"There’s a general lack of understanding about what a vent is and the purpose it serves."
Vents originated as a way for military men on horseback to ride comfortably. Thanks to the vent, they could part the back of their jackets and let them rest on the saddle. The vent prevents you from feeling constricted while you’re sitting. It also prevents the jacket fabric from bunching and wrinkling. Not to mention, it helps to compliment the backside. Additionally, the vent makes it easier for you to reach your back and front pockets.
You’ll notice that some suits have a centre vent while others have two side vents. Both vents meet all the initial requirements and adequately serve the intended purpose. However, each vent type has a different functionality and aesthetic benefit.
Single centre vent
The centre vent is great for slim gentlemen that don’t require a large amount of flexibility in the bottom half of the jacket. It keeps the jacket closer to the hips, but doesn’t allow for as much tapering through the waist whilst keeping the jacket looking clean through the front and back panels. The centre vent is more common in off-the-rack options due to it being a cheaper form of production.
Double side vents
Two vented jackets are perfect for the modern cut suit. The vents allow for greater shape through the mid section of the jacket without removing the manoeuvrability below the waist. The majority of the population look better with two vents as it creates cleaner vertical lines from the front, back and side.
Both vent types will get the job done; it just comes down to a matter of preference and your physique. Consult with your fitter to determine which vent will work best for your body type and the fit you’re trying to achieve.