Pockets have no gender

The functional and fashionable side to pockets

Madison Kurz (right) and Mason McGhie are best buds who have matching watches and clothing that features pockets, which they are both happy about.

Photo by Danelle Granger

Pockets in clothing has been a topic discussed since the suffragette movement and has most recently come back to being a trending topic.

An article in The Guardian published in August of 2018 highlights how the functionality of women’s pockets is a patriarchal issue.

Chelsea G Summers writes, “My boyfriend jeans have pockets that would make a man laugh … ‘Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration,’ Christian Dior pronounced in 1954, and writers have long noted that fashion’s refusal to give women’s clothing pockets is tantamount to putting female form over human function.”

She adds contrarians will say women can use purses to carry items, but to have a bag, one must buy a bag.

“And because of this, handbags function as a kind of ‘pink tax,’ the price added to everyday objects and services that are sold specifically to a female audience,” she writes.

“When a woman tries on something from my collection, it is like an instinct reaction to look for pockets. It's a security reflex,” Karyn Aslteford, designer and creator of Siggi Clothier Co., says.

Along with having pockets in most of the clothing, Siggi is environmentally sustainable, has children’s clothing (with pockets), is local and has pieces that can be worn as unisex.

“My intention was to let the clothing speak for itself – the simple silhouettes and natural fibres serve as invitation to touch the garment,” she says. “The little details reveal themselves upon a closer look: the contrast bias finishes on the necklines, pops of colour and, of course, the pockets.”

Made by Josephine, another local clothing line designed and created by Stephanie Smith, follows a simple pattern structure with clean lines and added pockets for both a fashion statement and practicality.

She says her designs are inspired by vintage pieces, but adding pockets is her little touch to the design. She also carries unisex pieces, like an overcoat, in her clothing line.

Selections from Siggi Clothier Co. welcome wearers with open pockets.

Stephanie Smith, designer and owner of Made by Josephine, adds pockets on the front of her pieces ranging from the day coat (right), a yellow summer dress with added embroidery on the pockets and a jean jumper. Smith says the pockets sit on the hips where people would naturally place their hands in pockets.

Stephanie Smith adds hidden pockets and visible pockets on her vintage-inspired pieces.

Karyn Astleford, designer and creator of Siggi Clothier Inc., places the pieces of the pockets in her BLYTHE pants. "When a woman tries on something from my collection, it is like an instinct reaction to look for pockets. It's a security reflex," she says.

"I use pockets in most of my designs for function. Most of the time, I don't carry a purse but need a place for my phone," Karyn Astleford says.

Karyn Astleford measures the placement of the pockets in her BLYTHE pants. She says although adding in the steps to make the pockets and add them into the clothes takes longer than making pants without pockets, it's worth the extra steps.

Madison Kurz happily fills her pockets.

These pockets are made from the same fabric as the rest of the garment.

Published in Volume 73, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 20, 2018)

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