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun's glaring ultraviolet (UV) rays. Like prescription glasses, though, you can secure your sunglasses by storing them in your shirt pocket.


You can formal dress shirts available in both pocket and pocketless styles. With that said, many experts will agree that pocket dress shirts are more formal than pocketless dress shirts.

Pocket dress shirts are just more than formal than pocketless dress shirts.

Two-Tone Dress Shirts

When shopping for a dress shirt to wear with a suit, you may discover that some of them have two colors. Known as a two-tone dress shirt, they've become increasingly popular over the past few years. They don't feature a single color. Rather, two-tone dress shirts live up to their namesake by featuring two colors.

It's not uncommon for two-tone dress shirts to feature a separate color for their pocket. A two-tone dress shirt, for example, may feature a dark navy color with a light blue-colored pocket. It's a unique style that's guaranteed to attract compliments. You can find pocketless two-tone dress shirts available as well. But if you're looking to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you may want to choose a pocketless two-tone dress shirt. Just remember to choose a two-tone dress shirt with an appropriate palette of colors that flow cohesively with each other. If the colors used in a two-tone dress shirt clash, it won't look right when worn.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Both pocket and pocketless dress shirts are relatively easy to clean -- you just need to follow the manufacturer's instructions. With that said, pocketless dress shirts are usually the easiest to clean since they don't suffer from pocket wrinkles. If you wear a pocket dress shirt, you may discover that the pocket develops wrinkles after being worn.

With a pocket, pocket dress shirts have a tendency to develop more wrinkles than their pocketless counterparts. Pockets are designed so that they can be opened. Therefore, they have loose material that's susceptible to wrinkling. Regardless of whether you use your shirt pocket, it may develop wrinkles that require ironing or pressing. Pocketless dress shirts, on the other hand, don't have pockets, so this isn't a concern. A pocketless dress shirt may still develop wrinkles in other areas, but it won't develop wrinkles in the pockets.

Whether you choose a pocket or pocketless dress shirt, consider the following tips when cleaning and maintaining it:

  • Check the care tag to determine the safest, as well as most effective, way to clean it.
  • When cleaning your dress shirt in the washing machine, turn it inside out.
  • Avoid washing your dress shirt with garments that contain buttons, zippers or other metal fasteners, as this may cause damage.
  • Spot treat stains using a washcloth, warm water and liquid detergent.
  • Store your dress shirt on a heavy-duty clothes hanger to preserve its shape when you aren't wearing it.
  • Add a small amount of vinegar when washing your dress shirt to protect it from premature fading.
  • Never wash your dress shirt with garments of other colors. If your dress shirt is white, for instance, only wash it with other white garments. If it's black, only wash your dress shirt with other black garments.


Both pocket and pocketless dress shirts are available in a variety of materials. Linen is a popular choice of material during the spring and summer months because of its lightweight and breathable properties. Derived from the flax plant, linen weighs less and is more breathable than most other materials, including cotton. Therefore, linen dress shirts are frequently worn during the warmer months of the year.

You'll find pocket and pocketless dress shirts made of tweed as well. Tweed, of course, is wool that's woven in a specific way. Tweed dress shirts are soft and warm, making them an excellent choice for the cooler months of the year.

In Conclusion

The decision to wear a pocket or pocketless dress shirt with a suit is ultimately a personal choice that only you can make. Some men prefer to wear a pocket dress shirt because of its increased functionality and formal appearance, whereas others prefer the simpler appearance of a pocketless dress shirt.