Over the last few centuries, women’s wardrobes have been constantly changed and greatly improved. It’s been ages since we said goodbye to the painful corset or bulky hoop dresses. Now, in certain countries at least, women can wear pants and it’s totally fine. Women’s wardrobe has become more practical and let women to move as they wish.
However, does it mean that we have reached the equality between men's and women's wardrobes?
Well, there is a small clothing feature that has started to be controversial and shows that sexism in fashion is still ongoing, it is this tiny…. Pocket.
Have you heard about pocket inequality?
Did you ever notice that actually it’s quite hard to find proper pockets in women clothing compared to the men’s? Usually pockets are almost nonexistent on dresses, skirts and even on pants. Or otherwise they are extremely tiny and even sometimes they are only fake pockets. So if you are a woman, well, it can become quite complicated to go outside with only your phone, credit card and your keys as they will not fit into your tiny pockets.
Have women never had pockets?
If we go back to the past,during some period such as the 18th Century, women were wearing large pockets in their dresses. However, only during the 2 World Wars, it became common for women to wear more practical clothes such as trousers with large pockets as they had to go out or work in factories to replace men who were fighting. Nevertheless, after the war, women clothes became more feminine and close-fitting, and pockets disappeared again.
Pockets or not pockets, this is the question
Alright, but why nowadays pockets in womenswear are still nonexistent or so tiny?
One of the main common reason is that large pockets would ruin the woman silhouette. Also as being slim is kind of the norm in our society, trousers are to affinate womens body while adding large pockets would be relatively bulky. It is also assumed that women carry bags anyway so why adding large pockets?
Well, I think it might be the time to change this mindset. Google and Levi have created a connected jacket where you can handle calls by only touching it but I’m told that it is still impossible to design nice clothes with practical pockets for women??
I think the fashion world is more about how clothes should look on a woman and there is not enough consideration on how garments could also help women in their everyday life as it is the case for men's’ clothes. I don’t want to be anymore obliged to bring my bag with me everywhere even for short distances. Or at least I want to have the choice.
So maybe the next step to achieve the equality in fashion would be to consider at the same level the aesthetic and the utility aspect when designing the clothes for women as we usually do for men.
Are pockets back?
Women demand for practical and large pockets is increasing more and more. Just look at the #WeWantPockets on Twitter and you will see that this request for pockets is shared by a large number of women.
And the change is maybe already on the move. A number of brands such as Poche Posh or Devon London have very nice female garments with proper pockets. For instance, Devon London has very stylish dresses or skirts and most of them have pockets! Hopefully it will become soon the norm not the exception. We should also not neglect the fact that streetwear has started to break the codes where the line between menswear and womenswear is fading and unisex clothing (which often has proper pockets) is becoming more and more popular.
And you, do you think lack of pockets in women's clothes is a big issue??
Written by Sarah Bouchra
Cover photo: From Frank Flores on Unsplash
1st photo:Members of the Women's Land Army (Land Girls) from various parts of the country ,1943 © PA Archive/Press Association Images
2nd photo: From Mikaela Shanno on Unsplash
3rd and 4th photos: Dresses from Devon London