Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser

BoredPanda Add post form topAdd Post
Tooltip close

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

The Truth Behind Why Women’s Clothing Doesn’t Have Pockets, As Shared By This TikTok User
103

The Truth Behind Why Women’s Clothing Doesn’t Have Pockets, As Shared By This TikTok User

Interview With Author
ADVERTISEMENT

Have you ever seen a woman showing off a new piece of clothing and being so happy that it has pockets? Or perhaps you’ve been that person who loves to twirl around with your new dress, hands in your accidentally discovered pockets? Knowing the history of fashion and the reasoning behind why women’s clothing doesn’t have them, suddenly, this whole satisfaction makes a lot of sense. Hearing all those jokes about how women “suffer” from a lack of this detail posed the question of why exactly women don’t have pockets in their pants and other pieces of clothing. TikTok user, video creator, and “fact guy” @dougiesharpe took some time to create a TikTok that reveals this mystery by providing useful historical content. The man started his explanation by touching upon topics such as women’s rights, the suffrage movement, the French Revolution, and the Second World War, and how these important events had an impact on such a little thing as pockets. 

More Info: TikTok

TikTok user decided to answer the question of why women’s clothing doesn’t have pockets

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

The content creator revealed that the handbag industry is behind this and shared some historical facts on the matter

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

In the middle ages, people would wear pouches with rope tied around their waist that served as a pocket

Image credits: Medium

The video that now has 268k views starts by stating that the reason why women don’t have useful pockets in which they could actually put their things is because of the handbag industry. And if we think about it, it seems like a plausible reason, having in mind the number of handbag and backpack choices, the advertised need to get the “bag of the season”, and the variety of those found in women’s closets. This reason might seem quite infuriating having in mind the discussion about how much more women have to invest in their appearances, and also remember the “Pink Tax”, which is explained as a trend in which women have to pay more than men for the same type of products.

ADVERTISEMENT

As women’s clothing became more intricate, they could no longer wear pouches

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: Rijksmuseum

Many layers of clothing made women refuse to wear a rope with a pouch

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The TikTok creator went back to the middle ages when both men and women would wear a rope with a pouch around their waist to be able to put some things in there. But the situation started to change in the 17th century when actual pockets were sewn into men’s clothing. However, the same technique couldn’t be applied to women’s dresses as they had more layers which made it harder for them to reach it, as it would require them to lift some layers of the dress, and who would want to do that in a public setting? Later on, when their clothes were made to accentuate their waist and form, the pockets had to go. 

ADVERTISEMENT

As fashion evolved, women had to say goodbye to their pockets

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: CharmaineZoe’s Marvelous Melange

With no pockets, women were presented with its replacement – a small bag called a reticule

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

This is when reticules became a thing. Oxford Learners Dictionaries defines it as “a woman’s small bag, usually made of cloth and with a string that can be pulled tight to close it”. It was said that these bags weren’t very practical as there wasn’t much you could put in them, and were created for a sole purpose of being an accessory. It was believed that the bag represented the idea of women not having much wealth or property and thus not needing a big purse because they didn’t have much to carry anyway.

Reticules served more as an accessory than a functional handbag because it was believed that women didn’t have anything to put there anyway

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Another interesting fact mentioned by the TikTok user is the way pockets became an important symbol for women and their rights. It was thought that during the French Revolution, women were even banned from having clothes with pockets as this way they would be able to hide “revolutionary material”. When the women’s suffrage movement started, they used pockets as a symbol that represented the change they were seeking.

Pockets served as a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement that was fighting for women’s rights

Image credits: U.S. Embassy The Hague

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: Medium

Pockets were brought back as a detail of functional clothing with the start of World War II when women were brought to the workforce. Now the number of pockets seen on women’s work clothes also served as an indication of their independence. However, after the war ended, women’s fashion was back to the same tight and form-fitting silhouettes, and so the handbag industry was back on its tracks again. This is where we are now, still experiencing the need for pockets.

What do you think about this sneaky cooperation between clothing brands and handbags? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments down below!

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: Aimé Dupont

Bored Panda contacted TikTok creator Doug Sharpe to find out more about his creative process when making these informative fact videos. The man didn’t hide his surprise at seeing his videos go viral online. He shared that while the “TikTok algorithm is a mystery”, all he focuses on is what his posts are about and how frequent they are. “As much as I shouldn’t, I do live and die with each post. I put a lot of effort into each video so it feels really nice when people like the video, watch it, and enjoy it. This is my art, so just like any other artist, it feels great to be appreciated and enjoyed,” concluded the creator.

ADVERTISEMENT

Designer Coco Chanel was taking her inspiration from menswear when designing clothes for women

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: www.careergirldaily.com

During the Second World War, women joined the workforce and had to wear functional clothing that needed to have pockets

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: JarJarDrinks

Doug also added an important detail about the video in question, revealing some insights into how he creates his TikTok videos and how even putting a lot of effort into your work doesn’t save you from making a human error. He explained: “40 seconds into the video I talk about woman’s clothing getting bulkier and to access the pocket around her waist, a woman would need to lift her petticoat and underpetticoat, but I forgot to say that there were also dress designs that had slits in the front so women could reach through their petticoat and underpetticoat and access the pocket around their waist conveniently. This was included in the script but when I recorded the video it somehow got missed and I didn’t notice the omission until a number of TikTok users pointed out in the comments that I had forgotten to mention this dress design in the video.”

