Pocket-sized: A rant on women’s pockets

Women’s struggles with illegitimate pockets

Emily Xia

Pockets are amazing. A pouch of fabric attached to your favorite pair of jeans or joggers that can carry whatever your heart desires. Well, for half of the population, that is.

If you know anything about me, you know that I detest, I scorn, I absolutely despise women’s pockets. Or should I say, women’s lack of pockets. All women know the complete bliss of finding a dress, a pair of skinny jeans or even a pair of leggings that can hold more than a few coins, but these finds are few and far between.

More often than not, we enter a store and spot a pair of jeans, but when we make our purchase, we’re met with a disappointing scrap of material that can cover the second knuckle on our fingers at best. Our phones precariously protrude out of them, our keys make awkward lumps and our wallets, well, good luck fitting those into our sorry excuses for pockets.

Or, even more horrifying, the pockets are sewn shut, simply there as decor rather than any functional use. Is it that difficult to add that strip of fabric so we can at least use pockets for what they were originally made for? Isn’t it possible to fulfill both fashion and function needs simultaneously?

I know I sound extremely petty when I express my frustration over this small section of fabric, but I’m upset. There have been so many times where I have had to hold all my belongings in my hands or put them in a dreaded purse, while my male friends slip a whole phone, keys, wallet, gum and who knows what else into their pockets.

I specifically remember when I was talking to one of these friends while he was playing Super Smash Bros on his Nintendo Switch. The bell rang to signal the end of the tutorial period, and what did he do?

He put the entire switch into his pocket.

Before then, I had always known that my pockets were unsatisfactory, but in that moment, there was no clearer evidence of just how much I was missing out on.

I can recall so many times where I’ve had no choice but to put my belongings into a backpack or a purse, and as a result, had to shoulder the additional burden of remembering to take it wherever I go, or worry that it’ll be stolen from me as I walk down the sidewalk. Women’s pockets aren’t just inconvenient and uncomfortable, but they add on a level of real danger too.

Also, if you know me, you know that I’ve lost water bottles, jackets, keys, you name it. I leave my laptop under my desk in first period every other day. I’ve used Find my iPhone more times than I can count. How can I be expected to keep track of a purse if I can’t keep track of my life?

As someone forgetful and disorganized, just the lack of effort that companies make is infuriating. That extra bit of fabric would be easy to add to our pants or our dresses, but we have yet to simply walk down the street empty-handed.

I’m tired of hearing horror stories of women compensating by putting their phones into their back pockets, only to have them fall into the toilet when they attempt to use the restroom. I’m tired of spending money on fanny packs and purses just so I can keep my belongings with me. I’m tired of pockets being a pleasant surprise, rather than just a regular necessity.

I don’t think women’s fashion will change anytime soon. Until then, I’ll just keep browsing stores, looking for that golden pair of jeans or that comfortable-yet-functional dress.

Or maybe I’ll just buy more sweatpants. That works, too.

All illustrations by Emily Xia