Taylor Corley, Campus Carrier editor-in-chief
If you’re anything like me, shopping for new clothes is already a hassle in and of itself. Finding the perfect pair of jeans, finding a top in the color and size that you want, waiting in line for a fitting room, it’s all too much for me and I usually leave the store out of frustration before even making a purchase. Then, even after all of the struggle, the clothes I do end up buying aren’t even functional.
One of the worst feelings in the world is trying on the one pair of pants you spent hours hunting through the clothing racks to find, and then reaching your hands into the front pockets only to discover they are fake. The pockets are just a small detail meant to add to the pant’s aesthetic but have no legitimate use whatsoever. You look in the mirror and, for just a moment, regret not taking full advantage of blue and purple, plaid cargo shorts from Justice you used to wear as a child.
So the question is: why is there such a miniscule amount of women’s clothing that has normal-sized pockets? Why is it that the immediate response to “that’s such a cute dress” is “thanks! It has pockets,” as though pockets in a dress is the most obscure concept in the world?
Instead, women are expected to carry around a handbag or a purse to hold her belongings. Even though, in reality, purses can be an inconvenience. They get heavy after a while or fall off your shoulder and quality purses are extremely expensive. If you ask me, purses are a scam designed to make women spend more money and suppress them under the patriarchal notion that pockets are exclusively masculine. That’s not to say purses are completely useless; I have at least four of them. However, I want to be able to carry a purse because it compliments my outfit, not because I have nowhere else to put my keys, Chapstick and phone that simply won’t fit in my pocket.
Even women’s pants do have pockets, the only ones that could hold something larger than a quarter are in the back. I personally don’t like carrying my phone in my back pocket because I feel like it’s more likely to get stolen, but I can’t keep it in my front pocket because the front pocket is located awkwardly on my hip and doesn’t hold my phone. That leaves me with either carrying my phone in my hand or in, you guessed it, my purse.
The idea of tiny pockets in women’s clothes or no pockets at all reinforces the idea that women don’t leave the house with anything bigger than lipstick. It imposes the ideology that women’s clothing is simply for other people’s appeal and that we dress ourselves to look good for others.
I don’t want to buy extra small men’s pants from Goodwill just so I can fit my phone in my pocket. I don’t want to have guys asking me to hold their keys for them just because I’m carrying a purse. We live in a society where it’s normal for women to hold jobs in construction and they don’t even have easy access to pants with pockets big enough to hold a screw driver or a paint brush.
The reason there is a miniscule amount of women’s clothing with normal-sized pockets is because of the reasoning behind why women’s clothes are made. Women’s clothing is made to be bought, while men’s clothing is made to be worn. That needs to change.