Corporette 101: Rip Your Clothes


Sometimes, women new to suits don’t realize that when you purchase it off the rack, there are a number of things that are sewn up for display purposes that should not be sewn up once you wear them. Namely, pockets on jackets and pants, slits in skirts, and vents on jackets.

  • Slits and vents will be sewn shut with a tiny “X” marking the spot — you should cut that off gently and remove all the thread.
  • Pockets are your choice* — you don’t have to rip them open, but it probably isn’t a bad idea if you have a building card pass to carry or want to take your debit card for a lunch run. Again, take some scissors and rip them open and remove all offending thread. (Although, in a pinch, just ripping it open with your bare hands will do.)

If you aren’t sure whether or not there’s actually a pocket in there, look on the inside of your jacket or pants — you’ll see the pocket pouch.

* We say pockets are your choice because no one will really know whether you’ve ripped them open or not — with the X on vents and slits you look like a novice if you’re still wearing them that way. But, even though pants pockets are your choice, we particularly recommend it if you’ve been eating too many summer lunches and your pants are a wee bit tight — ripping the pockets open gives you easier access to smooth the fabric of the pockets so they lay flat against your derriere.

Pictured: If your pants look like this, you’re doing something wrong!  Trouser suicide, originally uploaded to Flickr by edmittance.


  1. Be careful about ripping open the pockets on pants, especially if the pants are too tight. If they’re slanted pockets that run along the sides of the hips, they will wind up gaping and make you look very very hippy.

  2. It’s not just women who are unaware of this. My boss (male) was grousing about the “fake pockets” on his new suit until I pulled out the basting from them and from the vent. Some guys just need their own fashion police to help them dress well.

  3. Invest $2 in a seam ripper! You’ll thank me later.

    You will not believe the number of times this will come in handy, and it is far safer for opening the pockets on your expensive suits than using scissors! A seam ripper will also very easily help you tackle all the left behind little threads after you open the pockets, as well as easily remove those little sewn spots from the size/style tag on the back waistband of many dress pants.

  4. Anonymous :

    This post was really really useful!
    I have had skirts with slits that were sewn up and I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to stay that way or be cut open!
    I used to wait till it cut by itself, now I know they’re meant to be cut!
    Thanks a lot