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17th Jun 2024

People are just realising what the little pockets in jeans are for


Mind. Blown

Have you ever noticed the tiny little pocket within the actual pocket of your jeans?

You know the thing that frustratingly gets in the way if you’re putting your hand into your pocket? Ever wondered what it’s for?

If we were left to guess, we might concluded that it’s where people stash their pennies. That’s incorrect, though.

If we were to take a pick in the dark for a guess, we might say it’s where people might stash their lighter, or where some folk might choose to hide their weed. We were wrong.

All this time, it was for a tiny watch. Not coins (Picture: Getty Images)

Well, apparently the reason for it dates back to the 1800s. It’s said that it was a ‘watch pocket’, used by cowboys.

No seriously, the original designs for jeans had four pockets, one in the back, two main ones in the front and then the little watch pocket.

The watch would be fastened to the belt loop and then tucked inside the mini pocket to be accessed easily.

On 20 May, 1873, Levi Strauss and J.W. Davis (of Levi Jeans’ patented ‘Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings’. A few years later, in 1890, the tiny pockets were stitched into Levi’s ‘waist overall’ jeans, and they had a common purpose – carrying pocket watches.

Levi Strauss & Co’s very own historian Tracey Panek explained the history to Insider, revealing the purpose for the pocket.

“The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives (from 1879) includes the watch pocket. Our 19th century overalls had a single back pocket on right side of the pant beneath the leather patch.”

The pocket didn’t feature on suit trousers because pocket watches would have been relocated to the inside of a jacket on such formal occasions.

Nowadays, though, pocket watches are worn more as a fashion statement, with watches fasted to our wrists usually ensuring they don’t take up any space in our clothing, but the pocket remains today due to sentiment with regards to WWII.

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