A brief history of why most Indian women’s clothes don’t have pockets (and rise of handbags)..

Mostly Economics

A fascinating short piece and video on Scroll.

The difference between men and women in terms of consumption and sartorial patterns is always puzzling. The marketing industry thrives on this very idea of trying to differentiate as many items between men and women. From starting obvious things like clothes now we have cornflakes, milk drinks etc which are sold seperately for women.

Within clothes, one puzzle always is why women clothes do not have pockets?

The lack of pockets in women’s clothing has been a universal concern for decades.

“Women have from time to time carried bags, sometimes sewn in, sometimes tied on, sometimes brandished in the hand, but a bag is not a pocket,” wrote Charlotte P Gilman for The New York Times in 1905. “One supremacy there is in men’s clothing… its adaptation to pockets.”

Gilmann was writing at a time when pockets were stitched on to women’s clothing in…

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