From kurtas to dresses, we all probably prefer pockets in all of their clothing. Because, they’re functional, utilitarian and come in handy each time we need a place to put our phones. But today, pockets in women’s clothing does not exist. They fool us by selling jeans with fake pockets or with tiny pockets that can only actually fit an Orbit gum in it. They give us the feeling of pocket when we clearly don’t. And we should not clearly talk about dresses and kurtas here.
The absence of functional pockets has a history that’s filled with sexism and it goes even deeper than the pockets we are ‘allowed’ in women respective outfits.
In the Victorian era, women were not allowed pockets as men did
While pockets for men were attached into the pants, like they are now, women had to design one in their huge, fluffy outfits. It was less than a pocket and probably appeared more like a satchel hanging by a thread, tied around the waist.
But then in the 1800s, fashion evolved and fluffy dresses gave way to sleeker, figure-hugging Grecian gowns. Oops! Where do the satchels go now?
This was the period when the purse made a glorious appearance. At that time, it was named the reticule. Some were embellished, some were sequined, and others were embroidered. Majority of the woman was now holding a purse.
But it created another issue- these reticules were too small. Big bags were looked down upon as it was a representation of working women. And God knows, why everyone hated working women back then, exactly now.
But things eventually change and women started wearing pants
However, these pants were styled to be worn by men so they had pockets exactly how men’s pants had. But today when women had started wearing pants, pockets appeared too masculine to adjust to a woman’s petite shape.
Not later, fashion trumped functionality and pockets were segregated out from pants. If you wanted to wear pants, you had to wear them without pockets.
It was thought that if a woman will keep something in her pant pockets, it would bulge out and disfigure her look, making her appear unappealing and bulgy.
Starting from that, fashion stalwarts have stopped attaching pockets from everything.
From our jeans to our skirts, we don’t have pockets in anything. And for a long time, it was fine. People adjusted and used to not having no or small, non-functional pockets. But if some genius, female-friendly stylish selects put a pocket, it feels like a blessing. Because that’s how uncommon pockets have turned out to be in women’s clothing. Additionally, it’s less costly to design pocketless pants.
The one thing that turns out to have pockets, and that too in huge numbers, is cargo pants. But who goes for cargo pants these days? Now the fashion is of decking up in leggings and jeggings. With a tight fit like it is designed to have, there’s clearly no room to sew in a pocket, is there?
With cellphones turning out bigger every minute, our pockets appear to be getting smaller and it’s a huge issue.
While big designers are bringing about the revolution, the problem is with everyday fashion items. International brands such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara, are still selling jeans with either false pockets or with pockets the size of your thumb.
Slowly, things are changing
Now stars such as Amy Schumer, Jenna Tatum, Sandra Bullock, Blake Lively have started decking up in costumes with a pocket to red carpet events without giving any fuck about it.
For the must-have pocket trend to boil down to the daily-wear, jeans, pants section, it will take probably a long time, around as much time as women spent without pockets.
But we’re living in revolutionary times, one is never aware of what will happen next.