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What we talk about when we talk about pockets - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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What we talk about when we talk about pockets [Apr. 29th, 2013|08:33 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |judas priest: hell bent for leather]

This post is about pockets, feminism, design, autonomy and common sense. Please feel free to repost or link to it if you know people who'd benefit from the discussion.

A few weeks ago trillian_stars and I were out somewhere and she asked "Oooh, can I get a cup of coffee?" and I thought "why are you asking me? You don't need permission." But what I discovered was that her clothes had no pockets, so she had no money with her.

Mens clothes have pockets. My swimsuits have pockets. All of them do, and it's not unusual, because, what if you're swimming in the ocean and you find a fist full of pirate booty in the surf? You need somewhere to put it. Men are used to carrying stuff in their pockets, you put money there, you put car keys there. With money and car keys come power and independence. You can buy stuff, you can leave. The idea of some women's clothes not having pockets is baffling, but it's worse than that -- it's patriarchal because it makes the assumption that women will either carry a handbag, or they'll rely on men around them for money and keys and such things. (I noticed this also when Neil & Amanda were figuring out where her stuff had to go because she had no pockets.) Where do women carry tampons? Amanda wondered, In their boyfriend's pockets, Neil concluded.)

I then noticed that none of trillian_stars' running clothes had pockets. Any pockets. Which is (as they always say on "Parking Wars") ridikulus. Who leaves the house with nothing? (It's not a rhetorical question, I actually can't think of anybody).

We fixed some of this by getting this runners wrist wallet from Poutfits on Etsy -- it holds money, ID, keys ... the sort of stuff you'd need. Plus you can wipe your nose on it. It solves the running-wear problem, but not the bigger problem.




Clickenzee to Embiggen!



The bigger problem is that people who design women's fashions are still designing pants and jackets that have no pockets. In fact, this jacket we got last December has ... no pockets. It's not a question of lines or shape, it's a question of autonomy.



Clickenzee to Embiggen



So I'm asking my friends who design women's clothes to consider putting pockets in them, they can be small, they can be out of the way, they can be inside the garment, but space enough to put ID, and cash and bus tokens. And maybe a phone. (And if you can design a surreptitious tampon stash, I'm sure Neil & Amanda & a lot of other people would appreciate it as well.)





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[User Picture]From: ilovetakahana
2013-04-29 12:37 pm (UTC)
I suppose I reserve some of my sartorial unhappiness for the abomination that is an aesthetic pocket. It looks like a pocket but doesn't act like it at all. It's not possible to put a coin in there, or a very tightly-rolled-up bill, so forget stashing keys or carrying ID around.

As for me, I carry a backpack around at all times so even if I don't have pockets the bag does, with zippers aplenty and neat compartments where needed. Still, I'm with you on the idea of giving women pockets: small, but with enough space.

[It occurs to me that someone has to get on making TARDIS-type clothing: all the pockets ought to be bigger on the inside, and somewhat sortable.]
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[User Picture]From: sheilagh
2013-04-29 12:49 pm (UTC)
Yesssssss. Faux pockets are a terrible, TERRIBLE thing.
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[User Picture]From: anmorata
2013-04-29 12:39 pm (UTC)
Word. Also, much to my frustration, when we do get pockets, they are always tiny. Men get huge pockets, for phones, keys, change, buried treasure, whatever. I can fit a few dollars in one, and if I am lucky, my phone, and maybe a lip balm/Chapstick, but that's pushing it. If I pull my phone out, I risk losing the cash.
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[User Picture]From: argonel
2013-04-29 03:23 pm (UTC)
For what it is worth only my winter coat has pockets large enough for my tablet. On the other hand it is a 10" tablet and never intended to be pocketed. My phone and all my pocket junk fits into everything I wear though. The lack of pockets is baffling to me.
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[User Picture]From: michelle1963
2013-04-29 12:45 pm (UTC)
I completely agree. I hate lugging a purse around - big or small. Mamging it takes one hand completely out of commission, and requires one to maintain a certain level of vigilance. (And sometimes guys think that purse is a great place to store something that won't fit in their pockets.)

