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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
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[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: 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: tripleransom
2013-04-29 01:56 pm (UTC)
True, but it's annoying when 'normal' height women can get their work jeans at Wal-Mart for $10 and I have to pay $60 just to get a couple of extra inches.
Also, it's hard to find small sizes in talls, although Chicos is pretty good with their weird sizing in carrying 0 or 1/2 talls.
I guess my worst pet peeve is seeing a sign that says proportioned - petite and average. Grrr.
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[User Picture]From: pickleboot
2013-04-29 02:17 pm (UTC)
can't blame you one bit for being annoyed. the proportioned sign bugs me, too. i won't go into my whole rant, but give me a pair made for an hour glass shape, please.

is tall girl still around? there was a shop at the mall of america(i live in the minneapolis/st paul metro area even if my isp says i don't) and i know they had the small sizes in long lengths as the store was for tall women. a friend of mine was thrilled to find them when she came to visit, but i haven't really bothered to see if they are still there(i don't really go there that often). i always forget about chico's. they've changed so much in 20 years i just kind of pass them by.
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[User Picture]From: tripleransom
2013-04-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
I think they are, but even if so, they don't carry smaller sizes in talls. I wear a 4-6 (or 7-ish) and that's hell to find in talls. Often 'tall' seems to imply 'big' as well.
I hear you with the hour glass stuff also. It's not usually my problem, but my niece has that trouble. Yes, most women have waists smaller than their hips, thankyou.
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[User Picture]From: pickleboot
2013-04-29 04:27 pm (UTC)
not carrying smaller sizes in talls makes no sense. but that might just be me.

the hour glass thing is annoying. i have lost a huge amount of weight- around 200lbs, and even with the apron of loose skin hanging there on my stomach, my waist is much smaller than my hips. i find jeans that fit my hips and they are huge in the waist, fit in the waist and they are super tight in the hips. so annoying. and if there are pockets they are so shallow nothing fits. i have been sticking with one style of gap jeans as they fit well and have lovely deep pockets.
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[User Picture]From: catfactory
2013-04-30 09:30 pm (UTC)
No, Tall Girl (as well as Tall Etc) went out of business a few years ago. The number of IRL chain stores that carry clothes specifically for tall women in America is now zero.
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[User Picture]From: trishylicious
2013-04-29 10:14 pm (UTC)
Short women also have problems finding jeans that fit right too! So I feel you.

Petites jeans and other petites clothes tend to be more expensive (although I suppose that is a whole 'nother can of worms, about fast fashion vs. more longer lasting classics that will wear longer... etc. not getting into that now!)

regardless, if you're a shortie under about 5'4" you probably also have a hard time finding nice jeans that fit for less than $50-60 because everything is too long. Not every brand makes "ankle" jeans and those that do - they sell out fast. A few years ago it was a little easier before Low-Rise was super low Ass-crack rise, it's gotten tougher. I know. First world problems. heh.
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[User Picture]From: tripleransom
2013-04-30 08:23 pm (UTC)
Well, at least if they are too long you can hem them up.

Too short and there's NOTHING you can do except look like a dork and I did that enough when I was younger and there were no tall sizes.
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[User Picture]From: catfactory
2013-04-30 09:34 pm (UTC)
WAY easier to hem a pair of pants than to try to somehow make it longer (my solution used to be "buy two identical pairs, cut at the knees of one pair, insert 10 inches of fabric from the knees of the other pair, sew it back together, and now I have ONE pair of pants that fits and a pair of shorts"). WAY easier. Also, I direct your attention to stores such as JC Penney, Sears, Macys, Nordstroms, all of which have "misses" "plus/women" and "petite". I still have yet to see ANY store with an entire section for tall women.

Not to say that petite people don't have trouble finding pants that fit them, but there really is no comparison with the troubles of buying pants for a tall woman, sorry. It's so much easier to make things smaller than bigger.
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[User Picture]From: catfactory
2013-04-30 09:28 pm (UTC)
It's weirdly hard to find large sizes in tall sometimes too... I'm a size 14 (or 16 or whatever the clothing company decides to be... *rolls eyes*) with a damn 40" inseam (happens when you're 6'4"). Places like Gap and Old Navy, while I love them for shirts, don't carry pants long enough for me. Places that do happen to carry a 38" inseam (which works in a pinch) like Alloy or Wranglers only have ultra tall up to size 5. Super lame.

I used to wear mens' pants but even mens' pants don't come up to a 40" inseam, so I'd rather have the more flattering cut of womens' jeans... since I have to pay $100 a pair anyway, they may as well be flattering. Pockets or no pockets >_
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[User Picture]From: ladyblue56
2013-04-29 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the list of designers. Finding womens pants w. the inseams in inches locally is difficult for us. I am between petite and regular lengths, reg pants legs are too long but petite are too short.
I always have to hem pants for myself, and for my daughter bc she is a dwarf and Jr pants and jeans come in extra long legs no matter the waist size. Her inseams is 25in and that is w. the legs a bit longer bc she likes them to almost drag the ground.
For many, many years I have always bought more than one of item that fits well and have pockets bc I have also found the next season it will be changed. I have three pairs of basic black pants of the same design and having a med width straight leg, they do not look dated. I avoid the trends of skinny legs or wide legs. I also do this w. tops that are longer than usual so they're not having to be pulled down at the waist when worn, a pet peeve.

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[User Picture]From: pickleboot
2013-04-29 04:16 pm (UTC)
no problem. right now the gap outlet near us, so i am not sure if this is true for all of them, has a huge selection of capris, and the inseam on them is 25 inches. i only know this because i keep a little tape measure on me and was figuring out how long they were for my daughter. you might want to check them out.

i also know that dkny have inseam lengths on all of their pants, and some of their skirts even have lengths in the same style so if you are a certain size it does not hit you in a bad/too short spot.
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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2013-05-01 01:41 am (UTC)
"women don't use their pockets, so we never put them in pants"

Of course they/we don't if designers keep telling them they don't and not making any clothes with USEFUL pockets.
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[User Picture]From: ravan
2013-05-02 07:54 pm (UTC)
I started buying men's jeans when about 30 years ago I bought two pair on the same day - 1 man's, 1 women's. The women's jeans fell apart within 6 months, the men's jeans I wore for over 10 years. The men's had better construction, deeper pockets, the women's cost more.

Women's clothes are a ripoff, IMO.
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