First up, we do realise that in the grand scheme of things, there are bigger issues in the world today than the lack of pockets on women’s clothes.
But also in the grand scheme of things, this seems like such an easily fixable issue. After all, clothes for men have pockets in them as a default, and the garment industry doesn’t seem to have crumbled under the strain of making that possible.
In case you’re wondering why women might be bothered by their lack of pockets, why they don’t shut up about this and carry bags instead, and why we created a store where everything has pockets, here are some reasons why #wewantpockets.
1. We want to be able to do basic activities without needing a handbag.
Popping to the corner shop to buy a pint of milk should not require us to take a bag. Walking the dog should not demand excess baggage. Taking the bins out would be easier without having to keep keys in hand. None of these activities scream ‘Accessorise me!’
2. We want to be able to carry core kit at work without having to carry around armfuls of stuff.
Do you want your hospital doctor to have to run off mid-consultation to get a pen because her clothes don’t have pockets? Would you prefer it if the woman doing a quick fix on your bike could whip a multi-tool out of her pocket without having to fetch one from the workshop? Do you enjoy going to meetings at work balancing your pen, handouts and ID on top of your laptop while negotiating doors with a coffee cup in hand? Yes, there are bits of work gear that don’t fit in pockets, and both men and women need to find other ways of carrying those around. But please give us a level playing field for the basics.
3. We want to be able to deal with sanitary and medical needs discretely and simply.
Some of us menstruate and need to carry sanitary protection around. Some of us have medical conditions requiring us to keep treatments or monitoring equipment with us at all times. While sometimes a bag makes this easier, at other times it’s a lot easier to quietly go and deal with a situation without having to take a lot of unnecessary stuff with us.
4. Because sleeves, bras and shoes were only designed to carry body parts, not belongings.
If the “Women don’t want pockets because they prefer handbags” argument were truly valid, then it wouldn’t be the case that women find workarounds by stashing key items in other bits of clothing. Phone in the bra, money in the shoe, tissue up the sleeve. Bizarrely, we’re told that ‘pockets ruin the line of an outfit’ which is why we can’t have dresses with pockets, but if women are quite happy to ignore this nonsense, then give us proper solutions rather than our suboptimal hacks. Also, it’s weird if your cleavage starts ringing.
5. Because pockets are a good place for hands when they’re cold or you don’t know where to put them.
Pockets provide opportunities for cool nonchalance, ease of social anxiety, or warming your hands when you’ve forgotten your gloves. None of those things are gender-specific activities.
6. Pockets on men’s but not women’s clothes implies we don’t care about function.
Though pockets can add aesthetic appeal to some garments, their primary purpose is always practical. So their absence in women’s clothing implies that women are more concerned on a day to day basis with style over function. Why should we have to make that choice? Can’t we have both?
7. Having all your valuables in a bag makes you more vulnerable.
If a man leaves his bag on the train or has it stolen, there’s a good chance that he will still have his wallet, keys and phone about his person. He will have everything he needs to start fixing the situation without assistance. If a women is in the same position there is a good chance she won’t be able to call her bank, pay for the bus home or get into her house without a locksmith. And let’s hope that she didn’t leave her EpiPen/asthma inhaler/insulin in there. Trying to guard against this vulnerability is how we end up at #4.
8. Because it’s so much quicker to retrieve something from a pocket than a bag/purse.
Men: have you ever stood in a queue behind a woman paying for something and been irritated by how long she takes fishing out her wallet, making the payment and putting everything back again? It’s because you have pockets and she does not. Compare also: “Here’s my business card”, “Let me make a note of that” and “Let me check my calendar”. All of these things are much quicker with pockets.
There you have it. Eight reasons why we want pockets. In the interests of balance, we should also share all the reasons why pockets are actually a terrible terrible thing for women. Here goes:
1. The rogue tissue in the wash.
Oh the horror!
Nope, we’ve got nothing.
So #PocketsForEveryone it is then!