A pocketful of practicality

LET me take a moment to pick your pocket. I mean your brain! About pockets.

There are so many other important issues I could and probably should be writing about, but I’m here to lighten your cerebral load, and mine, with unimportant piffle.


I love them, don’t you (no answer necessary). In fact, I feel pockets should have featured in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s My Favourite Things, because they are in fact, among them, much like schnitzel with noodles.

I appreciate these nifty sacks in my jeans, coats, shorts, shirts, skirts and dresses. Except that their presence in women’s clothing is sorely lacking, especially in professional clothing, which these days seems to constitute figure-hugging dresses and pants, floaty blouses and tiny, ineffectual jackets, usually without a practical compartment between them.

My work means I often carry a notebook, pen, phone, keys, business cards, camera….Ok – the camera can go over my shoulder, but if I already have a handbag there, it just becomes cumbersome. And running from danger, or towards deadlines, becomes, well, inelegant and lacking in vital speed.

Except for when I wear this one dress with the most bottomless pockets I’ve ever experienced! So deeply satisfying and right on Target (shameless promo alert), it is now very well worn. My keys, phone, pen, small palm-sized notebook, lip balm, a couple of mints and a credit card all fit in these two generous storage silos, leaving me hands-free. And only partially bulky, and jingly.

It’s just like a gentleman’s suit pants and jacket with their overabundance of easily accessible and/or secretive receptacles for … stuff, which men probably don’t even use, especially now that fob watches are a thing of the past.

Is it a marketing conspiracy between designers of womenswear and handbags? If women’s clothing remains largely pocketless, handbags will always be necessary, along with our imagined need to squeeze everything, except for the kitchen sink, inside them just in case.

These purpose-designed clothing cavities prevent a security blanket approach to life. They also prevent that quaint habit of prancing around a sticky pile of handbags on the dance floor, or tripping over the strap as the bag plummets to the floor during other…activities.

And I’m so over being cheated by that flattering pantsuit or snappy jacket that appears to have pockets, only to discover they are sewn-on pretenders. That’s just cruel! Almost as barbaric as those flimsy pockets that develop a fraying hole after just a handful of key insertions.

Maybe it’s about cost. Pocketless clothing does seem cheaper that the pouchified alternatives. But like diamonds, I’d prefer to pay for the real thing than settle for the zirconia version. Yes, it’s that crucial to my daily happiness, and the warmth of my hands during winter.

It’s time to stand up for our pocket rights! Women too, need and value pockets. Maybe even more than men.

For a sing songy reminder of what would we do without pockets, Sesame Street has this beauty from the YouTube vault.

4 thoughts on “A pocketful of practicality

  1. I LOVE this post, and I, too, love pockets. When the meme of the woman rejoicing over a pocketed dress did the rounds of social media this week I gave it a big, red heart because it immediately and wholeheartedly resonated with me. I hadn’t thought about your handbag-and-dress-designer conspiracy theory, but the more I think about it… well, the more it makes me think about it. 😉 Pockets for women!

    • I almost feel apologetic for having such strong feelings about something so 1st world. But pockets are a pretty basic thing. Why can’t we just have more? I’ve never liked carrying a handbag, it just seems so counterproductive to freedom and movement. Men can just wander about in their clothes without towing a small suitcase. I’m becoming repetitive. I might just pocket these thoughts while I’m ahead.

  2. I need pockets! Can’t have too many—that’s why I live in cargo pants in winter and cargo shorts in summer. Not very attractive, but I can’t go without my pockets. I’m insanely jealous of men who get to wear pockets all the time. Great post, M! xx

  3. Cargo shorts in a deep khaki green – can a designer pls create me some that will go with heels for work this summer? Or will I suffer the same fate as Julie Bishop in tailored shorts. I bet she loved them for their pockets. There is often too much public comment on what women wear. Or don’t wear. A few more pockets seems a small thing to ask for. Polly Pocket was onto something 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s