The soft sexism of functioning pockets

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Indeed. If you google “pockets sewn shut” or “fake jacket pockets” none of the links on the first page of results is about men having the problem,


I have that problem all the time. Pockets are sewn shut to prevent the pocket picking up lint etc before the client gets it home, and possibly to prevent shoplifting. You can ask the cashier to open it, or do it yourself when you get home.


Well, when they’re sewn shut for purposes of transportation and storage, they do sew pockets shut on some items. I’ve got a men’s blazer I bought off a clearance rack that had pockets basted shut as well as the X across the back vent.

My current peeve is these pants I have with fake welt pockets. A welt pocket requires one to cut into the fabric, thus weakening the garment … all for the sake of a totally fake pocket.


I have some suit coats with the pockets sewn shut on them, but I always assumed it was there as subtle reminder to the wearer (me) that while there is a pocket there…you really shouldn’t use it as it will potentially alter the lines of the suit.


Which is strange, because no, or fake pockets is indeed a problem made for woman. Sewn pockets is a general issue, especially on a bit more expensive gear.

Tip: V/X/M if you have sewn pockets and if you don’t need (all) the pockets, leave them closed. Your garment will be looking neat for longer.


…a lot of women insist on buying these clothes. And for very high prices.

If I point out that so much of women’s fashion is done by (obviously women-hating) designers who want women to look like young boys, not like what people actually look like, well…

Physician, heal thyself.



To be fair, I’ve also had many suit jackets with sewn shut pockets. I guess it keeps them looking sharp longer. Style over function or function over style, it’s you choice. However, I do recognize that it is harder choice for women to make.

Sadly I’ve also been disappointed at the lack of quality of the materials in women’s clothes and shoes. It is much harder to find good quality leather shoes with Goodyear welt, fabrics with long fiber combed ring-spun cotton, YKK zippers used etc. It’s not just that women’s clothes are smaller and designed for their bodies, they are also generally of much less durable, thinner materials and made with inferior components. Made to fail.


My suit doesn’t have functional pockets. Well not on the outside. Not even for my hanky square. (No they aren’t sewn shut, they are just for show.)

What about all those extra zippers and buckles and shit people add for decoration as well? Seem like a fashion issue and not a conscious decision to keep women down. Do clothing by women designers tend to have more usable pockets, or do they do the same thing too? Perhaps this is because many women prefer to accessorize with a handbag, which holds a lot more stuff than pockets? (My moms was clearly a Bag of Holding, containing more supplies than the Red Cross.)

Ladies can wear cargo shorts too. Give it a try! Dress like a slob like me and you too can get all sorts of utility out of your every day wear. Hey, try a Utilikilt.


Made to fail. Made to be replaced every season.


I have this vest, with big pockets. It’s like cargo shorts for the top half, and I wear it all the time. It’s falling apart, stained in several places, and patched everywhere. I probably look like a deranged lunatic to some people, but I don’t care as long as I have enough pockets that I don’t have to carry a purse. Plus if I ever have to flee an emergency away from home, my basics are on my person.


As a guy, I’ve only encountered this problem once- and even then, it was a Riddler Halloween costume. Meanwhile, my girlfriend’s clothes always seem to lack pockets of any kind whatsoever (even fake ones) unless they’re jeans.


Like a photographers vest?


I don’t think that’s quite it. It’s LL Bean from the 80s, I’ve been looking for a replacement, but no luck. As you can see, I am not skilled at the selfie.

Yea, I don’t wear it because it’s cute, but those pockets, though…

Edit to add: I’m not really skilled at embroidery either, this is more like visible mending.


Historically I would suspect that comes from the handbag, and from aesthetic sensibilities? I’ve heard women make light of men and their “baggy” pockets. But hey, big pockets for everyone, I can totally get behind that.


Hmm - LL Bean, it might have been originally a fishing vest. Unless there is a huge pouch on the back, that is a hunting game vest.

I do loved well worn/loved clothing. I’d be adding patches and shit to it.

Here, I found this.

And this:

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From the webcomic “Dumbing of Age”


My cargo shorts come in handy all the time. I don’t know the source of the anti-pocket pressures on women, but I do hope liberation comes some day. The last time they came in especially handy was on the train going out to the beach. I had our baby’s favorite board books tucked away, one in each thigh pocket. The diaper bag was stuffed to the gills, and only absolute necessities were easily accessible. When the munchkin got restless though, I was able to unholster “Dong Wu: The Bilingual Book of Animals” in less than a ha’tantrum.


Fishing vest then. No pouch in the back, but I could see that being handy.

I’ve look at photographers vests, but while they have a lot of pockets, they tend to be kind of small.

That gardening vest looks pretty sweet actually. I love Duluth Trading clothes, they are comfy and sturdy, the opposite of the kind of women’s clothes that lack proper pockets. My overalls have more pockets than necessary, making them basically perfect.