Which Is The Best Pocket?

January 2, 2020

The best debates are always the most trivial ones. On Tuesday, @gplatinum_ tweeted out a photo of the inside of a New York City subway car, asking fellow New Yorkers which they felt is the best seat. The layout should look familiar to almost anyone. Three seats face the center of the car and two seats face forward. It’s what you’ll find in many US public transportation systems.

The answers were surprisingly diverse. Some were firm in their choice, while others couched their decisions depending on the type of ride. Seat 1 if the train is empty; 3 and 5 if it’s packed; 4 for long trips or if you’re tired.

The correct answer, of course, is 4. Seat 4 protects you in case anything pops off. Seat 1 is the first to get robbed in a snatch and run. The only danger to 4 is if 5 and 3 get into a fight, but you have to assess the possibility of that happening when sitting down.



Gabe’s tweet made me wonder: like seats in an NYC subway car, which is the best seat for my belongings in an Engineered Garments outfit? Even with a simple CPO shirt jacket, an EG outfit will have at least six pockets (seven or eight if you count the back trouser pockets, but that depends on the model). If you layer with an EG parka, this could be upwards of 475 pockets (game pocket, interior pocket, arm pockets, pockets within pockets, etc).

I tweeted this question out this morning and was again surprised by the answers. A large number of people said 2 (no justification, as there is none). Jacob Gallagher, a documented Engineered Garments fan and Wall Street Journal’s Men’s Fashion Editor, ranked them as “4, 2, 1, 3, 6, 5.” @StreetNightLive and @ewlamy noted that the best pocket is actually the game pocket and interior chest pocket, respectively. But for the sake of simplification, we are not including those options. (If we did, it’s true that the interior chest pocket is the most useful).



Here is the correct ranking, from best to worst:

  • Pocket 5: This is the best pocket for your keys, especially if you’re right-handed. If you’re left-handed, too bad. Reach around here for your keys.
  • Pocket 3: This is for your card case. It’s intuitive and easy to reach for. It’s also spacious, which means you can keep both a card case and your money clip. Maybe even a phone, depending on the model.
  • Pocket 2: This is for important one-time reach items such as train tickets. The pocket is easy to access and much more secure than trouser pockets, where things can accidentally fall out. No one wants to be the person holding up a subway line. This pocket will make you the quickest draw in the West.
  • Pocket 6: Again, intuitive, as you have hip trouser pockets on everything. Mostly good for candy wrappers and shopping receipts, but also potentially a phone.
  • Pockets 1 and 4: Tied for being utterly useless when it comes to carrying physical objects, but useful for carrying your smug sense of superiority as pockets are a sign of wealth in Japanese Americana design. Later, when you can’t find your wallet, you’ll discover it in one of these two pockets after exhaustively searching through your huge collection of Japanese Americana outerwear.