Women need pockets too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2014-04-08 02:32 pm (UTC)
I have opted for a lightweight, cross-body purse to avoid the one-handedness. And I still hate having to carry it. I want pockets!
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[User Picture]From: sheilagh
2013-04-29 12:46 pm (UTC)
And, also, there may be a market for an exquisite tailor who can add pockets to existing gems... hard to say in advance of seeing an item, but that'd be such a nice offering.
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[User Picture]From: 0olong
2013-05-02 07:41 am (UTC)
Yes! I've added pockets to various items of clothing myself. It's very satisfying! Here are a couple of tutorials...

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Add-Pockets/
http://sweet-verbena.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/how-to-add-pockets-to-skirt-shorts.html
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[User Picture]From: livejournal
2013-04-29 12:48 pm (UTC)

What we talk about when we talk about pockets | By Kyle Cassidy

User maxomai referenced to your post from What we talk about when we talk about pockets | By Kyle Cassidy saying: [...] Kyle, or is generated by LJ. Originally posted by at What we talk about when we talk about pockets [...]
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[User Picture]From: tripleransom
2013-04-29 12:52 pm (UTC)
Kyle, I couldn't agree with you more!

Lack of pockets is one reason I started wearing men's jeans 40-or so years ago. (Well, that and because I'm 5'10" tall - ever tried getting women's pants with inseam lengths??? [actually, I don't suppose you have, but I digress])

Anyway, I had a conversation about pockets with a (male) designer of women's clothing last year and I was told in a haughty tone "women don't use their pockets, so we never put them in pants". I was furious and didn't buy his clothes, but it shows what the attitude is. I suppose we're supposed to be like the Dear Queen and have a lady in waiting trailing along behind to carry all our stuff!



Edited at 2013-04-29 12:53 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: pickleboot
2013-04-29 01:41 pm (UTC)
now you can get women's jeans with inseam lengths, you just have to know where to find them and which styles actually come with different inseam lengths. the gap has gotten pretty good about having a fairly wide selection of inseam lengths that are now in inches, before they "measured" all of the lengths as ankle, regular, and tall. eddie bauer, calvin klein, eileen fischer, and a few other designers now offer inseams in the same manner as men's pants, which is great when you are shopping with a very tall for age 10 year old and need to try to make shopping as quick as possible.

as for pockets, i am always thrilled to find functional pockets when i buy clothing, and often times will buy several of that item because if the item has great pockets it always seems that the designer will never make that style or change the pockets a few months later. so frustrating.
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[User Picture]From: mizkit
2013-04-29 12:53 pm (UTC)
I truly dislike carrying a purse/bag/thing, and have never gotten in the habit of it. Being without pockets is incredibly, incredibly frustrating if you dislike carrying a bag. If it's warm enough to be without a coat and therefore the pockets that normally come with those, "ARGH" becomes my general feeling on it all.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-04-29 01:42 pm (UTC)
This is one of those "If men X then Y would have been solved long ago" things.
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[User Picture]From: ashbet
2013-05-01 06:02 am (UTC)
Every year, in the DC area, the local Goth/punk/etc. community runs an event called "Freak Day at King's Dominion." A bunch of us hit the nearest amusement park in full regalia, in the middle of a Virginia summer, a lot of us with our kids, wanting to be able to go on rides and hit the water park but still wear stompy boots. (It's kind of fun to hit an amusement park en masse -- same concept behind Bats Day at Disney!)

I had a lunchbox-ish sized fabric purse with an adjustable strap and a snap closure (later adapted to have a zip inside so stuff wouldn't fall out) and a big skull on the front. I would load up my necessities (sunscreen, lipstick, meds, phone) in it and then wrap the strap around my hips and pull it tight.

Instant fanny pack, but with a little added cachet ;)

-- A (who has never gotten over enjoying playing dress-up . . . and usually carries a purse the size of a toddler, which I refer to as my Apocalypse Preparedness Kit And Portable Pharmacy. Pockets wouldn't fit all my needs, because I have a chronic illness and have to actually carry quite a bit of stuff related to it around with me . . . it's actually CONVENIENT when I'm in my wheelchair and I can hang stuff off the back, although I need to be sure to have a companion so that somebody doesn't try to purse-snatch me -- however, said purse-snatcher would be unpleasantly surprised to find out that I CAN walk, at some speed if need be, because the chair is because of a cardiac issue and not the usual walking impairment!)
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[User Picture]From: xtingu
2013-04-29 01:47 pm (UTC)
I am an anti-purse-ite. I also really hate having things in my pockets. so I bought one of these off of Etsy... I wear the small one. It does not look like a fanny pack, I promise. It looks pretty badass.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/53987218/water-resistant-pocket-belt-and-leg-bag

Also, google "solutions that stick." They have a stick-on pocket that is perfect for lip balm, credit card, and a tampon. Not good for a phone.


