Pockets! They Make the World Go Round

Or is it the pants? They make the pants go round.


While we’re on the topic of unsung heroes, I would like to address an oft-neglected universal truth about the way women shop. Let me start with a brief quiz.

You’re in a dressing room, right? You’re trying on a dress, or a skirt, or a tube top — yes, a tube top — and thinking to yourself, Self, this is cool. This is great. I am this girl. And yet, something is not right. This could depend on several isolated variables. Maybe it’s the price impeding on your imminent camaraderie. Or the way the hemline is sewn in. Or perhaps there are sleeves that you don’t quite care for. But then, and this is a big then, you reach for the middle of the dress, or the top of the skirt, or the bottom of the tube top and like a thirsty camel who’s just uncovered a water well, you meet salvation. The selling point — the pockets. Do you:

A) Do the pocket dance


B) Forget the things that were holding you back and haul ass to the cash register to buy the item in question

C) Put your hands in the pockets, pose in front of the mirror, love what you see but still refrain from making the purchase

If you answered any of the above, what you’ll notice is that in each scenario, whether or not the transaction met an end point, the pockets were a pleasant surprise — the jelly inside a Jewish powdered donut. The treasure beneath a Marino ice cup. Dare I call them full of sunshine?

They brought you closer to proprietorship.

Unless, of course, you fall into a small pocket (LOL!) that encompasses option D which is not listed above. This option suggests that you don’t care at all in which case, you are exempt from answering the following question:

Why do we like pockets so much? WHY?

Yes, yes, sure, sure, storage is important. Nothing is quite as nice as dipping into your pocket to swiftly pull out your Metro Card or credit card or nickel or dimes, ruling out the wrath of rummaging through the black hole that is your handbag to find that you’ve missed that train, left the credit card at home, and can’t find your nickels or dimes. Ugh!

But there’s something more.


Maybe it’s about hailing a taxi cab. Maybe it’s not. Interjections welcome.

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  • Jenna Calderone

    Pockets in dresses means no worrying about leaving your clutch on the grimy bathroom counter in a bar. And sometimes it makes me feel infinitely cooler to stand with one hand in my pocket rather than letting my shoulders slump because my tiny limbs are hanging alongside me like soggy noodles.

  • GapToothedGirl

    I love pockets dresses, I always dream a wedding dress with pockets!

    XOX, Gap.


  • Hermy

    Let’s look past their unquestionable convenience onto their magical ability to transform the most elaborate, feminine, grandiose garment into something simple and casual almost instantly. Perhaps a little reminiscent of (Dare I say it…….) normcore?


  • Dominique
  • Pockets are cool because all you hafta do is pop your hands in them & lean against a wall, & you look relaxed like you have no cares in the world. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

  • Stephanie

    Love the pocket dance!!! The problem is pockets are really only useful on voluminous silhouettes. The unsightly outline of my keys/phone/chapstick on slim silhouettes irritates me. Also shallow pockets = not useful at all- stuff keeps falling out!

  • lavieenliz

    I am 95% more likely to buy something if it has pockets…it’s a game changer. I love them!!!


  • Jane

    Pockets just make me happy .. and complete my life.

  • gail.

    About a year ago I had the pocket epiphany whilst standing in a fitting room in at Gap feeling unexpectedly cute in a dress (an item of clothing scarcely worn in the 10+ years since prom). Pockets are relaxed, comforting, & wash away the imposter syndrome thoughts that gnaw away at me at the very notion of eschewing pants for the day.

  • I adore big pockets! You can cram it with so much-needed wonderful stuff….



  • Autumn

    pockets are the hand hug (hand tent?) of clothing. and they make me less awkward when walking because my arms aren’t flailing about.

  • JennyP

    Pockets are a saviour in more ways than one: something to do with your hands, secret hiding place for snacks/metrocards/phones and also their hand-warming element.


  • If an article of clothing has unexpected pockets, the chances of me buying it rise tremendously. However, you didn’t mention one of the worst pocket-fitting room experiences: the sewn shut pocket! Nothing is worse than the #struggle of finding a hidden pocket that is completely sewn, preventing the swaggie pocket dance.

    Thanks for sharing! Entertaining, as always.


  • Charlotte Fassler

    Recently, I have become extremely keen on the inside pocket of a jacket or coat. I feel that most men’s jackets automatically have this pocket (correct me if i’m wrong) but it’s rare that a women’s one does as well. One of my main winter coats is equipped with this pocket as is my leather jacket and upon recent discovery a corduroy jacket I’ve been sporting has this pocket on BOTH SIDES- GAME CHANGER!
    I am really considering sewing a little flap of fabric on the inside of my denim jacket so I can keep my prized possessions from flinging out side pockets.

