Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Last week, while delivering papers and listening to the morning news programming on Morehead Public Radio, I heard a piece about a young girl who wrote to Old Navy about the pockets in her jeans. The seven-year-old girl told the company that she not only wanted pockets in her jeans, but just how ridiculous she felt the “useless” (her word) fake pockets on girl’s and women’s jeans are.
The company apparently wrote her back thanking her for her input and sending her four pairs of jeans in her size in a style that has real pockets.
It felt a little like the original intent was for it to be a feel-good corporate story. The kind of thing served up as a saccharine press release from a company spin doctor to pat the brand on the back for listening to customers while not really making any changes. Or maybe this is just the kind of thing my brain goes to after 20+ years on both the sending and receiving end of such content.
It all begs the question though; it’s the 21st century already, so why don’t women have pockets in their jeans?
My toddler son has pockets in his jeans. Real functional pockets. Not just in his jeans, but in his sweat pants, on his shirt, and in his jacket. He is two-years-old. The only things he might put in his pockets are a piece of chewed up hotdog or a handful of crumbled potato chips. Really, any kind of food. I can see him sticking a piece of cake in there for later – later being three second after he tries to stick it in there.
But why is it the default for my toddler to have functional pockets when it isn’t the default option for his mother’s jeans? Let me tell you, if there is one group of folks you probably shouldn’t trust with pockets, it’s toddlers. Envision the most ridiculous, disgusting, baffling thing that you can imagine ever finding in a pocket. A toddler can top that. If you’re going to sew the pocket opening closed for any group of people, it should be toddlers. Not their mothers.
They need pockets – for dropped pacifiers, tissues, the toy their child insisted on bringing and now doesn’t want to carry, etc.
Young ladies need pockets too. For house keys and spare cash and pocket knives, and all the things their fathers and brothers take for granted.
And they shouldn’t have to shop around to find them. Pockets should be the rule, rather than the exception. I can’t imagine ever having a pair of pants that had “decorative” pockets that weren’t functional. Heck, men won’t even give up that little pocket watch pocket on our clothing, and we haven’t carried pocket watches regularly in a century!
We really need to get someone on this.
If there is some rule in the fashion industry that says you have some quota of pockets you can put into clothing, I’m willing to give up the pocket watch pockets on
my vests and jeans so you can put functional pockets in women’s clothing. Just sew a ridiculous, “useless” strip of fabric onto my waistcoat in the shape of a pocket flap, and put some pockets in a cute dress. Take that weird shallow pocket off my jeans and sew some real pockets into my partner’s. I love my cargo shorts, but I’ll even give one up there if we can donate it to the ladies’ jeans too.
Just fix it. People need pockets. (Even irresponsible toddlers with a handful of half-chewed peanut butter sandwich they can’t fit in their mouth right now.)
Jeremy D. Wells can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org