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The strange connection of women and pockets

Pockets in clothes are something that you don’t really take notice of, especially if you’re a male. If you’re a female, well, you know that the struggle for a practical pocket in your clothing article is quite real. These days the clothes for women have either small, impractical pockets or just no pockets at all. But was this the case since forever? 

Well, no. Let's rewind time way back till the 3,300 BCE and thank Ötzi the “Iceman" who sewed a pouch to his belt to carry around his belongings. This European was the inventor of pockets and he had made them without any gender bias. 
In fact, there are records of men and women around the 14th century who have been known to have huge pouches that were tied around their wastes. The pouches were either left hanging outside or could be concealed inside their coats and dresses to safeguard from pickpockets. 

The Play of Corsets
Now we need to keep in mind that fashion was on the rise around this time. During the late 14th century wearing a corset was a common practice among women. So when the pockets started taking shape similar to regular pockets that we know of today, women’s clothing was simply left out of it. 
The main factor that women could not get their pockets sewn into their garments was the trend of corsets which restricted them from tucking in anything around their waist as it hampered the look. Over a span of a few years their pockets revolutionized to pouches being held separately with a string and this we now know as a purse.
So while the male clothing had numerous pockets for almost everything that they might need to carry, the other half simply couldn’t enjoy the same utility. 

Somethings that Needed to be Gone
There are many factors which influenced this trend through the ages, the most common being ‘male dominance’. Of course other factors like ‘fashion’ also played a critical role. Many still believe that women weren’t allowed to carry their belongings with them so that men could carry them for them, to ensure control over the females. 
The era is modern no doubt. We have come a long way since the Women Suffrage Revolutions took the world by storm. We have witnessed women Prime Ministers and Presidents, all over the world. Still, it would be ignorant to say that we have totally eradicated male dominance in society. It is certainly looked down upon but when we look around we see some vivid signs of inequality and women's objectification.

Research Throws Light on the Problem
One such sign in the modern world is the size and practicality of pockets in the clothing for women. A research group recently looked at many top fashion brands and found that women’s pockets are 48% smaller and 6% narrower than men’s pockets. It is evident that these companies had chosen fashion over utility.
Women do fuss over this a lot, to be honest. Out of 10, every 8th seemed to be complaining about the size of their pockets. They could not even fit a regular-sized phone in it and almost could only find enough space for smaller objects like keys. Their phones and other personal items are all stored in their purses which they have to carry around and a lot of times keep them away from themselves. We definitely do not have to discuss the dangers of leaving purses just lying around, unattended.

Something Positive
It was inevitable that at least some companies started incorporating bigger pockets for pants and other lowers.
One of the most interesting changes concerning pockets came to leggings. Leggings these days are mostly skin tights so it was difficult to fit pockets in them. But recently some companies have been able to make leggings with pockets which instantly gained popularity in this era obsessed with fitness. Similarly, it was absurd to think about dresses with pockets but some designers have pulled off the chic look and have received much praise for it. Jeans although had larger pockets for women for a while but they were mostly worn by women working at a ranch or a similar outfield.

Still a Long Way to Go

Even though all these revolutions to clothing styles have been making differences around the globe, we still have a long way to go before we can actually make proper pockets in women's clothing a trend. We can bank on the fashion industry and the designers to find more ways to find a balance between fashion and practicality. After all, women too should be able to be as practical as men when it comes to simply carry belongings around with ease.

1 comment

  1. I never really thought about it but you bring up a great point. I have some jeans where the pockets are so small I don't know why they bothered putting them there. Interesting post!


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