It would come as no surprise to anyone to learn that women’s clothing is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US and Canada. What is surprising, though, is that in a market of this size not too many companies seem to be in tune with what their customers really want. We’re, of course, talking about pockets. Women have long been frustrated with the fact that, be it pants, skirts, or dresses, they’re unable to find clothes with decent size pockets. Pockets are added to women’s clothes merely as an element of fashion. Needless to say, such pockets are usually incredibly small and not of any practical use.
So, why is it that proper pockets are missing from women’s clothing? The two most common reasons given are that bigger pockets would make it difficult to create a well-fitting garment and also that this would require more material which would then add to the overall cost of production. Both are valid points. However, it is possible to find solutions to these challenges. The slew of articles written on this topic of late should ideally have prompted the clothing industry to address the problem by now. But this has not happened as yet. The demand made by women for functional pockets has by and large gone unanswered. This is not a lost cause though as more and more women are now coming together against this fashion trend. On Twitter – which is one of the many platforms they have taken to – women use the hashtag #WeWantPockets to express their disappointment at the lack of real pockets on their clothes and for raising awareness of this issue in general. However, the top women’s wear companies seem to have turned a deaf ear despite the barrage of articles on this topic.
The beginnings of the ‘pocket problem’
Research on western fashion through the ages reveals that pockets were not sewn into the clothes of either women or men during the 17th Century. By the turn of the18th Century though men’s clothes had started to sport pockets. As for women, a good place to get the whole story of the evolution of women’s clothing vis-à-vis pockets is the Victoria and Albert Museum. Their informative and interesting piece1 on, ‘A History of Pockets,’ shares the details of how, when and why pockets began to be added to women’s clothing. As per the article, in the second half of the 18th Century, women used to wear layers of clothes and the pockets were worn between the under-petticoat and the petticoat to secure their belongings from pickpocketing. By the end of the same century though women’s fashion had undergone a transformation and with the new style of clothing, it was no longer possible to carry purse-like pockets underneath the petticoat. This led to the birth of small handbags known as reticules. However, it is expected that by early the19th Century, pockets had finally begun to appear as a feature of women’s clothing similar to that of men’s clothing. A little later, in the 20th Century, fashion changed once again and this time it dictated that smaller pockets be designed on women’s clothing so that the form of their bodies could be outlined better.
Present-day pocket designs
Sadly, the last few decades have not seen a change in this form-fitting pocket design trend that limits the utility of pockets in women’s wear. A lot of women find this type of fashion to be regressive. The gender politics2 behind it have been discussed by a few while others have gone as far as to call it sexist. In 1881, the Rational Dress Society was formed in London by a few women who believed that women had the right to dress in a manner that allowed them the “freedom of movement.” They were against any fashions that posed a risk to their health such as corsets and high heel shoes. They were in favour of clothes that provided, “grace and beauty combined with comfort and convenience.” Today, we can proudly say that this objective has been achieved to a great extent and that we now have access to clothes that are both beautiful and comfortable to wear. If you want to wear high heels for an occasion or even otherwise you may but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a variety of fabulous low heel shoes, flats, sneakers, boots and other footwear to choose from. The point being made here is that the choice is yours to make. This is the result of the work done by women reformers who stood up to unhealthy and limiting fashion trends during different eras. We have definitely benefited from the measures taken by those who came before us. And now it is time for us to take steps that will improve the clothing scenario for women furthermore by making ‘convenience’ an important feature of fashion. Nothing says convenience better than usable pockets. This year, let’s come together to influence the apparel industry to make clothes with pockets that have enough space to conveniently fit phones, keys and other such necessities.
The future is here
Women are have sent out a clear message: they will not accept unfair treatment meted out to them in any form based on their gender. They believe that men’s clothing gives them an advantage over women. Big pockets allow men to carry many more items than women might sans a purse or a handbag. This makes it possible for them to move about easily. Women do not have this choice hence feel inconvenienced on a daily basis. This bias that they face from the fashion industry has motivated us, at Clementine Jeans Company, to think differently so we can create pocket designs that serve women better. Yes, this is something that is now on offer — women’s clothing with usable pockets.
Taking a leaf from the tech industry in which Innovation plays a crucial role in delivering a product that offers both a good aesthetic value and a better user experience we too have applied the principles of innovation to create a jeans line with effective pockets. Each pair of our jeans has pockets that are deep enough and wide enough to easily accommodate many basic items. That’s right, even an iPhone 8 plus!
Who we are
Clementine Jeans Company is the brainchild of Sebastien Bouffard and Ian Hansen. We are both based in Canada. We came up with the idea of creating a jeans line with effective pockets when we chanced upon some articles on the difference between the pockets of women’s and men’s jeans on multiple social networking websites. Our first response was disbelief. We couldn’t understand why this was even a ‘thing’. Then, after talking to the women in our family and friends circle, we realised this was indeed a problem women faced in regards to their clothing. This got us wondering if there was something we could do to change this trend. After spending considerable time and effort on research and planning, we have designed a line of jeans with the type of pockets that we believe will finally solve this problem.
What drives us
We are passionate about creating a business that in its own small way can contribute to promoting gender equality. Our aim is to create a ripple in the fashion industry by designing jeans with pockets that allow women to carry their personal belongings such as their smartphones, ID cards, car keys, credit cards and similar stuff. By doing this, we hope to set the stage for creating different women’s garments like skirts, dresses, jackets, pants, gowns and more with working pockets. We both come from a marketing background and are aware that the best advertising is done by a satisfied customer hence our aim is to provide impressive style, genuine efficacy and good quality with each pair of Clementine Jeans. We have collaborated with some really talented designers to present our customers with a jeans collection that has functional pockets and is also super trendy.
What you can expect from us
At Clementine Jeans Company, we are committed to creating jeans with pockets that are of practical use. Our focus is on designing jeans that all women can feel and look good in. The quality of denim we use for our jeans line is of the highest standards. We keenly follow the latest fads so with our contemporary jeans designs you can be sure to be on trend.
- Functional pockets
- A good fit
- Premium quality denim
- Latest trends and styles
- Designs that are flattering for different body types
- Excellent customer service
1 Victoria and Albert Museum, The world’s leading museum of art and design, ’A History of Pockets’, 2016, http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/history-of-pockets/, (accessed 9 March 2018).
2 Tanya Basu, ‘The Gender Politics of Pockets’, The Atlantic, 30 September 2014, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/the-gender-politics-of-pockets/380935/, (accessed 5 March 2018).
3 Rachel Lubitz, ‘The Weird, Complicated, Sexist History of Pockets’, Mic, 19 February 2016, https://mic.com/articles/133948/the-weird-complicated-sexist-history-of-pockets#.EvYusAVzM, (accessed 3 March 2018).
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Link to our kickstarter