Pockets of comfort

Pockets of comfort

Women's fashion

Pockets of comfort
Despite all the innovation and experimentation taking place in the realm of women’s clothing, the spotlight determinedly shuns an important aspect — pockets. The lack of functional pockets in ladies’ garments has long been a sticking point for a big part of the female population and they are increasingly becoming vocal about their displeasure.

“The fact is that most women’s clothing is designed for accentuating her looks and figure and not utility, even in work attire,” says Kriti Bajaj, freelance writer and editor. “A quote from a friend of mine is what first made me think about this. She came home from her internship in a shirt and trousers without a single pocket and said ‘I hate bags. Feminism should be about pockets’. The truth of this hits me every single day.”

She adds, “I am currently packing for a wedding and the lack of pockets is a source of immense irritation for me, because it means I am forced to look for little bags to hold even basic stuff like my phone and money. Many times I have handed things to guys to put in their pockets (and was rewarded by a look of irritation) because I had too many things to be able to function.”

The lack of pockets has implications far beyond the sartorial world — the history of this trend is steeped in sexism, gender discrimination and politics. Pockets were seen as masculine and giving them to females was seen as empowering them to strut around with hands in pockets, a place for something secret or private. Even if the paranoia is not there anymore, the focus remains fixed on the visual appeal of clothing.

Even worse is the practice of putting fake pockets that serve no purpose. “I recently bought a pair of jeans from a popular brand that had seams to look like pockets, which I only realised when I tried to put my phone in. It never crossed my mind that there would be such pointless deception,” says Kriti.

“I recently lost my wallet while travelling in an Ola cab. While I am grateful the driver returned it to me, I am angry I lost it in the first place because in an effort to look fashionable, I wore a pair of pants with no front pockets and idiotic back pockets,” fumes Nidhi Srivastava.

“Why can’t women’s clothing have reasonable pockets? Who are these designers and sellers who decide that women must look shapely and therefore deserve no pockets? This is not a trivial issue. Where will we keep our equal wages if we have no equal pockets?” she says.

But this trend is driven by women themselves who are willing to forgo comfort for style, points out Karishma Singh, designer and owner of brand ‘k.kristina’. “While bags can be used to carry regular stuff, the small clutches and purses we take to parties can not hold most of our things. I have had women asking for concealed pockets in dresses and lehengas. But if they think it will spoil the look, they are okay without it also.”