Where are all the pockets at?
This is something that has puzzled me for years. I was given clothes owned by my older siblings as a child and I often wondered why my brother’s jeans fit so much more in them. This was an item of clothing that didn’t get passed in my direction, but was that to do with gender? Who knows. Maybe my parents just didn’t want me to look like some sort of hippy skater kid with trouser legs miles too long.
Nevertheless, what did he have to carry around that I didn’t? I was determined to be allowed the privilege of pockets. There’s nothing a bit of folding up and a decent belt couldn’t fix, right?
So why has this gender politics of pockets never been addressed?
Not long ago I jumped on the latest iPhone bandwagon. Luckily for me, I tend to wear men’s jeans, for multiple reasons.
- They tend to stay skinny.
- Their sizing is easier.
- Not every female wants jeans that touch their belly button.
- Pockets, pockets, pockets.
Did I mention, pockets?
Yes, women's jeans have pockets too. But there is no way anything much bigger than a bank card or ID is going to fit in there. And not everyone wants to carry a handbag. Back in the day of flip phones and buying the smallest most compact mobile phone possible, it was easy. But now, we’re near enough carrying a flat screen TV around with us.
And, I'm lucky, I can wear men's jeans. Men's jeans do not always suit the variations in a woman's body - so some women have no choice but to suffer tiny pockets.
But do you know what bugs me even more?
Fake pockets. These are totally useless and serve no purpose whatsoever; apart from tricking the wearer into believing they have a handy wardrobe aide until they try and slip their iPhone inside and smash its screen on the floor instead.
I like to think I’m a practical person. But yes, I love fashion too. So why can’t the two be combined? The fashion industry is limiting women to carrying handbags everywhere simply to carry a few things around with them. It shouldn’t be expected of us to instantly associate carrying technology with a bag of some sort.
A man can carry his whole world for the evening around with him. Whether it is his car keys, wallet or mobile phone. Suit jackets and coats have inside pockets, jeans have space to hold an iPhone 8 Plus and they don’t need to worry about taking a handbag to the corner shop. While fashion knows it takes time for runway style to find its way to the streets, iPhone pocketability is something that needs to be addressed now – because if we can adapt to using the technology itself, surely our style can be adapted to carrying it?
The thing is, we shouldn’t have to switch to jeans made for ‘men’ to in order to carry our iPhones, surely? Hell no. Does it make you angry?
Pocket inequality is hardly a new thing but people have been kicking against the pricks for decades now. Take Bjork, for example, who said in a recent interview with The Guardian: “I remember going to raves in Manchester in the early 90s, it was important to be asexual. As long as you could sweat for five hours in your baggy clothes, you were fine. We thought: ‘The way we’re going to deal with the communication of the sexes is, we stick our tongue out at it.’ It was a rebellion to not address it, a statement against the status quo. Not being male or female, undoing the role you were supposed to play, you know?”
Be the change you want to see.
Share this article widely or post a link to it on the retailer's Facebook pages and let’s get ourselves what we deserve, #pocketequality.