Let's Talk About Pockets

Let's Talk About Pockets

In one of my earliest posts, I mentioned the importance in having pockets in my ideal pair of hiking pants.

Growing up, I was exposed to purses, like many young girls. My middle school years, however, coincided with the peak of cargo pocket fashion.


Cargo pants were amazing.

I was really sad that women's pants didn't have them, though, so I often shopped in the men's section of the GAP, because the prices were reasonable compared to the quality, and the pockets were big enough to hold at least two paperback novels... each.1

By high school, I bowed to societal pressures and gave up the cargo pants.2 I was willing to embrace the backpack, but purses continued to elude me as a fashion statement. I'm simply not the type of person to obsess over purses (though I've come to appreciate why others do; you do you!).

Without cargo pants or purses, however, the pocket situation was dire. I embraced bootcut jeans in high school, but lamented the poor pocket predicament: while cell phones were rather small, not much else could fit in the tiny pockets... not even my own hands.

Now, many years later, I'm officially in my mid-30's and I have had enough of Tiny Pocket Syndrome (TPS). Literally everyone I know who has pants with TPS has the exact same complaint: WE WANT BIGGER POCKETS! AND MORE OF THEM!

Back to this year's hiking pants, I have put five pockets into my pants:

  • 2 front pockets, each large enough to hold a cell phone, keys, snacks, hands, you name it.
  • 2 back pockets, each also large enough to hold a cell phone, keys, etc. One is open, capable of holding a 12 oz bottle of water in them, should the need arise. The other has a flap to keep things from falling out, like money or keys.
  • 1 cell phone pocket, located on the right thigh. (I'm right-handed, so it makes the most sense for me.) It can hold a cell phone, snacks, keys, or... whatever.

You'll notice a theme here: all of them are at least 3 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and capable of holding more than one thing. This means that for a single (short) hike, I can carry my cell phone, keys, a bottle of water, a wallet, a granola bar, a hat, and probably a kitten or two - without the need for an extra bag!

If you're interested in learning more about the history of pockets (and the lack thereof) in women's clothing, I highly recommend reading The History of Women's Terrible Pockets by Kassondra Cloose for Outside Online.

And if you're just reading this because you're supportive of me and my pants: thank you so much! The next couple of weeks are going to be very exciting on this here blog, so stay tuned!!

1 I was - and still am - an avid reader. Middle school me would have greatly appreciated having a Kindle, lemme tell ya.

2 I also went to a boarding school, so it was okay that all my books lived in my room, no more than a 10 minute walk from anywhere on campus.

📸 Cover photo credit: Mikaela Shannon on Unsplash

This post is part of a series called 2020: The Year of the Pants. Catch all of the posts via the YOTP tag.