Guy Knowledge

Pick Stitching – what it is and how to find it

By on January 9th, 2014

Pick stitching is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but not many guys really know what it is. When shopping for a new suit, specifically a custom suit, the question of whether or not to include pick stitching on some area of the jacket will surely come up.

As you probably know, bespoke clothing offers you the opportunity to take advantage of several benchmark standards in the world of fine suiting, such as surgeon’s cuffs, full canvas construction, and a high level of hand finishing. Another feature of a quality suit or jacket is, you guessed it, pick stitching.

Hand picked stitching refers to the small and unobtrusive stitching that runs along the lapel (the collar of a jacket), around the pocket flaps, and sometimes the breast pocket detail. It’s a classic feature of a high-end jacket and a clear indicator that you’re wearing a handmade garment.

These are clear indicators of custom handwork.

And here’s how you can check to see if it has been done by hand. There will be a slight variation in both stitch length and alignment with each adjacent stitch. These are clear indicators of custom handwork. A hand pick stitch is difficult to accomplish and can only be achieved by experienced craftsmen. At Bespoke Edge, our clothing is made by tailors with many years of experience and who fashion our clothes with painstaking detail. Consequently, skilled pick stitching work is often barely visible:

Pick stitching on a sport coat cuff.

On the other hand, machine pick stitching is often just an attempt to make a lower quality garment look handmade. But don’t be fooled, true hand pick stitching is certainly an art and when it is crafted correctly, the suit or jacket takes on a sophistication that is one-of-a-kind.

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I should also note that pick stitching can be used as an accent on your jacket, at your discretion. For instance, if you only want a subtle pick stitching on the lapel, that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t need to be on the pockets or on the bottom of the coat too.

pick stitching on a black custom suit lapel

Pick stitching can add a subtle texture to suits and pants.

The key takeaway is that pick stitching is very much an accent on a fine custom suit or jacket. It’s yet another way that you can build a story around your clothes and stand apart from the crowd.

pick stitching on custom pants


Take a peek at our gallery and see if you can find some jackets with pick stitching!

About Bespoke Edge: BE is a leading men’s custom clothier, serving the Denver and Scottsdale area by appointment.

Further reading on pick stitching and the other subtleties of menswear:

If you found this article valuable, check out our guides on suit buying:

How to buy a wedding suit this year

What to know about buying a tuxedo


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