It’s a struggle. You find the ideal dress - It’s the perfect cut and colour and then, you suddenly notice it's missing the most important detail - Pockets!
Pockets – the single most important feature of clothes and one that is still overlooked and left out of women's clothes normally for ridiculous reasons.
Let's not mess around here either, when I say pockets I mean POCKETS. Big pockets, proper pockets that you can fit a phone and keys in.
I, in most social situations, like to do something with my hands. I'm normally feeling awkward, and I need to do something with my hands to make myself feel comfortable. I haven't been able to properly feel my hands in years (one of the joys of MS) and it makes me feel very self-conscious about what I'm doing with them.
Now, there are lots of things I can do to help this; holding a mug, twiddling a pen or checking a phone are all fine, but nothing beats hands in pockets! Particularly in a dress. Then it's a mini-power stance all of its own. The perfect way to feel protected and powerful without having to go full power stance.
Now let's also not forget the importance of being able to carry all your stuff around with you without a bag. One of the fun things about running a business, having children and something 'wrong with your brain' is that there is a lot going on and you are going to forget stuff. Might be one of the items you have in your bag, might be the whole bag! So if those important things, phone, keys, makeup (if you wear it) all are in your pockets, it drastically reduces the chance of you losing your stuff....hopefully.
If we look back to the Middle Ages. Both men and women carried little pouches that were slung from a rope, allowing them to carry any essentials around with them. Clothes also had little slits which meant that you could easily access your pouch without having to throw off yards of material. In a way, during this period men and women were equal — in terms of their rights to pockets!
Now of course, over time we realised these wee bags can be less useful and pockets are better, but we also realised that you can of course more easily control women if they need to have a bag. Sounds ridiculous, but it's true! (I won't go into details here but look it up.)
One of the reasons often used to defend the lack of pockets in women's clothes is that they would ruin the shape of the lines of the garment. Well, I'm here to tell you that is often nonsense! If you can't design a dress with pockets that looks good, then maybe the problem isn't the pockets, it's the design.
So, yesterday I was yet again honoured to have been invited to judge the fantastic "Made in Scotland award" in partnership with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) champions all aspects of transformational discoveries and developments made in Scotland, held at Glasgow Science Center.
In a room with businesses and organisations shortlisted such as Emergency One (UK) firefighting and rescue vehicles, Orbex spaceflight company dedicated to helping make the UK’s spaceflight industry more sustainable and efficient to AeroSystems, one of the biggest aerostructure manufacturers in the world and Dxcover medical technology company with a platform for early detection of cancer, so when we are talking about and celebrating such big ideas that transform peoples lives, why would you do this in a garment that doesn't make you feel comfortable and that isn't that practical.
Making the world a better place for us all can start small like with yourself, our clothes and the environments they are made in. Changing these isn't always easy but it's an important part of the process. You will often hear people talking about being the change you want to see, but I think you need to wear that change too.
Photo: Made in Scotland award 2023. Assemble LIV dress in a donated fabric from Perth with custom sleeve details using off-cuts.