Are Pockets The New Fashion Frontier In Gender Equality?

It’s ever since that drama over the iPhone 6 not fitting in your pocket


by Zing Tsjeng |
Published on

Forget Karl Lagerfeld’s feminist protest at Chanel, there’s a gender equality revolution quietly in brewing in fashion – and it’s quite literally sewn into our trousers. I’m talking about pockets.

When Apple came out with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this month, many people quickly realised that there was no way the bigger models would fit into some jeans pockets. And that those jeans pockets, more often than not, belonged to women. As one Twitter user put it, ‘I saw the iPhone 6 Plus in person and the girl said she had to buy a special purse for it cause it doesn’t fit in her pocket.’

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‘I love that men are complaining that the iPhone 6 doesn’t fit in their pocket,’ wrote another Twitter user. ‘Like welcome to the perpetual struggle game of women’s fashion.’

In the spirit of scientific enquiry, I borrowed a colleague’s iPhone 6 Plus and spent 15 awkward minutes trying to ram it into the pocket of my black skinnies. No dice. No matter what I did, it still stuck out by a thief-friendly inch. You can see just how ridic the iPhone-stuffing situation is for girls in this Vine from Mashable.

You could blame Apple for engineering women unfriendly products, but, then again, according to statistics released in August, the company is made up of 80% men.

Magazines like Atlantic are choosing to point the finger at fashion companies instead. Why are they cheating women out of pockets that – let’s face it – would probably make our lives a hell out of a lot easier? But with super-sized products like the iPhone 6 selling out in a matter of hours, clothes brands are forced to play catch-up with technology. As writer Tanya Basu declares, ‘Conditions are ripe for a revolution in pockets for women.’

Sure, this might sound like first world problems of the ‘tsk, my shiny smartphone won’t fit into my decorative ladypocket’ variety. But women’s fashion shouldn’t just be beautiful – it should also serve a function. Not least the function of making sure your phone and/or keys don’t fall out of your back pocket and into the loo when you’re doing a wee.

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Early signs are encouraging. Uniqlo told Quartz, ‘We are having conversations currently with the product development team regarding technology overall, and how our clothes can provide compatibility from a user perspective. Jean pockets is one of those conversations.’

Meanwhile, American Eagle say that they are re-evaluating womenswear in light of the new iPhone 6, and J. Crew are considering introducing special interior pockets to accommodate bigger phones.

Is it depressing that people had to develop literal separation anxiety from their phones before fashion brands realised that more pockets for women might be a good idea? Maybe. But I’m not complaining if this means that I never have to deal with another pair of trousers with deceptive fake pockets again.

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Follow Zing on Twitter @misszing

Picture: Ada Hamza

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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