Fatal feminist fashion: the untold story of womens’ pockets

Grace Robbins ‘22, Photo Editor and Hannah Holycross ‘22, Opinion Editor

Have you ever seen women who look like they must have at least 10 fingers on each hand while juggling their wallet, keys, phone, and iced coffee simultaneously? Women have learned to carry all of their necessities in their hands after going through years of not being provided with pockets, or even worse, having faux pockets. The dreaded faux pockets, stitched tightly shut as to give a middle finger right in every woman’s face, barring them from the convenience of wearable storage. It is the 21st century and it is time we normalize pockets in womens’ pants so that, once and for all, women are able to hold their necessities with relative ease. 

In a study done by New York University (NYU) it was found that pockets in women’s jeans are 48 percent shorter and 6.5 percent  narrower than those of men’s. To make things worse, it was also discovered that only 40 percent of women’s pockets can fit one of three leading brands of smartphones and many cannot fit beyond the knuckles of the hands that purchased those pants. When asked why women’s pants are designed in such a way, famous designer Christian Dior said: “men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.” Since when are pockets decorative? Last time I checked, pockets are there for a purpose and on that matter, women do not solely care about fashion, as we, too, have just as many things to hold as our male counterparts. For decades the fashion industry has profited off the so-called “vanity” and “chic-ness” that so many women find themselves infatuated with and it is no surprise that pockets fall within yet another way corporations abuse the standards they have placed upon women.    

With a variety of fashionable handbags on the market, this begs the question, does the sale of purses increase because of the absence of pockets in women’s clothing? According to Business Wire, the average American woman “spend[s] as much as $160 on a handbag and owns about 11 handbags.” Since women do not have the pockets to hold their things they need with them, they are forced  to resort to purchasing handbags or backpacks in order to hold their necessities. Handbag companies consistently profit off of this lack of holes in women’s pants, almost forming an alliance between the pant industry and the purse industry. The less pockets that are made, the more purses that are sold. We must not let big corporations continue to profit off our inconveniences, no more will we settle for overpriced pants that do not even hold the luxury of practical pockets.

One does not have to carry around pockets, they are simply right there, ready for one to place their beloved belongings in. Purses are pricey, leather pouches that require proper care and careful handling. Not all women want to lug around an overpriced bag when there exists a simple solution: usable, accessible pockets.   

If you ask any woman what makes a dress go from a good dress to a great dress, many of them will squeal “it has pockets!”, exasperated by the convenience the dress provides. This excitement exists  even in different kinds of women’s clothing. Women want pockets. This follows into athletic wear, where big brands like Lululemon and Athleta lack pockets in their women’s athletic shorts. You would think that shorts made for sports such as tennis or cross country would hold pockets for athletes to store balls, cellphones, and earbuds, but alas, this convenient addition would prevent the “short-short” look that brands love to promote women to wear. When asked about the lack of pockets in women’s athletic wear, SLHS junior varsity (JV) tennis coach said,  “Whoever designed womens’ clothing is both unwise and unkind.” 

In a day and age where women have consistently broken glass ceilings and pushed their way towards equality, it is time we make this simple fix in the fashion world. It is time we alleviate the hands of women and give them a place for their hands to stay warm, for their car keys to not get left on tables, and for their cellphones to remain nearby. One small step for fashion, one big step for women and pockets for one, pockets for all.

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