Trading in the pantsuits of Hillary Clinton for the tight - and often pocketless - dresses of Melania and Ivanka Trump is a loss for both politics and fashion. Pockets have always been a feminist question: fashion historian Barbara Burman writes in “Pockets of History: The Secret Life of an Everyday Object” that pockets went out of fashion in the 18th and 19th century because functionality was not seen as a feminine trait. Not having to lug anything around was seen a sign of wealth, while it was considered inappropriate for women to carry money. The limited access that women had to money and property was literally translated to not having any pockets to keep one’s properties in. It was only when more women entered the workforce after the World War II that the pocket reappeared in women’s fashion.
The release of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus reignited the pocket debate among female consumers: why is it still so hard to find women’s wear with pockets big enough to carry cellphones? According to some, it’s because pockets are often placed around the hip, which is an area that few women want to emphasize. According to others, it’s because designers primarily consider how a design looks instead of how it works in daily life. Luckily, this Spring/Summer season offers many options. Designers like Givenchy, Jil Sander, and Fendi produced looks with pockets that could fit a small iPad. Marni went a step further: it presented gigantic hip-bags that remind me of why the term Man Repeller was ever invented. There hasn’t been a better time for the pocket’s comeback than right now: America might not have a female president, but at least we can all carry our own feminist statements in our pockets.