And it has pockets!

December 7, 2019


I attended a charity group’s Christmas party last year where most of us were strangers. Even though we were all Southern women, and therefore had never met a stranger, conversation was still unexplainably stiff and formal, and there was an awkward silence in the room. But within a few minutes, I uttered the magic words that brought out the chatterbox in us all.  

After someone kindly complimented my skirt, I replied, “Thank you . . .  and it has pockets.” 

From the immediate gasp and uproar, you’d think I’d said, “thank you . . . and Jesus made it himself.” 

Eyes suddenly sparkled, Ladies jumped from their chairs, hand motions were rapid, and the room exploded with animated conversation. Eggnog sloshed into tiny glass punch cups and someone hummed Christmas carols. It turned into the best Christmas party of the season. 

There’s always great excitement and commentary when we reveal our skirts or dresses have real pockets that can actually hold a phone, hankie, Tic-Tacs or our Talbot’s card. 

Lucy Van Pelt told Charlie Brown he was insecure because he always drew pictures of people with their hands in their pockets. “No,” he explained, “I just can’t draw hands.” Shoving our hands down in our skirt pockets to keep them warm doesn’t make us feel insecure, but actually gives us a feeling of power. With pockets, we are organized, focused and ready for action. We aren’t weighed down with excess, because our keys, compact, and a little snack are all we need to conquer the world. 

Those who graduated from top-tiered Southern charm-schools, as well as those who took the online course from Miss Felicity Faith’s School of Makeup Motors and Manners, all know the #1 rule of fashion etiquette, which states that if someone compliments your outfit and it has pockets, you are required to reveal them.  It isn’t considered bragging, but more of a public service announcement.  

“My cousin had pockets sewn into her wedding dress!” said one lady with a sparkly Christmas tree brooch (correctly pinned to her left shoulder). “I’ve had a dress for 14 years that I refuse to get rid of because it has such great pockets” said an older woman. A cute young mother said her little girl called pockets “cookie holes” and we all agreed she was raising a brilliant child. 

There’s always one nay-sayer who points out that adding pockets to clothing makes us look chubby and lumpy.  It’s the great trade-off of the modern world. Smoothness vs. convenience. Do we want to look svelte and aerodynamic, or do we want a place to put our keys, therefore enabling us to stroll around pocketbook-free? Not having a purse tugging on our arm is liberating.  We suddenly feel like Maria Von Trapp and are prone to twirl around and sing, with or without a mountaintop. 

In addition to our modern gadgets like phones, our pockets can also stash the basics of a hankie or lipstick — wouldn’t it be nice to have our mother’s little Avon sample lipsticks from years ago? The perfect pocket accessory! 

Holiday Hostesses need not fret over games like Dirty-Santa, Sneaky-Santa, Pin-the-Babe-in-the-Manger, Elf Charades or other reindeer games. All they need for a successful, lively party is a skirt with cookie-holes. 

This story first appeared on and in the Mobile Press-Register, Birmingham News and Huntsville Times.

Leave a Reply

  1. Oh girl…you are so right about pockets!!! Mother and I are constantly lamenting about the lack of pockets these days. Even patterns to sew often come without pockets these days. Fortunately I have a pocket pattern tucked away and know how to put one in to make things all better. A skill that apparently is lost these days.

    1. So right you are! Where’s a good home-ec class when you need one? (Everyone please check out Sandy’s blog – “I majored in home-ec” click on her name). I can sew — so-so, but pocket were never explained to me or else I’d insert them into every outfit I have!
      Thanks Sandy!

  2. Oh, Yes!!! I still remember my Kate Greenaway dresses with the hidden pockets I wore as a child. The hidden pockets were my little secret stash!

  3. My goodness yes, we need pockets. When I’m expecting a call I put on one of my aprons with pockets to whole my cell phone. It goes with me inside and out.
    Just love the old vintage dress patterns.
    Some organization should have a fashion show with vintage dresses and and of course vintage aprons.. Lovely if everyone attended dress the part. What fun.

  4. I have a friend up north who endeared herself to her granddaughters as the grandma who sewed pockets into all of their jeans. Modern jeans just have those little worthless pockets about 1/2″ deep. She is truly a prize beyond rubies….

  5. I read it costs something like an extra 2 cents to put pockets in a pair of slacks. Puh-Leeze, I will gladly pay it! We ladies laugh at men wearing cargo shorts (with black socks, of course), but they have places to stow everything…keys, Raybans, hunting knives, chewing tobacco, dog whistles, and parts to the kitchen sink! One day children will ask “what are pockets?”.

    1. I had a pair of cargo pants once (ashamed face) and they were so convenient, however, they kept getting snagged on the kitchen cabinet knobs when I’d whisk around the kitchen. It was a horrible trap of a mess. 2 cents? I’ll pay double.

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