Trends : Jacket with front pocket to avoid carrying a large bag
Jacket with front pocket or fashion hands in pockets. What is the history of pockets? Do you know that she was sexist, even political. We will present the story of the pocket on the feminine outfit in the light of an author’s point of view while styling it with very recent images from the Fall / Winter 2020 – 2021 collection.
Fashionable jacket with front pocket: autumn winter 2020 – 2021
Pockets everywhere: on the jacket, on the sides of the pants, but also on the dresses and skirts. Wide garments are back and with them, the pockets.
Suit without pockets in 2016: a political argument, an act of manifesto
Have you seen suits without pockets? Probably yes but you never realized it, did you? Hillary Clinton was wearing a deceptively simple costume when she spoke to the National Democratic Convention to accept the party’s nomination for president. Her impeccable sewing heralded authority. His costume seems to transcend fashion – without a name, it belonged to all women. The costume does more than give Clinton a powerful look. An omission in his costume whispered a long dubious story: that of the story without pockets. However, his act of manifesto did not convince anyone. On the contrary, women have appropriated their pockets! Jacket with front pocket will be the choice of women from fall 2020.
Much has been written about how sexism dictates clothing, especially if it gets pockets. While class undoubtedly plays a role, men’s clothing usually has large, visible pockets. On the contrary, women’s clothing usually has small pockets, if at all. Hence the importance for her to carry handbags.
Women have so far only worn clothes with small pockets
Satisfied with their pockets, men have little to say about them. But women have complained that their pockets have been insufficient for more than a century. “There is a supremacy in men’s clothing … its adaptation to pockets,” wrote Charlotte P. Gilman for the New York Times in 1905. “Women occasionally carried bags, sometimes sewn, sometimes tied, sometimes brandished by hand, but a bag is not a pocket ”.
Pockets are gaps between clothes: they are more than pockets
Truer words have rarely been written. A bag is not a pocket. And the pockets – more than pants, more than ties, more than boxer shorts, even more than suits – are the big divide between clothes. Pockets are more than pockets, but probably not as you would expect.
The pockets appeared long after the bags during the Middle Ages
Once upon a time, everyone was carrying bags. In medieval times, men and women tied their bags at the waist or hung them from belts. These bags looked a lot like bum bags. As the rural world became more and more urban and the criminals more sophisticated, people cleverly hid their outside pockets under layers of clothing to hinder the cuts. From there, men’s jackets and women’s petticoats were fitted with small slots that allowed you to access your knotted pockets through your clothes.
Feminine outfits without pockets for centuries
It was not until the end of the 17th century that the pockets moved to become part of men’s clothing. They were permanently sewn into coats, vests and pants. However, women’s pockets could not have made the same migration. Without built-in pockets, the women continued to hide their attached pockets, which were large, often hanging bags.
Did women have more to wear than men?
Secreted under their petticoats, their panniers and their agitations, these highly decorated pockets swung heavily with their contents. We could hold a lot in these pockets. Among the things we wanted to mention were sewing kits, food, keys, glasses, watches. But also perfume bottles, combs, snuff boxes, writing materials and money all found their place.
Fashion from the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century
The French Revolution changed everything. While the mid-eighteenth century lavished rococo, large skirts that shout decadence and wealth in their yards and meters of fabric, the end of the eighteenth century whispered restraint. The skirts moved closer to the body, the natural waist always slid upwards and the silhouette thinned into a thin column.
No pockets on female outfits during the 19th century
This neoclassical look had no room for pockets, but women still needed to carry their stuff. The reticle, a very decorated small bag, was born. And what remains remarkable to note is that it never really disappeared. On the heels of the reticle, the chatelaines entered the consciousness of consumers in 1828. As a reminder: the chatelaines are size chains that look like large charm bracelets. Unlike handbags, which hid everything, these fashionable belts display the necessary items that women needed.
Writing for The Spectator in 2011, Paul Johnson, offers a spiritual and miniature story of the pocket dress convention. Paul Johnson tops his room with a good word from Christian Dior from 1954: “Men have pockets to store things, women for decoration”.
Still no pockets for women in the early 20th century
In his article The pocket policy in Vox, Chelsea G Summers drew a parallel between this sentence and the dresses. She even encouraged the reader to see the men’s dress as a utility design, while the women’s dress as an outfit that puts women at the center of men’s eyes. She wrote, “Men are busy doing things; women are busy being watched. Who needs pockets ”?
Chelsea G Summers and her article The pocket policy in Vox
The writer continues her theory in her article by adding that the transformation of the female pocket attached to the small reticle can be considered as a result of the French Revolution. In an era that has severely tested the notions of property, privacy and decorum, the attached pocket has become emancipated. Women’s pockets were now private spaces that they carried with the public with increasing freedom.
The pocket policy in Chelsea’s Vox G Summers
During a revolutionary period, this freedom was very, very scary. The less women could wear, the less freedom they had. Removing the hidden pockets under clothing was limiting women’s ability to navigate public spaces or travel unaccompanied.
The history of the pocket on female attire during the 20th century
Pockets in feminine attire marked a turning point in the rational dress campaign at the end of the century. Founded in 1891, the Rational Dress Society called on women to abandon corsets in favor of comfortable clothing. Since women started biking, they have started to enjoy the call of Dress Society move on to loose pants and wear clothes that allow movement.
© Marine Greenhouse jacket with front pocket
The pinnacle of pocket history took place at the turn of the century, at a time when men’s suits sported some 15 pockets. An 1899 New York Times article makes the somewhat ironic statement that civilization itself is based on pockets. “As we become more civilized, we need more pockets.” What about women?
The New Woman era
Alongside the Rational Dress Society was the New woman, the first wave of feminism which included suffragettes, bluestockings, Seven Sisters graduates and various other radicals who believed that women should have a political and financial situation equal to that of men. Fashionable feminine clothes of the turn of the century had tiny, tough and inconvenient pockets that weren’t designed to hold anything.
Rational Dress, however, allowed women to brag with their hands in their pockets. It was shocking for some and especially for a writer for the period magazine The Graphic in 1894. He asked there whether the New woman felt less shy and puzzled with his hands in his pockets.
Even if one of the goals of having a pocket is to carry a pistol, women want to have one
Advancing the notion of pockets as distinctly masculine, a designer of women’s bicycle suits from 1895 even included pockets for pistols. “They don’t all want to carry a revolver,” says the anonymous tailor quoted by the New York Times. But in fact, they want it! Even when they don’t tell me why they want the pocket, they often betray their goal by asking to duck it with duck or leather.
The pocket on the female outfit in 1910
The costume, explains an article in the New york times, has seven or eight pockets, all in sight and everything is easy to find, especially for the wearer. In this article, the question arose as to whether so many simple, visible pockets would hint at persistent anxiety over women’s clothing, privacy and possessions. The purpose of the question was to highlight that women would strut around with their hands in their pockets, about to challenge men, but that women’s pockets could carry something secret, something private or something dangerous.
Conclusion of this brief presentation of the pocket on women’s outfits
In the century that has passed between suffragette suits and must-have made-to-measure suits for women CEOs, presidential candidates and entrepreneurs, much has changed for women and women’s clothing. However, little has changed for the pockets on women’s outfits. The easy explanation is that as long as the clothing designers make women’s clothing without pockets, women will have to buy handbags.
Change is Immense
From the Fall / Winter 2020 – 2021 collection, this will change. Women can now choose whether to use their pockets or a handbag to carry their cards, keys and lipsticks.
© Jacket with pocket in front of Dolce & Gabbana