Pocket Power by Voya

Not all pockets are created equal.

Pockets are not only practical, they provide grace and freedom for the wearer. Pockets keep your hands warm in the cold and serve as spaces for carrying daily essential items such as keys, lipstick, identification, and of course your phone. With the right amount of pockets that are also the right size, it may not be necessary to carry a handbag or a purse. This means a woman can walk out the door like a man: with everything required for the day stored in her pockets. However, this may be easier said than done as not all pockets are created equal.

A study by Pudding found that on average, the pockets in women's trousers are 48% shorter and 6.5% narrower compared to men's pockets. Meanwhile, many women's garments do not include functional pockets at all. Children's clothing also generally follows this trend with a marked difference between the pockets found in boy's and girl's trousers and jackets. This disparity has not gone unnoticed with gender aware celebrities like Reece Witherspoon drawing attention to "fake" and "no pockets" in women's and children's clothes and calling for #PocketsForGirls on Instagram.

So how did this pocket disparity occur? Medieval historians think that pockets emerged around 1,000 years ago. Very early examples of pockets were the same for both men and women, which were carried as external garments. However, it was around 300 years ago that the history of pockets hit a critical juncture. The 17th Century saw pockets become commonplace, externally visible, and incorporated into men's clothing, but not in women's. Instead, women's pockets remained hidden, out of sight and mind, and sewn under dresses and skirts.

It was not until the 19th Century, when women became directly involved in fashion design, that larger, external, highly visible pockets became more common in women's clothes. Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel is known for being obsessed with pockets and her iconic "French Jackets" usually featured not two, but four pockets. Chanel wanted women to emanate elegance while also allowing them to move freely without restriction.

The timeless Chanel suit was in direct contrast to the restrictive and high waisted lines of Dior that were common at the time. Coco is known to have commented that "Dior doesn't dress women, he upholsters them."

With increasing awareness and appetite for equality in fashion, pockets in women's clothing are shifting from being a luxury to a necessity of daily life. However, this is an evolution in progress. It may be possible that some, or many, of the trousers, jackets, and dresses currently in your wardrobe don't include pockets that are functional and large enough to be of practical use. If this is the case, no need to despair. With the new Aura Linen Belt by Voya, you can easily add four graceful and useful pockets to any outfit. Like a utility belt, it can be comfortably and easily tied around the waist. The Aura Linen Belt means that the power, freedom, function, and elegance of pockets are now available for women at any time, with any outfit. A wonderful feeling.