IS ITTIMETO BURN OUR BAGS?
I RARELY WEAR body-con clothing,but I do like my clothes tailored and fitted.A high-waisted pair of skinny jeans and leather leggings aside, nothing fits so tightly around my waist that it wouldn’t be able to accommodate a pocket or two.
Recently,Tanya Basu wrote a piece for The Atlantic lamenting the fact that women’s fashion hadn’t kept up with advancing technology, particularly as more cellphones become the size of phablets. She points to the lack of functional pockets in dresses, blazers and pants for women as a major setback for feminism. That’s what handbags are for, some might argue.We spend small fortunes on our totes. But what happens when they become cumbersome or impractical? Wouldn’t it be lovely not to have to worry about wearing the strap of your handbag like a seatbelt while out dancing at a club?
I’m not saying that handbags should become redundant, but they do limit freedom of action. Men can use backpacks to carry large items, but they have the option of putting their pockets to good use when it comes to smaller everyday necessities. I looked through my wardrobe to count the number of items that should have pockets but don’t. It made me realise just how utterly useless our pockets are when we have them at all. My worst: the fake pocket, which appears to offer a reassuringly standard opening,only to reject your fingers a moment later.Many designers still prioritise the silhouette of a woman’s clothes and ignore the usefulness of a pocket. Paul Johnson reports in The
Spectator that even though women were allowed to wear pants by the 20th century, a gender-biased clothes industry still cut them off at the pockets. He quotes Christian Dior as saying,‘Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.’
In the 21st century we’re still harnessed to our handbags. Imagine being able to move around quickly and with assurance. I’m not asking for that many sartorial cavities, but I would love a pocket or two big enough to hold my cellphone, keys and lipstick. So I can focus on running in my heels.
‘It made me realise how USELESS our pockets are – when we have them at all’