Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Given audience discussion under "Penny's Pocket Parity," I have decided to make a separate post about #pocketfail.

Pocket parity is a serious issue in sexism, because women's clothes often have no pockets or inferior ones. Rational dress was one previous rebellion that included ample pockets and other practicalities. Study results clearly show that women's pockets are smaller than men's pockets and hold fewer items.

Closely related, women's clothing often shows flimsy construction because fashion designers assume it will be worn only one season, and fast fashion is even worse. Even "clothes designed to last" are now expected to survive only 2-3 years. Many features of women's clothing -- lace, loose knits, synthetic fabrics, sequins, beads, glitter, foil print, etc. -- are especially fragile and prone to damage that requires replacing the garment.

Because bad publicity costs companies money, they dislike it. This means social media can be used to shame companies into behaving better and/or making better products.

So I'm introducing the idea of #pocketfail in hopes of discouraging bad pocket parameters and encouraging good ones.

What constitutes #pocketfail?

* Something doesn't fit in a pocket.

* Something fits into a pocket, but rips the garment.

* The pocket exists, but the cut of the garment makes it difficult or impossible to put both a body into the garment and items into the pocket at the same time, thus rendering the pocket unusable regardless of its theoretical size.

* Between feminine and masculine versions of an equivalent garment, the feminine version has smaller and/or fewer pockets.

* A garment that typically has pockets on both sides (like shorts) has a pocket on only one side, or a garment that typically has pockets on front and back (like jeans) has them only on one of those.

* Fake "fashion pockets" that don't actually open do not count as pockets at all.

* Flimsy design causes a garment to fall apart in less than six months, within which category #pocketfail concerns failures in or around a pocket, whether or not the proximate cause of damage involved trying to insert something into the pocket.

EDIT 6/23/19:
Should we also use #pocketwin?

Laura G proposes #pocketwin for garments that have good pockets.  This covers clothes with big, sturdy, abundant pockets.  Similar to the above, I suggest taking a picture of the pocket with stuff in it.  If you want to get fancy with garments like cargo pants which can carry a LOT of content, first shoot the garment loaded and then spread the stuff around it for the next photo, grouping items per pocket.

#pocketwin rewards companies for producing quality goods, and helps other pocket activists find clothes they want to buy.

What can you do about #pocketfail?

* Upon encountering a pocket failure, take a picture of it and post that to social media with the hashtag #pocketfail.

* The most crucial information to include is the brand name of the garment, along with the line name if it belongs to an identifiable collection within the brand, so other folks can avoid buying it.

* If you're posting to a blog or other venue where you can add more information, it helps to include details such as the measurements of the pocket and the thing you tried to put in it, comparison measurements of equivalent feminine vs. masculine versions, or how long you've owned it before it fell apart.

* If you have subsequently replaced the garment with one that has more, larger, and/or sturdier pockets then you may include the replacement brand/line so that other folks can find it.

* When shopping, prefer brands that produce sturdy, long-wearing clothes with adequate pockets. Know how to identify high-quality clothes.

* Watch for crowdfunding campaigns, new businesses, and other opportunities to support the launch of clothing lines which provide adequate quality and pockets.

* Link to articles about pocket parity, discussions or examples of #pocketfail, and reviews of clothes that have good pockets.

* Comment below with your thoughts about #pocketfail.
Tags: #pocketfail, #pocketwin, activism, cyberspace theory, economics, gender studies, how to
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