Pen In Shirt Pocket (Do’s & Dont’s)

A pen can come in very handy in dire situations that require it. Aside from being very useful, a shirt pocket pen adds a touch of chicness and class to your outfit.

However, few people know there is a correct way of pairing pens in your shirt pocket.

This article touches on the various styles and correct ways to wear a pen in your shirt pocket.

Use a quality retractable pen if you intend to wear it in your shirt pocket continually. Cheap, non-retractable pens are liable to spill ink and stain your shirts. Spilling is a problem rarely seen in quality pens. Also, ensure the pen is clipped firmly to your shirt pocket so it doesn’t slip out of position when you bend or walk. 

Correct Way to Carry a Pen in your Shirt Pocket

Pen in Shirt Pocket

The correct way is with the tip pointing downwards and the cap on top pinned to the cloth.

When carrying a pen in your shirt pocket, ensure the length of the pen is shorter than the length of the pocket

Wearing pens that are longer or the same length as your shirt pocket will make the pen lose and more prone to falling out of your shirt pocket.

Also, ensure the pen’s grip is tight enough to hold the pocket’s cloth. Another way to wear your pen is in the pocket of the Jacket you wear over the shirt.

This style is most common in Europe and is the standard for properly pairing a pen with an outfit.

This style prevents hazards like ink stains or the pen from easily falling out of your pocket. 

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Since the jacket pocket is thicker and much more hidden than the shirt breast pocket, you can pull out the pen, retract or uncap it and use it for whatever function you brought it out for.

However, the con of this is you can’t always wear your Jacket everywhere you go, and in rooms where you feel hot and have to take off your Jacket, your pen will be far from your reach.

Nonetheless, this is much safer than carrying your pen in your shirt pocket. Another way you can carry your pen is by wearing it in the inside pocket of your Jacket.

You still have to stand the pen upright, ensuring the tip points upward and the cap pins to the cloth. 

This style is noticeably classier and adds a little flair to something as simple as pulling out a pen.

Ensure the pen doesn’t slant or fall flat inside the shirt or jacket pocket. Another tip you should note is to keep the tip of your pen inside the cap. 

Do not let it stick out because this could lead to the ink easily pouring or drawing stain marks on your shirt pocket as you walk and move around. 

Best Pen for Shirt Pocket

A major assortment of pens marketed as “pocket carry” isn’t. In reality, they don’t live up to that expectation.

There are a few factors that qualify a pen as truly “pocket carry.” 

#1. Comfort

A shirt pocket pen is something you carry with you all the time because you make use of it frequently.

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Therefore, choosing pens that sit comfortably in your shirt pocket is best. It would help if you had a pen you could carry and still use as a full-sized pen. 

#2. Durability

This factor primarily refers to crack resistance and leak-proofing. You do not want your pen cap to slip off and stain your shirt.

If the pen is a fountain pen, is it susceptible to burping ink as you slip it in and out of your pocket? These are problems a quality, durable pen would not give. 

#3. Price

You want a pen that’s not too expensive yet quality enough not to have issues over time.

Also, since you’ll be carrying the pocket pen with you all around, it is wiser not to invest in an extremely expensive pen for the risk of losing it mistakenly. 

Pens that fall between 100 Dollars are great and can stand their own. Here is a table that features high-quality “pocket carry” pens that can serve you well.

Pokka Pen BallpointPokka Pen Ballpoint is an easily replaceable pocket pen option. They are of good quality and inexpensive. You can buy aluminum caps and a keychain to add to the aesthetics and help you hold on to it better while on the move.
Lamy PicoLamy Pico is a great shirt pocket pen that can easily become your favorite. The Lamy Pico forms a small “capsule” when closed and then unveils into a full-sized ballpoint pen when extended.
Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint. Caran d’Ache is a retractable click ballpoint pen that comes in different amazing varieties and options. 
Kaweco SportThe Kaweco Sport is a fountain pen with incredible usefulness. It is a great blend of compactness, durability, and leakage resistance/burping.
Baron Fig SquireThis shirt pocket pen option is quite pricey. It uses a twist deployment mechanism, making it harder for the pen to pull mistakenly. A great alternative for this pen is the Retro 51 Tornado.

How to Keep Pens from Falling Out of Shirt Pocket

Aside from buying a pen with a tight clip that hangs tightly on your shirt cloth, there are other alternatives you can try out.

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You could place an extra length of cloth along the top edge of the shirt pocket to thicken the spot the pen will hang. 

The strip of cloth does not have to be very long. Just short enough to hold the pen in place.

If the extra cloth strip is not thick enough to hold the pocket pen’s clip, thicken it with more cloth and try again.

Fountain Pen in Shirt Pocket

Fountain pens fit into shirt pockets very naturally. They are also extremely stylish. Whatever fountain pen you choose should have these features.

  • Short enough to fit into the shirt pocket, not longer than the pocket length. 
  • Must be durable and seal-proof. So that you do not burp ink stains on your shirt while walking around. 
  • Uncap or retract fast, so you don’t have to waste time using them. Pocket pens are supposed to be efficient in the best possible way. 

Below is a table of a few of the best “pocket carry” fountain pens.

Kaweco Liliput Fountain pen 3.8.”Kaweco Liliput is an extremely small fountain pen that fits the bill just right. It is thin and lightweight yet has a decent-sized nib to write with.
TWSBI Diamond Mini 4.64″TWSBI Diamond is one of the best pocket fountain pens. It has 2 versions; the Diamond Mini and the Vac Mini. The Diamond Mini is the smaller of the 2. 
Pilot Petit Fountain PenPilot Petit is a small and easily disposable fountain pen. It is relatively cheap and functions well as a pocket shirt pen.

Is it Better to Store Pens Up or Down?

Generally, it is best to store pens down so the ink doesn’t flow away from the pen’s tip to the bottom.

Storing them down also prevents them from getting dirty easily or having ink clogs. 

Pens like Fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and gel pens are stored to preserve them properly.

Storing your pen down also keeps the ink from drying up quickly, making it difficult to write when you pull them out.


Shirt Pocket pens are extremely useful and stylish. They serve much-needed assistance in dire situations where a pen is far away or not within reach.

Fountain and ballpoint pens make great “pocket carry” pens; however, make your decision based on the durability, comfort, and price of the pen you wish to use as a shirt pocket pen.

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