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What we talk about when we talk about pockets - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic — LiveJournal [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: kylecassidy
2013-04-29 12:55 pm (UTC)
Many mens suits arrive with the pockets sewn shut -- I'm told that this is so they'll look flatter on the rack. I find it annoying to have to cut them open.
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[User Picture]From: elektra
2013-04-29 09:09 pm (UTC)
Worse to cut one open and discover it's not a pocket all at--just a cleverly constructed ruse to make you think it's a pocket where one *should* be.
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2013-04-29 03:04 pm (UTC)
Yes! Or ones that are technically big enough for a key and credit card, but not secure enough to keep the card from edging its way out. I'm also not happy about pockets that are secure but have room for no more than a single key; some of my workout gear is like that.

On the other hand, I have to commend manufacturers like Horny Toad, who make dresses with secret stash pockets.
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[User Picture]From: sheilagh
2013-04-29 11:46 pm (UTC)
ooooh! I hope Kyle follows up with a post about those who DO pockets all proper like!
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[User Picture]From: dichroic
2013-04-30 12:08 am (UTC)
He might not be the best person to do it, what with being someone who isn't stuck with women's clothing....
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[User Picture]From: sheilagh
2013-04-30 06:38 am (UTC)
Aye, but he's got all these lovely people offering options!
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[User Picture]From: ashbet
2013-05-01 05:45 am (UTC)
Oh, man. I would buy one of each, if they came in 2X or 3X (I'm a 40H, I need some bust room!) I love jersey dresses, and finding good-quality, simple ones is actually harder than you'd think!

Dear Horny Toad: Please make larger sizes, and I will buy your stuff!!

-- A <3
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[User Picture]From: moniqueleigh
2013-05-01 06:45 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2013-05-02 04:11 pm (UTC)
Why "small?" Why not nice big roomy pockets? (Oh, they aren't TRIM, someone will say. They're BULKY. Heavens forbid a woman not be TRIM or look BULKY. That's also supposedly the excuse why women can't find, or can only rarely find, pants and shorts with pleats in front, a luxury men have all the time. "It makes you look slimmer" said the saleswoman to whom I complained that a favorite brand of slacks now came only in flat-front. No, not if you have a non-model front. A plain front simply outlines the bulge, with wrinkles pointing at its center.

I've had a few jeans and slacks with adequate pockets. But increasingly the pockets are fewer, smaller, and too often just a pretense, with no opening at all. So we have to carry items that can be snatched--beltpacks, purses, backpacks, anything worn on the outside of clothing--or ones that are less easy to use in public (money belts, hot, uncomfortable and require digging into your clothes, which always gets stares.)

Bring back pockets. Shut up the "fashion gurus" or "fashionistas" who tell women what's acceptable. Pockets, pleats...heck, how about sensible sizing conventions that work across brands?
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