    • Kristin

      The problem with pockets is fear of pocket-pickers…i just feel safer (although infinitely less free) when I have all my ish tucked away in a purse and nestled in between my arm and my body. I have a trench that has an inside pocket with a zipper–it has changed my life.

      • Every time I see the word “ish” I think of Kendrick Lamar. Ya bish, ya bish. (Not directed at you, duh)

    • Fucking love the inside pocket. Sometimes I’ll store a tampon or
      Something in there but each time I go to take it out, I feel as if I was pulling out a wad of $20s.

    • rhiarhia

      When I go shopping with my boyfriend he’s always bragging and showing me all of his new inside pockets, and I’m like, damn, what about me!? I especially love brightly patterned contrasting fabrics for the inside pockets on otherwise plain-looking mens’ jackets.

  • Gene

    I scored an awesome vintage black leather dress at a local used clothing shop. Its most fabulous feature (aside from fitting like a glove) are the pockets. Dreamy.

  • charmystique

    Oh gawd I hate things with fake pockets. If they’re not going to make themselves useful, why even be there at all?! I feel so cheated when I try to slip my hand in absentmindedly…


  • Kristin E. Baver

    I so love dresses and skirts with pockets that I’ve taken to using a dearth of pockets as a reason not to purchase an item that is otherwise pleasing. Which brings me to an important question – when online stores are listing categories like maxi and mini, why oh why is “pockets” not among them?!

  • Chelsea Murphy

    Is it that effortless thing? Like if you throw a hand in a pocket, you’re just BAM!: carefree and cool? I aaalways wonder this at weddings because I aaalways engage in a greeting with at least one friend where I go, “You look beautiful! Love that dress.” and she skips thank you and goes, “RIGHT?! And LOOK. It has POCKETS.”

    Like, maybe I look fancy and serious and I spent my entire afternoon wrangling my mane into these pinterest project braids but look at my sweet pockets and remember how chill and fun I am! We’ve all been there. Everyone who’s worn a dress with pockets knows that it is impossible to NOT point out secret dress pockets to at least one other wedding guest. Unsung heroes no longer unsung! Go, us.

    • Kari

      Oh my god, you are spot on!! I have a few fancier dresses with pockets and can never resist pointing out the pockets!

  • I love pockets but I hate putting things in them. Clutter booty & hipp aren’t the look!


  • Caroline Y

    Pockets are great but it depends on where they are placed.,Pockets on the hips make even slim people look fat…

  • Maria dos Passos Carreira

    i fuckin love pockets!! When you don’t have anything to do or you’re bored you stick your hands in that big pocket and you just found your entertainment for the next 5 min!

  • diane

    Pockets are game (life?) changers for me when shopping. And I agree that every online product description should specify pockets (I think YOXX does this). The worst, though, is wearing a new item and realizing the pockets are basted shut and there are no scissors in sight.

  • Pockets make me feel like the designer put thought into the item-plus I like having somewhere to put my hands:)
    http://www.thebluemannequin.com for more outfit inspiration!

  • lel

    I have a coat that I have christened my ‘Hagrid’ coat, because it has so many bloody pockets and it makes me look like a miniature version of its namesake. It’s like a more-wearable version of Mary Poppins’ never ending bag, I could pull anything out of it.

  • Cel

    They also save you the trouble of drawing hands haha

  • Bronte Mac

    There is only one thing worse than no pockets and that’s: FAKE POCKETS. Why do they even exist? They’re lies and they make me sad.

  • nicole

    pockets answer the age old question of what to do with your hands, They take the awkward out of life. They are like the token drink you don’t really want, but have just so you have something to hold and sip in those lulls at a bar. Except they are with you wherever you are!

  • Ughk the amount of times its been like:
    Friend: “I love your dress”
    Me: “It would be better if it had pockets
    Friend: “It WOULD be better if it had pockets.”

  • Seriously, why was there ever a time in the history of the world when women couldn’t have pockets? Pockets OWN and everyone should have access to them! 🙂


  • bong
  • My childhood acting teacher made all her students show their hands. We weren’t allowed to hide our hands in pockets or sleeves. She said it was because hands show emotion. But hey, sometimes we want to hide right?!? I mean, wearing sunglasses indoors or at night is an example of how we can be in public and still hide.