This may be a no-brainer for a lot of you, but I remember being confused about this once upon a time, and every now and then I see someone walking around with their big ol’ vent threads still hanging on for dear life, so I figured it was worth mentioning.
What are vents & slits for?
Some clothing items like blazers and skirts have vents or slits placed in spots to accommodate for the added room you may need while walking, reaching, or other movements. If you’ve ever tried to walk upstairs in a fitted pencil skirt, chances are you were thankful for that back slit.
Why do clothes come with the vents or slits sewn shut?
Clothes can take a beating before you take them home and add them to your closet. They get smooshed in shipment boxes, rumpled on overcrowded racks, and abused in fitting rooms. Lightly sewing the vents or slits shut help prevent them from getting warped or damaged.
How do I know if the vent or slit is supposed to be sewn shut, or if I’m supposed to open it?
When a vent or slit is supposed to be open, the thread holding it shut is usually a contrasting color (like the white thread used on the charcoal grey blazer above), and is a long, loose stitch. Sometimes the stitch is hidden so you can choose if you want it open or not. The blazer below had a hidden stitch, but I wanted the vent open, so I removed it.
Also, sometimes an open slit or vent helps the garment fit to your natural shape. Often times, blazers will look a little funny from the back on me until I’m able to snip those vent threads. Then the blazer contours to my shape in all the right places. =)