The inherent issue with women’s clothing
By Jessica Berget, Staff Writer
With a wide variety of women’s clothing stores and styles nowadays, you would think it would be easy to find a simple pair of pants with decent-sized pockets, or any pockets at all, for that matter. Sadly, this is simply not the case, and it seems that the reason—like with so many other things—is inherently sexist.
It all started in the 1800s, back when it was illegal for women to wear pants or trousers. It wasn’t until the World Wars of the 1900’s when trousers would become an acceptable garment for women to wear. The large pockets were considered to be too masculine, so they were made smaller, and then ultimately removed for aesthetic purposes, or for making the pants look tighter.
By the time pants were being commercialized for women, they were plagued with either no pockets or barely functioning ones. The time is now 2017 and women’s pants still do not have adequate pocketing.
When you walk into any major store like Forever 21 or H&M, you will notice there is a vast difference in the amount of women’s clothing the store carries and the amount of men’s clothing. Almost 80 per cent of these stores are dedicated to women’s clothing, and the variety of men’s clothing is often sized down to a single corner.
The gender imbalance in clothing stores is obvious, but with so much clothing being made for women it is ridiculous that these clothing companies can’t make at least one pair of pants with pockets that can hold more than a single ID card, or a piece of lint. Even more infuriating is the stitching that gives the illusion of pockets. Numerous times I have bought a pair of pants thinking they would have adequate pockets and brought them home only to be confronted with a lie. Why not just put in actual pockets?
It’s not just pants that are absent of pockets; almost all women’s clothing are without them. Blazers, blouses, dresses, skirts, even some t-shirts are bereft of pockets, or bear a sad excuse for one. In my closet, about 45 per cent of my clothes have functioning pockets, and about 20 per cent have pockets I can actually put things in. Apparently, clothing designers have decided that pockets just aren’t sexy enough, or are too bulky and that women don’t need them. How does an industry that is primarily directed at women completely ignore the wants and needs of its consumers? Not surprisingly, most of these clothing stores’ CEOs and founders are men. Because of this, women’s clothing is not designed based on comfort or practicality but based on how it look.
To further assert aesthetic over functionality, women are forced to use handbags as a substitute for the lack of pockets. Besides this just being another way for men to profit off women’s fashion, purses and handbags are often unconventional or just plain awkward to carry around. Carrying large and heavy bags is bad for your back and shoulders, and when you want to run a quick errand or you’re going to a party, bringing a bag can be impractical, but without pockets it’s the only option.
It is not a radical idea that women should be able to carry around their wallets and keys without having to take an unnecessarily large bag. Being pocketless hinders our progress in society. Women already barely have basic human rights, so please, give us the pockets we sorely need and deserve.