Most people who have worn clothing designed for women have discovered one unfortunate trend: a lack of pockets. This horrible phenomenon manifests itself in many ways, but whether the pockets are fake or just ridiculously shallow, the effect is the same. Everything is more difficult than it needs to be, particularly in college.
Take, for example, a simple walk to Late Nite. Let’s just say you want to bring your ID in whatever you use to carry it, your phone and your keys, but you want your hands free. In a t-shirt and skinny jeans designed for women, you’ll probably be able to get your keys in a front pocket, if you don’t have a big key chain. Then, you’ll be able to squeeze two-thirds of your phone in a back pocket (thank goodness the whole bendable iPhone fiasco was years ago). If you use a slim card case, you can maybe get it in the other back pocket. If not, you’re out of luck for no good reason at all.
I’m not sure why it’s so much to ask for my jeans to have reasonable-sized pockets. It’s not like I want to carry my laptop and textbooks around in my pants, but being able to fit the three things I carry with me almost everywhere on campus into a pocket or two would be nice. Of course, there are workarounds, but they’re still inconvenient. It seems unnecessary to carry a purse on a short walk to Late Nite. My bike basket is great for when I’m biking, but I still have to carry whatever I put in the basket once I reach my destination. Backpacks are useful for when I’m carrying a lot or carrying cumbersome objects, but they are hard to get things out of quickly, and can easily be overkill for a quick trip. Then, there’s the option I choose most of the time: wearing a jacket with pockets.
Being in NorCal with chilly nights and strong breezes makes it easy to justify carrying around a jacket all of the time, but that doesn’t make it any less infuriating when I have to bring a jacket with me simply to have pockets to put my phone in. Plus, there are certainly days when my outfit just doesn’t fit with a jacket. For example, I wear a lot of overalls. While one pair of my overalls managed to overcome what must have been a huge hurdle and included adequate pockets, the rest of my overalls sadly conform to the status quo. The problem with this in particular is that wearing a jacket over overalls defeats the whole point of overalls. Why wear overalls when they’ll just be covered up by a jacket just for a pair of pockets? At that point I might as well just wear regular jeans.
Even worse are the times when I’ve decided on an outfit for the day and am ready to head out, only to go to put my phone in a pocket and realize I don’t have any. This mostly happens with fake pockets, which are quite possibly the worst part of any piece of clothing ever made. Why bother taunting me with fake pockets when you could put in real ones with just a few inches more of fabric? I’d even prefer no pocket at all, because at least then I know what to expect. I know if I choose to wear leggings, I won’t get pockets. But when I wear jeans, shorts or any other article of clothing that looks like it has pockets on it, I expect to have pockets, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation. If I see an animal that looks like a cat, I expect it to be a cat. It’s the same idea.
My final complaint is specifically in regards to sweatpants and sweatshirts. Why don’t they all have pockets? If I’m wearing an article of clothing that is designed for my comfort, shouldn’t that comfort include a pocket or two to put my stuff in, or even just to stuff my hands into? It makes even more sense given that these comfortable clothes are literally designed for situations in which you’ll probably only be carrying a pocketful of stuff around at most. Yet for some reason, so many clothing companies think that ignoring this need and denying me my convenience in my hour of need is the best course of action.
Clothing without pockets is antithetical to what I want out of my clothes at Stanford. I just want comfort and convenience, both of which are more difficult to achieve with tiny pockets or entirely nonexistent ones. Hopefully, one day, clothing companies will realize the beauty and necessity of pockets, and this problem will become no more than a sad memory. Until then, I guess I have no choice but to continue to compensate for this lack of pockets in any way I can.
Contact Kiara Harding at kiluha ‘at’ stanford.edu.