Kate Branch

Hi. I love your stuff. Read mine-http://katebranch.blogspot.com. I like to talk about random feminist experiences too. I like to laugh! -K


Women's clothes usually have either no pockets or tiny, useless pockets because obviously the added bulk would be unsightly (oh no!), but this doesn't mean they should be made with no pockets. I think a major reason for it is to encourage the purchase of bags.


To clarify - by "added bulk" I mean the bulk of a pocket that's actually being used. Empty pockets only add a tiny trace of "bulk" only visible in skintight clothing.
With skintight jeans, I can see why pockets would be reduced or removed - of course the used pockets are more conspicuous, but they lose their practical purpose as it gets harder to fit anything in. However, even my baggy jeans and army pants don't have deep enough pockets for my wallet or phone.

h sofia

I agree that the pockets thing is a PAIN! I was just complaining about this with a girlfriend of mine the other day. Until I was 11 year old, my mother sewed almost all of my outerwear. She always put pockets in. She tends to have clothing with pockets, too. Of course, our clothing wasn't tight fitting so the pockets were far less noticeable.

I suspect the trend in fashion towards sleek and "seamless" has led away from pockets in the 21st century. Occasionally when I do find something with pockets they are ridiculously sewn - put anything more than a tic tac in there and it completely bulges and bowls over to one side or the other.

I hope I'm not too old to sew. Actually, I'm taking some of my favorite skirts to a seamstress and will have her replicate them for me!


Lands' End will do custom fitted jeans for $54.


You're too kind, HF. :) Very good post.

This line made me think:
Clearly, clothing manufacturers have an economic incentive to try to get women to buy clothes, and it's logical that part of that is making clothes that fit.

... and has inspired me to do a follow-up post. So, thanks!


Vanity, all is vanity. I see nothing wrong with clothing manufacturers making a legitimate profit. Women and men will buy clothes regardless of price.


I suspect that the use of cheap labour, aside from being hideously unethical, also causes the problem of commercially available clothes not fitting. Thanks to exploitation and of course economies of scale, it's cheaper to buy a skirt at Old Navy than the fabric, and cheaper to buy a sweater than the yarn - so tailors and dressmakers go out of business, and the big chains no longer have to compete with skilled craftspeople who make clothes that fit.

As with so many other things, to improve the situation we'll have to be prepared to pay more for good quality, ethically produced goods. I dream of having an internet tailor, who has all my measurements on file, and whom I can email "knee length skirt please, sage green, side pocket with zip".


"It seems that the difficulty in finding pants and other clothes that fit is universal among women, unless perhaps you have a boy-slender model's body."

Feel better knowing that as someone with a "boy-slender model's" (LOL!) body, I can tell you that it is just as impossible to find clothes that fit than if I were a "normal" size. I have a friend who is about my size (5'6", 125 lbs) who actually had to go shopping in the girl's department a few weeks ago because the women's department didn't have anything smaller than a 4, and today's 4 is like the 10 of 1990. And have fun being taken seriously in the workplace in an outfit designed for a 12 year old. Most clothes that I find today are cut for women with hips and thighs, and I'm afraid that cut on someone who has small hips and thighs is highly unflattering.

The stretch low rise pants phenomenon was a panacea for me. I no longer a) had to find pants that fit my waist, legs, AND hips, and b) they looked good while I stood up, yet didn't constrict uncomfortably when I sat down. Now all I have to do is find a place to buy shirts for people with long arms and wide shoulders who are not also obese. This is a challenge I fear never will be overcome.


I'm 5' 4" too, and I find that if I go to better clothing stores (Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, etc.) I have to try short length pants or petite sizes. But then, my 5' 10" sister-in-law has to let the hems out of all her pants because she can never find any long enough. Go figure.

I LOVE the editor pants at Express. If I could afford them, that's all I would wear. They come in several lengths.

Being "boy-slender" is no good when buying blouses, as they are cut for women who are more well-endowed than me. : ) I was delighted to find how much better my clothes fit in the first months of pregnancy when I added some bulk in just the right places - my chest and hips!

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