Once upon a time mobile phones were the size of a backpack and were carried around on strap, this time was the 1980s when everything has to be big, including hairdos. Then came the 1990s and the ‘noughties’ when phones got smaller and smaller, until they irritatingly disappeared in handbags and got eaten by larger pets (OK, maybe that last one is a slight exaggeration). Now we reach the two-thousand-and-teens and phones have started to grow again and that’s a real problem. I’ll admit my smartphone is a god-send but the thing is I haven’t a pocket to put it in, and unlike my old phone, it won’t fit in my bra. So it seems there are three solutions to my problem: bigger breast; curved phones; or women’s clothes with pockets.
We have seen it all in women’s fashion over the years: from ‘skousers’ to shoulder pads. What we have never seen is a decent trend for practical pockets. The most frustrating trend in fact is the one for ‘pocket details’ or things that fool you into thinking they are pockets until you try and put anything in them, at which point you realise they are purely decorative. Pockets are amazing, they are a handbag that you can’t leave on the bus so why don’t we have them? Some would argue that the cost of adding such details is unnecessary but the designers seem to think that they are worthwhile in men’s clothes. No, the situation is this: men’s clothes are designed for practicality (trousers over skirts, no zips up the back) while women’s clothes are designed to enhance the silhouette. On occasions this is useful – I don’t want to have a third boob in my evening dress but I want the choice of whether to be able to carry my phone day to day.
There is a saying that men believe they are more important than women because their jackets have secret pockets on the inside and I believe there may be a grain of truth in that. So my plea for pockets isn’t merely a search for practicality but equality.