A pocket is a bag- or envelope-like receptacle either fastened to or inserted in an article of clothing to hold small items. Pockets may also be attached to luggage, backpacks, and similar items. In older usage, a pocket was a separate small bag or pouch.
In European clothing pockets began by being hung like purses from a belt, which could be concealed beneath a coat or jerkin to discourage pickpocketing and reached through a slit in the outer garment.
The word appears in Middle English as pocket, and is taken from a Norman diminutive of Old French poke, pouque, modern poche, cf. pouch. The form "poke" is now only used dialectically, or in such proverbial sayings as "a pig in a poke".
"Pocket" is also a term for a sack in which hops were stored, generally with a capacity of 168–224 lb (76–102 kg).
The traditional "English" pocket is thought to descend from around 1898 when gentlemen were beginning to carry the trappings of a more metropolitan society. Items such as notebooks, watches and writing quills required a more practical solution. At first only pockets to the front of garments appeared as it was considered "bad form" to present ones belongings from behind. Considered perhaps one of the greatest inventions to ease modern life it is perhaps only rivalled by the man bag as a solution to an age old problem.
A watch pocket or fob pocket a small pocket designed to hold a pocket watch, sometimes found in men's trousers and waistcoats and in traditional blue jeans. However, due to the decline in popularity of pocket watches, these pockets are rarely used for their intended purpose.
A besom pocket is a pocket cut into a garment instead of being sewn on. These pockets often have reinforced piping along the slit of the pocket, appearing perhaps as an extra piece of fabric or stitching. Besom pockets are found on a tuxedo jacket or trousers and may be accented with a flap or button closure.
Buttoned-flap patch pocket with box pleat.
- "Historic New England: Defining the Past. Shaping the Future". Spnea.org. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "Vintage Levi's Jeans Guide - Watch Pocket". Vintage Levi's Jeans Guide. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
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- Picken, Mary Brooks (1957). The Fashion Dictionary. Funk and Wagnalls.
- "Pockets". Fashion & Jewellery Features. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to pockets.|
- BBC - h2g2 - A Very Brief History of the Pocket
- 18th Century Women's Pockets
- Pockets at the V&A
- Pockets of History