Keepin' it real · mental health · whine and cheese

Day 326: Pockets, Proportions, and the Patriarchy

“Oh geez, where the heck is my phone?”

“That’s the third time you’ve lost it today. Why don’t you just keep it in your pocket?” Mr. December asks.

“Because my pants don’t have real pockets!” I shot back.

“Then why did you buy them?”

“Because women’s pants NEVER have good pockets!!!”

“That’s stupid,” Mr. December said, “I’d never buy a pair of pants without pockets.”

I huffed, “That’s like saying you’d never buy clothes that didn’t fit your body properly. You can only buy it if it exists.”

“Eema,” K put in, “Why don’t women’s clothes have proper pockets?”

“One word, kiddo,” I answer. “The patriarchy.”

I’m hardly the first person to complain about a lack of pockets in women’s clothing. Heck, I’m probably not even among the first thousand complainers. But us women don’t need our own pockets because it’s the man’s job to carry the money, right? Not to mention the fact that if we put our stuff in our pants pockets, it would ruin the beautiful line of our bodies that is so important to the male gaze. As I said above, it’s the patriarchy’s fault I don’t have pockets.

I don’t remember the exact search term I used, but I found my way to a site called—get this—Pocketocracy. They have a list of retailers and designers that make women’s clothing with real pockets (defined as pockets that can hold stuff like a phone or a wallet.) This was exactly what I wanted! The unexpected pleasant surprise was that a good number of these sites also offer their products in a wide variety of sizes (I think they might max out at a 7XL) or even custom-make the clothing for your measurements.

Wait! You might be thinking. Clothes that actually fit your body no matter its size? Such a thing has never been done! It has, actually, since mass-produced clothing is a relatively new concept; a hundred and fifty years ago most people’s clothes were custom-made to each person’s proportions. Sadly, though, these days we’re generally limited to what designers and retailers want to sell us. Too bad what they want to sell us extends beyond clothing to the idea that if our bodies don’t look good in their clothes, we are somehow lacking.

I’ve decided I’m not buying it anymore. Not buying the clothing, and not buying the implicit body-shaming that comes with it. That’s my justification for spending two hours this afternoon on ogling dresses with pockets.

It was seriously fun because aside from the pockets and the custom-sized aspect, the design of the dresses can be altered. I spent some time changing a scoop neck to a boat neck, making sleeves longer and shorter, and raising and lowering the hem. Their customization tool shows you exactly what that dress would look like with, say, inset cap sleeves, a split jewel neckline, and a just-below-the-knee skirt. It was so much fun that even E stopped complaining about boredom and started redesigning dresses.

It seems a bit too good to be true; a dress that fits me properly, with my favourite neckline and hemline, and pockets, all for less than eighty dollars! Mr. December thinks I should go ahead and order one to see if it’s as good as I think it will be. So, readers, which one should I get?

2 thoughts on “Day 326: Pockets, Proportions, and the Patriarchy

  1. This is why I still miss my little Nokia phone I had 15 years ago: it fit into my jeans pocket perfectly! Also, sounds amazing – I have a skinny top but ample bottom and can rarely find dresses to fit. Please post about the experience if you end up buying a dress!

  2. ROw 1 first on left…. but quite springy. Row 2 3rd on left wear now. Row 3 3rd on left because I love the color and flippy skirt but short sleeves so not winter or early spring wear. Do you go places to wear the very grownup woman going out in the city for events styles? Ask because I don’t and that influenced my choices.
    BUT, look up Macabi skirts!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY THE BEST. Wear and pack gorgeously. You can sit on rocks and not hurt them. They dry in minutes. They hike up for wading. The pockets are amazing. I wear them most of the year and have worn them in cold weather with warm tights under them. You can give up purses with these pockets even with kids in tow. LOVE LOVE LOVE them and their pockets!!! Their pockets!!!!!!

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