After seeing numerous tweets, articles, and videos addressing the denim pocket problem, one company decided to conduct research on the gender inequality of jeans. For most women, jeans come with small pockets, especially those in the front, and can sometimes come without pockets at all. When the Pudding conducted their research, they discovered that women’s jean pockets are 48 percent shorter than men’s jean pockets. Though the study found that most men could carry an iPhone X in their front pocket, only 40 percent of women had that ability. As for comfortably resting a hand a pocket? This could only be done in 10 percent of women’s jeans, compared to 100 percent of men’s jeans.
The Pudding reviewed jeans from 20 popular denim brands including 7 For All Mankind, Abercrombie, Express, Old Navy, and True Religion. Not only are women’s pockets shorter, but they are 6.5 percent narrower. While many may argue that “women’s pockets would be smaller because they tend to be smaller than men,” the group accounted for this and conducted the study on men and women’s jeans with a size 32-inch waist. When the group analyzed back pockets, they found there was only a 5 percent difference in length between a woman and man’s back pockets.
As the Daily Mail reports, the main purpose of this study was to show how men are offered a larger area to store items in their pockets than women.
“Our measurements confirmed what every woman already knows to be true: women’s pockets are ridiculous,” wrote the Pudding.
The history of the “pocket” is an interesting one. In Medieval times, both men and women carried things in a pocket, which was tied around one’s waist. By the 17th century, menswear with pockets sewn directly into the garment became de rigueur, but there was no such change for women. They still carried their items in pockets, though they were embellished and more closely resembled fanny packs.
When women’s fashion became more streamlined, with a higher waistline and smaller silhouette, pockets became virtually nonexistent. At the time, the prevailing thought was that women “had four external bulges already — two breasts and two hips — and a money pocket inside their dress would make an ungainly fifth.” When fashion icon Christian Dior chimed in on the pocket debate in 1954, the fate of women’s pockets was all but sealed.
“Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.”
Though many would point to a woman’s purse and insist that there is more than enough space to carry things within, purses can be limiting. Pockets are personal, and allow for women to navigate easier in public spaces.