Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Today, a minor exercise in venting, over-the-top opinionation, with a bit of history on the side.

This is a photo of me this morning, about to head out to the wilds of Costco:

sure, that fits.

Yes, that’s my phone, perched precariously in my woefully inadequate pocket. (And off screen, Mr. Man is laughing at the mismatch between the two.)

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Dear fashion industry: Pockets matter. 

You know this. Jeans for men have perfectly adequate pockets. Mr Man carries a wallet, pass, and iPhone 12XS Max in his pockets just fine. And don’t get me started on the differences between men’s and women’s suit jackets. There was a reason I borrowed my father’s suit jacket as a teenager. (Ok, the fabric shifted between green and bronze and cool doesn’t even begin to describe it, but yeah, also functional outside pockets and actual inside pockets. So many pockets!)

I could carry my phone in my back pocket. It still sticks out, but would stay in place just long enough for me to walk at a more-than-geriatric pace and break the thing. And purses? I find purses deeply annoying, not least because I know for a fact that they are often a solution to a problem that doesn’t need to exist.

There is a time and place for bags. For example, I spent two weeks traveling through Latin America with a backpack, and took a portable bag for my round-the-world tour. And if I had kids, I’d definitely rock a backpack. That’s what bags are for! For all else, pockets.

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Now, there can be downsides to keeping things in your pockets. Mr Man has sent more than one USB key through the laundry, and you can bet this woman will never keep anything important in her pockets ever again:

Lottery jackpot ‘winner’ says she destroyed $26m ticket in laundry wash

Still. In case of emergency or just plain forgetfulness, I want everything critical with me at all times. No “Where’s my phone, I need it to find my AirTag-enabled wallet.” No “Goodness, where did I put that handbag with all my cards and cash?” while the flames encroach. No “Wait, a zombie apocalypse? Like, now now?”

No, thank you.

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I’m hardly the first to make this observation (and this isn’t the first time, either), but sadly, I doubt I’ll be the last. More reading on the long and sexist history of pockets, because it’s good to show your work:

When it comes to women’s pockets, size really does matter

The Bewildering and Sexist History of Women’s Pockets

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On the plus side, women no longer have to climb mountains in a corset and skirt!

Lucy Smith and Pauline Ranken of the Ladies’ Scottish Climbing Club climbing the Salisbury Crags in 1908.

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Progress, it can be made!

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Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

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My new crush: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

What: Australian TV series set in the 1920s, featuring a murder-solving “Lady Detective”… which doesn’t really capture it at all:)

Where: Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix (and elsewhere, including my public library, but Netflix works for me). Season 3 recently aired on Australia’s ABC TV.

Why? Because Reasons!

  • The series is based on the books by Kerry Greenwood, and because each episode (at least those I’ve seen to date) is based on its own book, the plot and character arcs tend to be layered and complex.
  • It features a woman (played by the fabulous Essie Davis, interviewed about the series on NPR) who is not afraid of action, bucking authority, family planning, sex, crossing racial or class boundaries, believes whole-heartedly in nonjudgmental good works, tolerance, and enjoying the hell out of life.
  • Great mix of characters and story lines, plus incisive social commentary incorporated in an interesting way.
  • I’ve seen the series described as “competence porn” and while I think the lead character could benefit from a few lessons on how to hang on to one’s pistol and the downsides of scaling buildings in heels, I’d have to agree. She always solves the case, rescues herself and everyone else, and gets the gun back. Also, her skills with a grappling hook are impressive.
  • The clothing gets talked up a lot in reviews of the show and while I’m not a fashion devotee, it’s true, the outfits provide a beautiful and fascinating glimpse into Jazz-age apparel. In this article at The Australian, designer Marion Boyce discusses the process of outfitting the series. Fun fact: Instead of using vintage items, most of the costumes were made for the show, in part because modern humans are differently proportioned than they were even a hundred years ago.
  • Insanely catchy theme song🙂


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The Gender Politics of Pockets by Tanya Basu.

Conditions are ripe for a revolution in pockets for women…

Go ahead and laugh if you like, but if you do I will argue that (imho) you are probably male. In my experience men often don’t realize that women’s pockets can be a total sham. This is why I liberated my father’s 1960s suit from the back of his closet in my teenage years (well, that and my flings with Vespas and British ska). This is why I adore the idea of Saint Harridan‘s suits for women (inside pockets ftw, people!). This is why I spent a not-insignificant amount at my local tailor to have the front pockets in my new jeans boosted to adult size. Yes, I do want to carry more than a tube of lip gloss in there. Crazy talk, I know!

I don’t use a purse.* You wouldn’t either if you spent as much time as I do thinking about disasters and alien invasions and the zombie apocalypse. When that sort of thing happens you just have to run, you know? Can’t be stopping to find your designer bag. And then what? You’re out in the forest with no phone or money or credit cards or keys or hair band (don’t even get me started on women and hair in action movies**). If I must carry larger items I go for the backpack. (And yes, I two-strap it:)

Addendum: For those of you who want more on the long history (and sad demise) of women’s pockets, check out this useful Marketplace article on the subject: Why women’s pockets are useless: A history. Thanks to my mother, who remembers having similar thoughts 40 years ago, for the link.

* I find them a hassle, easy to forget in inconvenient places, tough on the shoulders, and prone to removal by passing ne’er-do-wells. Although I do like saying “ne’er-do-wells.”
** I’ll just mention that when Sarah Connor tied back her hair in Terminator 2, I cheered. Honestly, have these people never tried to fire a rifle on a windy day with long hair? Not recommended.

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