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[User Picture]From: redstapler
2013-04-29 03:04 pm (UTC)
Pretty much anytime I find a dress that has pockets, it's designated as an automatic purchase.

I also recently acquired a TXRG fanny pack, which is my new favorite thing.

If she'd been buried, my mother would be rolling over in her grave to know I'd started carrying a fannypack. (I gave her no end of grief for wearing hers well into the 2000s.)
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-04-29 03:26 pm (UTC)
I'm rolling over in my grave knowing that you have a fannypack, but since it's a roller derby fanny pack I imagine it is filled with bone splints and a trauma kit and you kind of need that.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2013-04-29 03:27 pm (UTC)
Cheers to your sister. I can't imagine some dude saying to his friends "Here's what you have to wear to my wedding. It has no pockets." He'd get thrown in a river by the groomsmen.
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[User Picture]From: ladyblue56
2013-04-29 03:46 pm (UTC)
I sew and have added side pockets to pj bottoms bc, being disabled, I'm in pjs more than street clothes. Even around the house I sometimes need or want a pocket in my clothes. Men's pj bottoms always have pockets.
My pants are mostly jeans (bc I don't need a lot of street clothes) but a cut w. front pockets that are deep enough to hold items w.out them popping out the top.
The alternative is sticking ID or money into a sock or shoe, or put them into the bra. All of which get a WTH look on ppl's faces when you retrieve the item. Plus, money is dirty and who wants to put it in their bra, and who wants to take sweaty, dirty money from someone's bra?

In past times of high pain and many DR appts, I used a fanny pack bc I did not care as long as I didn't have to hang a bag off the aching shoulders.

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[User Picture]From: kakiphony
2013-04-29 04:15 pm (UTC)
I am a huge fan of pockets and tend to buy brands that feature good ones. (Horny Toad and Lole are great. They often feature stealth pockets in their dresses and more streamlined pants.) However, I'm also a fan of purses. Pockets, even good ones, simply aren't enough (and I will admit that I hate the lumps a phone or wallet creates inside a pocket in closer fitting pants.)

Only an ID and key? I would feel naked. I need my Kindle. (And advil, lip balm, minty gum, allergy pills in case I come in contact with a cat, etc..)

Oddly, I almost never (unless we're going somewhere in formal dress) ask my husband to carry anything for me. Rather, I carry all of his extraneous crap: Eyeglasses case, note pads, extra tissues, ink pens, business cards... All I can say is thank heavens for the Kindle. Since it arrived in my life I have been able to streamline myself from a tote bag to a small messenger.
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[User Picture]From: gekko
2013-04-29 04:31 pm (UTC)
This is very much a *thing*. It's as bad (maybe worse) with horseback riding gear. They even make "cell phone friendly" breeches, but really? Here's an example:
http://www.smartpakequine.com/ariat-performer-full-seat-breeches--front-zip-9269p.aspx?cm_vc=Search

That's a really nice pair, and it has pockets! But just try to cram an iphone in one of those pockets. Assuming it would fit (and it might, with the top third sticking out), it would be impossible to ride with an iphone there. You are sitting in these things, and the odds of that phone sliding out are pretty high. And given that my stable is very small, that I often ride alone, and that my horse is a lovely green off-the-track thoroughbred, I really like the idea of having a phone on me in case I, ya know, fall off and really get injured!

Men's riding breeches? Pockets! Also not quite so...um...fitted. ;)
http://www.smartpakequine.com/ariat-mens-pro-circuit-4006p.aspx?cm_vc=Search


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[User Picture]From: v1ewfr0mbugtown
2013-04-29 04:52 pm (UTC)
I've worn lots of menswear for years: white dress shirts, vests, jackets, overcoats...they all have pockets. But pockets wasn't the reason...I couldn't get women's shirts or jackets to fit me...too tight in the shoulders and the fronts would gap between the boobs. I mean, women have breasts...they should be able to fit inside the clothing designed for them comfortably!
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