We surveyed Forever21 to see how many pants with pockets they sold.

There she is, staring at you from the clothes rack centerstage in all her glory. You grab her and rush to the changing room, dropping the other hangers in hand to slip into her soft fabric. Glancing at the mirror is just another affirmation – these are the perfect pants. Slim, but not too tight; flared, but not too baggy. The waist fits perfectly around the smallest part of your waist, flattering the figure. The color will make you pop out of the monochromatic New York crowds. You slip your hands into your pockets and– wait… why do your hands feel like… oh no! These pants don’t have pockets! Why is it so hard to design pants with pockets?

We all know that feeling. But this shouldn’t be a ‘thing’.

If men’s pants have pockets (and big ones!) then why don’t women’s? Some chalk it up to history, some chalk it up to men designing women’s pants. We think it’s the former, but first, let’s take a look at the (interesting, but sad) history of women’s pants with pockets.

A brief history of pants with (or without) pockets

Centuries ago, all clothing was created sans pockets. Men and women carried their belongings in small pouches tied around the waist. Then, some 400 years ago, pockets were sewn into men’s clothing, but this same feature was omitted from female garments. In the early 1800s, slimmer silhouettes came into style, so women no longer could wear pockets under clothes but had to wear them over clothes — and their pockets got much smaller. Some say it was a way to keep women powerless. If they had no way to secretly carry items around, it would be harder for them to travel independently or conduct clandestine affairs.

The push for pocket equity began in the late 1800s. The Rational Dress Society, founded in 1891, rallied women to dress for comfort and health by ditching constrictive corsets and donning comfy, useful clothing such as trousers — which, of course, featured pockets. Then, in the 1920s, fashion designer Coco Chanel began sewing them into her women’s jackets. But it wasn’t until the 1970s, when women regularly wore pants, and especially blue jeans, that females moved a step closer to pocket parity.


Yet, even with pockets in jeans, women’s fashion has never truly embraced functionality. Back pockets are great until your large phone falls out when racing through the narrow streets of Tokyo to catch your train or a pickpocket slips it out of your pocket when you’re busy hunting for the best vintage pieces at a flea market in Paris. Plus, jeans don’t work for every occasion. Worse yet, the tiny pockets in the front of your jeans that fit a lip balm if you’re lucky. And don’t get me started on fake pockets!

So, I was curious to see if women could find pants with pockets in 2019 and surveyed the pants at Forever21. The results?

Out of 12 regular styled pants (not including jeans)…

  • 8 had pockets
  • 6 had pockets that could fit an iPhone 8+ without it falling out
  • 1 had fake pockets
  • 0 had pockets with zippers to keep your essentials from falling out
Pants with fake pockets
Someone, please explain why it’s so hard to design pants with pockets

Were those results surprising to you? While the results were better than what you could expect 400 years ago, this still means a sacrifice between form + function. And in the age of female empowerment, why is this the last industry to hop on the bandwagon?

At Kezari, we surveyed 100+ female travelers and tested our pants on real female travelers to decide what the right pocket size was, zipper positioning, and more. The result? Pants with pockets so big you can fit a phone, wallet, credit cards, passport, medication, phone charger, snacks, sanitary napkins… ladies, your pockets are your oyster!

Not convinced? Read what female travelers around the world had to say about our travel pants with zippered pockets in their reviews.

That’s all for now ladies. What else upsets you about women’s fashion and travel solutions? Let us know.

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