Garments with pockets can create an unflattering shape says Carmel Personal Shopper Beth DivinePockets are one of those extras that often surfaces in my work as a Carmel Personal Shopper for both men and women.  It’s interesting, isn’t it? Vanessa Friedman, in her NYT column, “Here to Help”, recently wrote about pockets. A reader wrote in and said many of her athleisure pants (joggers etc,) did not have pockets. She couldn’t believe it. I truly sympathize. A few weeks ago we found a race out of town. I hurriedly packed my suitcase for the night and my running clothes for the race. Very early the next morning as I put my t-shirt and joggers on I discovered the pants did not have a pocket. Not even a tiny pocket hidden in the waistband. We ended up hiding the keys under our car.

So, I understand. Pockets are important.

Carmel Personal Shopper Knows Women Want More Pockets

Another unusual place people want pockets is in a wedding dress. How many times I have watched the show, “Say Yes to the Dress”, and a gal yelps with delight when she finds the roomy pockets. I am not sure what she was planning to put there!

Men often don’t relate to the pockets dilemma since pockets are nearly always included in their garments, and they always have been. According to Vanessa Friedman, pockets are rooted in history. In the 17th century, the Victoria and Albert Museum said pockets were really soft fabric pouches that everyone tied to the waist. (The New York Times, September 28, 2020, A3.) Eventually, they were sewn into men’s garments, but that trend didn’t translate to women’s garments. Eventually, women’s pockets became the purses we know today. (Thank goodness, I say!) Click Here to learn more about the history of pockets in men’s clothing.

Carmel Personal Shopper’s Principles To Consider With Pockets

Since it’s my nature as a Carmel Personal Shopper, I have to point out the cons of pockets. They can widen you and add bulk in these ways:

  • Slit pockets on the side of pants can widen hips
  • Pockets in the hipline of a sweater widen hips
  • Pockets on jeans can make the wearer look wider and larger.
  • bulky pockets add bulk
  • decorate pockets on a jacket adds pounds
  • Pullovers and hooded sweatshirts with a large pocket located in the front of this jacket could be very distracting, adding weight.

Loose The Pockets To Create A More Slimming Figure

If you love a garment but hate the pockets, run to your tailor! A tailor can sew pockets shut so they look flat and then cut them off. When you are shopping really look at pocket placement. If pockets are not in a flattering place, don’t buy the garment. Ask your Carmel Personal Shopper to help! The jacket at the left has a slit pocket that is at the lower waist,  depending on the person, it could widen the waist and hip area.

It is rare that pockets are slimming, especially if you’re using them to hold something. If you’re a woman who prefers pockets to purses, consider getting a wristlet or a small wallet with a wrist attachment. This keeps the important stuff out of your pockets and gives you an extra opportunity to accessorize your outfit.

I hope you enjoyed your discussion of pockets and embrace the right ones for your style.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI Certified Image Consultant (Indiana’s only) & Carmel Personal Shopper