Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on why she is taking on big fashion in the hope of gaining a few pockets.
A tiny bit of sun and Irish men lose the run of themselves. Suddenly they can no longer handle their “restrictive” clothing. T-shirts are stripped off, even if they are in a busy public space and nowhere near a beach or other kind of water source. Trousers, with their audacity to have an extra few centimetres of material, are banished in favour of milk bottle white legs poking out under shorts bought 15 years ago for a lads holiday in Ayia Napa.
Meanwhile, women still have to deal with the societal norms enforced on us, no matter the weather. We could tell the lads a thing or two about restrictive clothing – high heels, the evil of bras, and the worst of all – clothes with no pockets.
As normal functioning humans, women tend to have things they need to carry like keys, a phone, some money. Despite this, we are often subjected to clothes that have no pockets, fake pockets, or pockets too tiny to fit anything into. Why? Most historians trace the end of pockets for women to the aftermath of world war two. During both of the world wars, functioning pockets became the norm on women’s clothing but after the wars, a certain female silhouette was favoured and pockets were cast aside in order to make us look thinner. Yes, the reason you have to drag a handbag everywhere is because society doesn’t want pockets making you look fat.
It is not rocket science (pocket science?) to figure out that women love pockets.
Does this sound familiar?
“I love your dress.”
“Thanks, it has pockets!”
“Oh my god, pockets!” Cue gushing.
Pockets are great. We can put things in them, from keys to lipstick to our hands when they are cold. Yet the vast majority of garments sold to women are pocketless, or, even worse, have those tricksome fake pockets that are of zero use to anyone.
Why are the fashion bosses not listening to us? Much of the reason is that we have inherited the idea of not giving women pockets over several decades now. Besides that, mid-range fashion is a man’s game, and designers tend to base their decision on what looks best and gives an attractive silhouette, not what is most functional.
I, for one, am sick of needing to bring a handbag everywhere with me. I want to go for a walk without having to hold my phone and my keys and my debit card in my hand the whole time. It is time to start a #pocketrevolution.
As the world goes, Ireland is not a giant in the fashion industry. But Irish people spend about €3 billion on clothes each year. Plus we are home to a legend in the fashion world, Primark (Penneys to you and me), which had an annual revenue of €6.5 billion last year. We have some power. United, we can force big fashion to listen to us. The next time you’re out shopping, remember – if it doesn’t have a pocket, do not give them a profit.