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The Essential Fountain Pen Guide (Pt. 4): Scrively’s Top 5 Shirt Pocket-Fountain Pens

It’s been quite a while since the last installment of The Essential Fountain Pen Guide, which is a special video-series in which I aim for covering some rather general ground on fountain pen usage (i.e. videos that are no specific in-depth reviews of single pens).

Something that I wanted to cover for quite a while now was a special video on great shirt pocket pens. This is since I personally like wearing shirts and hence, often carry a fountain pen in a shirt pocket. So naturally, the ‘shirt pocketability’ of a fountain pen is a definite criteria for me in case I would like for a pen to be usable for just that. Also, I have not found any other informational content out there that covers this topic.

Before we dive into things, let me add the (rather personal) note that I am fully aware of the fact that some may deem it absolutely inappropriate style-wise to carry a fountain pen (or any pen, for that matter) in a shirt pocket at all. My short answer to this is: I don’t care. The slightly longer answer is: there is no good reason for not carrying a pen in your shirt pocket apart from some aesthetic reasons of the pen weighing-down the shirt on one side, which is why the size and weight of the pen is one of my criteria below – and I also would have one pen clipped to the shirt pocket, not 25 pens. Another reason for not wearing a pen in your shirt pocket essentially boils down to snobbish but essentially pointless style-etiquette of the ‘you just don’t do that’-sorts – which I personally don’t find particularly convincing on an intellectual basis. And no: “you also wouldn’t wear sandals to a diner gala” is not the same league. At least not if the pen that you have clipped to your shirt pocket is not a BIC Crystal.

Now that we got that out of the way, my criteria for the assessment of the fountain pens listed below as being great shirt pocket-pens is rather personal and not some sort of whatever-scientific evaluation. To me personally, for a pen to be a great shirt pocket pen, it needs to

  • be generally rather short in capped length, so that the upper part of the pen does not stick out of the shirt pocket too much (ideally not at all apart from the finial)
  • be just long enough to be comfortably written unposted – at least for hassle-free shorter notes in meetings or on-the-go
  • uncap rather fast – again, for hassle-free shorter notes in meetings or on-the-go
  • be light enough to not weigh-down your shirt pocket.

I hope the video is useful. Be sure to also check out the other parts of The Essential Fountain Pen Guide. Feel free to also check out my ink-reviews that also place special emphasis on lefties. Note that there is also The Lefty-Fountain Pen Guide.

What I talk about in this video:


  1. Gijsbert Noordam Gijsbert Noordam

    Enjoyed this review – thanks very much – although I am not entirely clear on your definition of pocket pen versus shirt pocket pen 🙂 Do you have a Kaweco DIA 2 review in the works? I am quite keen to know what you think.

    • Scrively Scrively

      Thank you! Well, while the distinction between a shirt pocket and a pocket pen may not be a laser-sharp section, I would say that a shirt pocket pen to me has a clip and is a full-size pen on the smaller side (i.e. being writable unposted for quick note taking once pulled out of the shirt pocket). For instance, I would not put a Pilot Capless in my jeans pocket (nib may be pushed out). Or even a Pelikan M200 (fits great in a shirt pocket, but still too large for a jeans/pant pocket). A pocket pen to me is an essentially pretty small pen that can only hardly be written unposted, ideally without a clip, that is more or less meant to be carried in a jeans/pants pocket – I am thinking of the Kaweco Sport, Liliput or the Schon Desgn pen. That is my perspective. Hope that clarifies a little – even though I am aware that some people do also clip oversize pens into their jeans pocket, which then of course makes any of these distinctions superfluous :-). A review of the DIA2 is in the works and will either be coming in January or early February.

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