The pocket revolution is gaining steam in the world of fashion.
Our lack of pockets goes beyond dresses. Even work pants and blazers often have fake pockets that are sewn shut. You don’t want to head to the meeting in the conference room with a purse but you have no place to hide your lip balm and your phone.
How many times have you had to ask your date to hold something for you in his pockets during a special event? You know, when the occasion requires a small purse that cannot possibly hold your makeup, phone, keys and phone, let alone your money? He’s wearing a suit and has pockets in his jacket as well as his pants, so why not, right? You just need him to stash a couple of things.
Women’s clothing has often been styled to forgo function for fashion. A 1910 article that appeared in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune wrote, “Pockets stuffed with miscellaneous articles would produce ridges and irregularities that would be unsightly; if not to the unobservant male, at any rate to the feminine sartorial critic. Hence the feminine portion of the community is driven to the use of the handbag.”
But every now and then we are lucky to discover our dresses — surprise! — have pockets! And don’t you show it off to every woman in which you come into contact? “Look! It even has pockets!” you exclaim as they “ooh” and “aah.”
Demand is on the rise for more pockets, not to mention more female design heads (More than half of brands are led by men, which could explain our trouble finding a pocket). Thankfully, there is a movement underway to end sexist clothing, and although not a loud movement, cries can be found across social media from women wanting pockets in jeans large enough to carry an iPhone to those wanting work clothes to be more functional.
Some of the designers making the change include:
Cofounded by women, Argent is a workwear outfitter adding functional pockets to its line of pants and blazers. They haven’t yet started making dresses but they are on a mission to “upgrade the office dress code and help women dress like they mean business.” https://argentwork.com/
Sustainable clothing manufacturers like Toad&Co are including pockets in much of their women’s clothing, although the lines are a bit too casual for work. Still, they work well for on-the-go attire that is more fashionable than a pair of shorts. https://www.toadandco.com
Although Pivotte only make pants, this women-led studio is creating 24/7 stretch pants that are machine washable, spill proof and filled with pockets that still look slimming, even with items inside. https://www.pivottestudio.com/
Pockets in dresses, work and evening wear are a bit more difficult to come by, but these retailers are better about adding them:
You may spot a celeb or two on the red carpet giddy for having a ballgown with pockets, all thanks to Carolina Herrera. Her models walk the runway, hands in pocket, and have so for more than a decade. From ready-to-wear to evening attire, you’ll find something with a place to slip your hand. www.chcarolinaherrera.com.
Perhaps it’s because Lauren is a functional designer that so many of his dresses for women have pockets, especially the shirtdress. Midi- and maxi-dresses alike can be found with pockets for women. www.ralphlauren.com.
Perhaps if sales of clothing with pockets increase, maybe the men heading up the bigger fashion brands will take notice?
Lissa Poirot is an award-winning lifestyle writer who covers health, wellness and travel. Her work has appeared on websites such as WebMD, FamilyVacationCritic and the New York Times, as well as print in magazines including Vegetarian Times and Arthritis Today.