The other evening, we had the good fortune of seeing our two oldest grandchildren. Goodness, how I love those two. But that is not why I write.
Our granddaughter was searching for her Apple Watch. She needed me to have a look at this device to make it operational. She began to empty her jacket pockets onto our counter. And out of those pockets came enough items to fill a large bucket. The jacket, by the way, looked amazing on her. It was one she picked up at a vintage store. A men’s jacket. With nice big pockets. Obviously.
As with most things, it got me to thinking. I buy men’s clothing a LOT. For two reasons. 1. The material is generally heavier, and the quality is better. 2. Pockets.
Women’s clothes have little, faux, or no pockets. This makes me insane. Sometimes, I would LOVE to buy women’s clothing. If only those designers would make it of equal quality, and if only they would include pockets. My winter coats for example. Eddie Bauer. Men’s have inside pockets, and lots of outside pockets too. Women’s? Two pocket for your hands. Period. And small, at that. Freaking insane, I tell you.
The reason this all started was to control women. It’s true.
Centuries ago, all clothing was created sans pockets. Both men and women simply carried their belongings in these nifty little pouches which they would tie around the waist.
Then, it happened. Pockets. Some 400 years ago, pockets were sewn into men’s clothing, but this same feature was omitted from female garments. This was a way to keep women powerless. Men could conceal things in their dress. But women? No. They had no way to secretly carry items around, and this made it much harder for them to travel independently or conduct clandestine affairs.
In the early 1800s, slimmer silhouettes came into style. If women did have pockets at this point, they got much smaller.
But. The push for pocket equity began in the late 1800s. There was something called The Rational Dress Society, founded in 1891.
It rallied women to dress for comfort and health by ditching constrictive corsets. Radicals! The society encouraged them to start dressing for comfort and for function. The movement told women they should start wearing — of all things— trousers. Trousers, with pockets.
Then, in the 1920s, fashion designer Coco Chanel began sewing them into her women’s jackets. But it wasn’t until the 1970s, when women regularly wore pants, and especially blue jeans. And hooded sweatshirts of various colors, that are warm and comfortable. Like, someone you know.
At any rate, females began to move closer to pocket equality during the 1970s.
But that progress appears to have stalled. A lot of women’s clothing is still predominantly pocketless, or equipped with tiny pockets that can’t hold more than a key, or a single coin, or a tiny little marble. Most women these days have to choose between the three: “Do I take a house key, a single coin, OR, my favorite little marble. Oh, whatever will it be?”
Some experts say this is due to male dominance in the fashion industry. Which is a little bit puzzling, mystifying, and discouraging, in its own right. Why won’t they give us some damn pockets? Well, those designers believe fashion is more important than function. That old boy Christian Dior is alleged to have said, “Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.” Buhhh.
And there you have it.
So that’s where you will have me. In my well-made blue jeans, my warm hoodie, and all of my well-sewn pockets.
“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”
― Timothy Leary
“I do not wish them women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”
― George Carlin