After being apart for 9 years, I had finally received a visit from a dear childhood friend of mine. The last time I saw him, he was still a hyperactive 12 year old running around the pool spraying people around with his water-gun. His sister was then, still in diapers and his voice had still not matured yet. Funny how things can change in 9 years…he came in with his well tailored coat, turtleneck pull and what obviously seamed like a very mature manly voice. He is a grown man! After catching up on all the interesting adventures we had done these years, I decided to take him to the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, as I learned his fascinating love for history and castles. Upon our arrival, he pulls out his large rectangular passport holder, which he had hidden in the inner pocket of his coat and asked me if could keep it in my bag for him, since it was quite warm inside the castle.
We then went through with the tour , which was by the way surprisingly very short and then went for some shopping afterwards. However, I was still focused on that large rectangular passport holder, it really got my attention and it wasn’t until the next day that I realized why. My friend was packing back his bags to fly back to Paris and then he pulled this holder again and put inside the coat again. It was at this exact moment when I realized why I was thinking about this holder all this time. I told him: “I am so jealous of menswear, I always wanted to keep my important documents inside my jackets or my blazers” he answers back with a surprise on his face “you don’t have that for women?! that is so sexist, it’s like you wouldn’t have anything important to carry, the man carries it for her”. It was a bit funny and striking to receive that statement from a man. Is my friend right?
At first, I doubted his statement because I work in the fashion industry myself and know and I cannot deny how much designers and brands have developed their products to fit and please the needs of a modern independent women. I will neither deny the advantage that women possess by carrying a hand bag and the different varieties that come along with it. Women all over the world are quite happy about having an accessory designated to them, as if carrying a designer hand bag or any kind of it is a privilege that most men do not possess. But we all know that achieving equality does not mean pushing for privileges that others do not possess.
The idea of a coat being sexist might seem a little far fetch or maybe even unbalanced. Sure, women have purses and having inside pockets might not be what every women needs but it would be darn nice to be offered the equal option of having an inside pocket, just as men are now offered the option of carrying hand bags as well.
At a young age – as I was transitioning from girl to teenager – I never felt the need to carry a bag, I was often commuting with my family, I had little use for important documents and all what I really carried on with me was my cellphone, some keys and so money, things that would occasionally fit in my trousers’ pockets, when that wouldn’t work I would give it to my mom or dad. It was when I started going out with friends that I felt the need to carry a purse that hides all my personal and important documents. I was however never a fan of the purse; you cannot dance with it, you are always obliged to keep an eye on it, it is not practical (no matter how well designed it is) and it always dictates what you should wear and what you can do, more importantly I never actually felt that my belongings were safe inside a purse. I always wanted to put my important documents inside my jackets (or blazers) and not worry about being robbed or having to loose or forget my purse somewhere with my wallet and documents inside.
There are simply no jackets for women with inside pockets, as if they were designed with the previous notion that women do not have important documents to carry around. This might have been the case in the 50s but if human rights have evolved, if kinder fingers have evolved, tailoring can do too. I would like to enjoy the freedom and flexibly a man enjoys and not be attached and so dependent on that accessory. The notion of pockets being sexist is not very new to the industry, most labels purposely design small pockets on pants (or even worse: fake pockets) to make a woman’s figure look thinner. Some also hesitate to include this option into their design because it brings in economical challenges that the industry is not quite willing to handle. Including inside pockets might very much be a non-profitable luxury. Who would want to take that initiative?
Sexist or not, profitable or not, I, like many other women would like to start seeing inside pockets!