A pocket is, at its core, an object of function. According to the MacMillan Dictionary, it is nothing more than “a small bag that forms part of a piece of clothing and is used for holding small objects.”
Ever since the 1300’s (which Dictionary.com traces the origin of the word ‘pocket’ to) the pocket has remained a humble, hardworking and largely concealed feature of clothing.
But then fashion got a hold of them. And the pocket became humble no more.
This fashion-evolution (fash-o-lution?) of the pocket has been happening incrementally; streetwear designers like Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh have been experimenting with the pocket for years – they’ve enlarged it, made it three dimensional and placed it in unconventional places.
But like most things in fashion, this funky pocket trend was incremental until it wasn’t. And from where I sit, it seems as if SS20 was the season where it all came to a head; multiple of the most directional designers took the pocket and said, let’s play with this.
At Fendi, the outerwear fluttered and flapped as it glided by – on each jacket, layer upon layer of large square patch pockets transformed anoraks and trench coats into luxurious items that render carry-on luggage redundant.
With these deep compartments, you could get away with packing three times the Jetstar baggage allowance. Now, how good’s that?!
Elsewhere, patch pockets at Jil Sander were stitched on big block colour shirts. The contrasting materials and colours of the shirts made these otherwise simple pieces look very chic and intriguing. The fact they were buttoned right up to the Adam’s apple – in direct opposition to spring’s other dominant shirting trend – also added a puff of sophistication.
At Marni, Francesco Risso appeared to be having one helluva pocket party, stitching them to workman’s jackets that looked as if a drunken apprentice painter had taken to them with a wayward brush – in the best way.
But you don’t have to get as zany as Rissi or as flappable as Fendi when upsizing your own pocket game. A plain shirt with enlarged or statement pockets is a great place to start – and vintage shops specialising in workwear are excellent places to stumble upon them.
One piece of trend-related advice: keep your pockets symmetrical. A lone shirt pocket and you’ll risk looking too preppy. Two matching ones, however, and you’re bang on trend.