Why Don’t Women’s Clothes Have Pockets?

If you’re on any sort of social media where you can share videos, like Instagram or TikTok, you’ll have seen swathes of women creating content around the lack of pockets on women’s clothes. In fact, there are a lot of women that are boycotting the female section in clothes shops and heading straight for the guy’s department to get their clothing. 

If you are a woman, or someone who chooses to wear women’s clothing, you’ll have noticed that there are often several pockets. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll also notice that a lot of these pockets are fake. They’re either sewn in to look like pockets or have such a limited amount of space that you’d be lucky to even get half of your mobile phone in there. 

But men’s clothes are brimming with pockets. They’ve got a place to stash everything. Heck, the whole garment might as well be one giant pocket, so what gives? Why don’t women’s clothes have pockets?

Shockingly, the lack of pockets on women’s clothes is a result of a rather sexist notion. Hundreds of years ago, tailors started sewing pockets into men’s garments for practical reasons. However, if a woman had pockets, filling these with items would take away from her pretty appearance so the idea of pockets in women’s clothes never really took off.

It’s quite alarming that, even today, this idea remains the same and there are women campaigning for clothing manufacturers to take the need for pockets more seriously. Let’s take a deep dive and see what’s really to blame. 

What’s The Deal With No Pockets?

Recently, a survey took place about the size of pockets on men’s vs women’s clothes. Amazingly, the size of pockets on a woman’s garment was 48% smaller than that of a man’s. If anything, they should be bigger, right? After all, most women have a lot more to carry than men; money, keys, make-up, perfume, female hygiene products, a snack…the list goes on. 

But come on girls, we have handbags, right? So why would we need pockets? Surely, this concept is one created by a man since we all know that carrying a handbag around can be a real pain in the backside; a place where we could have a pocket!

Way back in the mid 1800s, there was a story called Lucy Locket Lost Her Pocket. But what the author talked about as a pocket wasn’t actually the type of pocket you and I might think about today. Instead, they were actually referring to a small pocket that tied around the waist; very similar to the handbags we have today. And so, as time went on, women were just expected to carry their belongings in a bag and fashion doesn’t seem to have done much to change that. 

As I mentioned earlier, if a woman has pockets, then she’s going to be weighed down with items and this could make her appear bumpy and bulky. This just wouldn’t do back in the days where women were seen as little more than pretty, dainty members of society who couldn’t possibly have a pocket full of belongings. No, this would surely ruin her appearance. Again, this might sound shocking but nobody seems to have done much about it as yet.

Tight Fit!

Right back to the 17th century, we look at fashion and can see that most women’s garments were designed to be fitted to the body. Why do you think the corset was so popular? Women’s clothes defined the figure and hugged the curves in all the right places and let’s be honest, not too much has changed. 

Yes, fashion has moved forward in many ways and there is a trend for baggy, oversized women’s clothes. But, let’s face it, when it comes to looking sexy, sophisticated and ‘attractive’ (I used the term very loosely), fashion designers always go for tight fitting, body hugging clothes. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just telling you how it is. 

But, with this tight fit, there isn’t much room for pockets. Imagine wearing a bodycon dress and having pockets on either side bulging with all your essentials items. If I’m totally honest, I can see the logic behind this. However, when it comes to things like jeans, trousers and jackets, designers really need to meet the demands of modern women. 

A good pair of jeans can be worn for all occasions, taking the kids to school, running errands, a day out with friends; the list goes on. But most of these things require a good few belongings that you don’t always want to take in a bag. Come on designers, give us the pockets we so desperately crave!

The Main Issue

For me, as a woman, the main issue here is that the reason for a lack of pockets is hugely sexist! Despite a large portion of the fashion industry being aimed at female consumers, it’s dominated by men. 

The issue could be that there are too many traditionalist guys within the industry that don’t want to veer away from the norm. Women’s pockets are only for decoration and serve no practical purpose. With this belief set in the minds of thousands of male fashion experts for such a long time, it’s going to take a lot to change it. 

But what modern women want is equality. The whole concept of decorative pockets has a very sexual undertone. Women are meant to be seen as attractive and desirable objects. It feels almost predatory! Modern women are independant, hard working and have just as much need for practical pockets as men. 

Since more and more women are crying out for pocket equality, I’m living with the hope that change is on the horizon. 


The sad truth of the matter is that women’s clothing lacks pockets because years ago, we were seen as not having the need for practical pockets. Moreover, women aren’t meant to look bulky and weighed down but should have a smooth, imperfection-free silhouette. 

I know, right! It sounds ridiculous in modern society that calls for equality for all. Sadly, there’s still a long way to go where fashion is concerned and it seems that we’re destined to be forced to carry our handbags for a little longer. 

That said, there are huge numbers of women who are campaigning for pocket equality so change might come sooner than we had thought. In the meantime, you could always buy men’s clothing but that’s not exactly a viable alternative, is it?