Tips & Tricks

Why Are Women’s Pockets So Small?

Everyday fashion skepticism faced by women in all corners of the globe seeks answers to the centuries-old question: why are women’s pockets so small?

To properly evaluate this controversy involving half the population of the buttocks – quite literally – one must analyze the history of the tiny bogies found in the clothing of all sizes and shapes.

The original design for women’s pockets.


Pockets are not always in the correct form that we now associate them with.

In particular, women’s pockets were not always attached because they were actually separate pieces that could be worn with each other in different outfits.

From the 17th to the late 19th century, pockets were often worn under women’s skirts and over their under-petticoats.

Women were able to access these individual pockets found in their layers by opening the seams on the sides of their petticoats.

Men’s pockets, on the other hand, were sewn into every piece of their clothing that resembled our clothing items in the modern era.

What are pockets used for?


Like today where we keep our valuables in our jeans pockets, the pockets of that time were a place for their owners to keep their small personal things like money, knives, keys, snacks or thumbs up.

Even women’s pockets had more storage space than modern handbags.

A pickpocket and a thief.


The term “pickpocket” came about when thieves cut strings to attach to women’s pockets in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Pocket controversy often becomes an issue of gender equality, with theft being an example of the disadvantage of women using small pockets.

A woman’s bag, which often carries her most valuable belongings because of its small pockets, can be much easier to steal from a sewn pocket than men’s belongings.

The origins of pick-pocketing mark this trend over the centuries

Designer Christian Dior said in 1954, “Men have pockets to hold things, women to sort things out.”

Why were pockets once fashionable for women?


Pockets went out of fashion in the 1790s which will now be considered as small obsolete handbags although many women still choose to wear pockets.

It wasn’t until the late 1800s when we saw the move towards smaller pockets.

Slimming silhouettes provide a solid backdrop for large pockets, causing them to shrink and become more decorative pieces without being useful.

Men’s clothing still uses pockets as the main, but women began their complete transformation into handbags that continued until the 1920s.

The pocket is back.


The 1920s were the same decade where women wore male-inspired clothing, though not yet mainstream.

That’s what brought the pocket back into women’s clothing.

More and more women began to gravitate toward style, after a 1933 article in the Women’s War Daily about the possibility of women traditionally pushing men towards styling and silhouettes.

Although men’s styles were becoming increasingly popular in women’s clothing, so were purses.

This makes the functionality of women’s clothing pockets less about utility and more about style.

How have jeans changed people’s perceptions about pockets?


Another reason for the lack of pockets in women’s clothing stems from the idea that women’s clothing needs to be thin.

Also, those pockets have added unnecessary fabric and are therefore taking away from the expected normal slim feminine silhouette.

When jeans began to come into style, society began to notice again the inconvenient hesitation that women had.

Jeans have changed the way people think about their pockets.

With the durability of denim clothing, people are beginning to realize the benefits of big pockets and how we see them today.

Pocket size today.


A survey by Pudding measured 80 pairs of blue jeans with a 32-inch waistband from the world’s largest retailers.

The study shows that compared to men’s pockets, women’s pockets are 6.5% narrower and completely 48% shorter.

This study also measured the back pockets which still showed a small difference.

5% shorter on average, but not as noticeable as the front pocket.

What women can no longer fill their thin pockets with, they now fill their handbags.

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