The content creator shared that he spends nearly 2 hours researching the facts he’s going to talk about, basing it on at least 3 sources. The mistake he revealed made him even more cautious, so now he takes more than 2 or 3 times to check whether his video matches the original script. While making mistakes might seem like an unpleasant experience, Doug sees it as an opportunity to communicate with his audience, reply to their comments or answer questions.

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: Colorado Women’s Hall Of Fame

The 31-year-old who spent around 10 years living in China, and now resides in Whistler, British Columbia, grew up in a family of high achievers. He is not only known for his created content but also for being a professional snowboarder, mountain biker, and stunt double. Having in mind his adventurous nature, he also revealed some of his future plans: “My biggest goal in life is to live out of my snowboard bag forever and just travel around the world doing fun facts in every location imaginable. I want to do fun facts about the colosseum at the colosseum, facts about Patagonia in Patagonia. I always really try to ensure that the scene behind me matches the fact I’m talking about; like if I’m doing a fact about Ikea, I film it in an Ikea. If I’m doing a fact about roller coasters, I film it on a roller coaster. I think it makes the fact feel a lot deeper if the scene behind you matches the fact you’re talking about.”

The situation changed once again after the war ended and women’s fashion was back to feminine silhouettes

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

Image credits: vintagedancer.com

The TikTok user also shared some information about how he comes up with ideas for his videos, revealing that very often the inspiration comes from someone having a question about something, for example, “why don’t women’s clothes have better pockets”, and this is enough for Doug’s mind to start racing, wanting to find an answer and share it with others by creating a video. “I wouldn’t be able to go through the rest of my day if I had a question sitting in the back of my head. If I have a question or someone near me has a question I NEED TO KNOW THE ANSWER, I’ll become obsessed with the question if I don’t learn the answer. And sometimes that leads me down deep rabbit holes,” revealed the creator.

This is when the handbag industry once again came to prominence and remains so to this day

Image credits: vintagedancer.com

Image credits: @dougiesharpe

You can watch the full video down below!

@dougiesharpe I had no idea how deep this went. Collusion between the handbag industry and the womens fashion industry is the reason why womens clothing doesn’t have pockets #womensfashion #womensrights #womenssufferage #pocket #womenspockets #funfact #funfacts #edutok #historytok #womenstok #fact #facts #clothinghistory #handbag #handbaghistory #tailor #clothing ♬ original sound – dougiesharpe

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Related on Bored Panda
What do you think?
Add photo comments
POST
michelle_hawkins avatar
Michelle Thiel
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Women prior to 1790 did not have to lift their outer skirt to reach their pocket/pouch underneath -- the skirt was designed with a slit to allow the woman to discreetly reach in.

juliet_bravo avatar
Jill Bussey
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fine, but this is now. I hate carrying a handbag. Give me usable pockets. I am wearing jeans that only have back pockets; the front ones are display only. I bought a pair of child's dungarees, to fit age 12 months. The pockets were bigger than on my jeans.

christineschneider avatar
Beeps
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And my phone doesn’t even properly fit into the back pocket of my jeans!

Load More Replies...
mikedelancey avatar
Two_rolling_black_eyes
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Once again, the author has cause and effect backwards and supports a non-existing conspiracy. On Amazon, the #1 selling pair of pants is Lee Women's Relaxed Fit All Day Straight Leg Pants. 26,168 reviews. No pockets. Lee doesn't sell handbags. They make $0 money off of another company's handbags. Beauty standards (unfairly) call for shapely hips, long thin legs, and a bubble like posterior. Pockets break the flow of continuous lines. Lee sells plenty of women's pants with pockets (primarily a jeans company) but their #1 seller is one without them because they look good with the smooth lines. Purses sell to fill a need of no pockets on the perfect pretty black dress, not the other way around. There's a reason they are called accessories and you match them to the primary outfit, not the other way around.

dersebbl avatar
der sebbl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not to mention that the historical aspects (the stuff before 1900) are plain wrong

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
michelle_hawkins avatar
Michelle Thiel
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Women prior to 1790 did not have to lift their outer skirt to reach their pocket/pouch underneath -- the skirt was designed with a slit to allow the woman to discreetly reach in.

juliet_bravo avatar
Jill Bussey
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fine, but this is now. I hate carrying a handbag. Give me usable pockets. I am wearing jeans that only have back pockets; the front ones are display only. I bought a pair of child's dungarees, to fit age 12 months. The pockets were bigger than on my jeans.

christineschneider avatar
Beeps
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And my phone doesn’t even properly fit into the back pocket of my jeans!

Load More Replies...
mikedelancey avatar
Two_rolling_black_eyes
Community Member
1 year ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Once again, the author has cause and effect backwards and supports a non-existing conspiracy. On Amazon, the #1 selling pair of pants is Lee Women's Relaxed Fit All Day Straight Leg Pants. 26,168 reviews. No pockets. Lee doesn't sell handbags. They make $0 money off of another company's handbags. Beauty standards (unfairly) call for shapely hips, long thin legs, and a bubble like posterior. Pockets break the flow of continuous lines. Lee sells plenty of women's pants with pockets (primarily a jeans company) but their #1 seller is one without them because they look good with the smooth lines. Purses sell to fill a need of no pockets on the perfect pretty black dress, not the other way around. There's a reason they are called accessories and you match them to the primary outfit, not the other way around.

dersebbl avatar
der sebbl
Community Member
1 year ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not to mention that the historical aspects (the stuff before 1900) are plain wrong

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Related on Bored Panda
Trending on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda