06 September 2013

Suggestive Pockets

His and Her Pockets

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland (1915) 

I see that I have not remarked that these women had pockets in surprising number and variety. They were in all their garments, and the middle one in particular was shingled with them. So we stocked up with nuts till we bulged like Prussian privates in marching order, drank all we could hold, and retired for the day.


   We had become well used to the clothes. They were quite as comfortable as our own -- in some ways more so -- and undeniably better looking. As to pockets, they left nothing to be desired. That second garment was fairly quilted with pockets. They were most ingeniously arranged, so as to be convenient to the hand and not inconvenient to the body, and were so placed as at once to strengthen the garment and add decorative lines of stitching.
   In this, as in so many other points we had now to observe, there was shown the action of a practical intelligence, coupled with fine artistic feeling, and, apparently, untrammeled by any injurious influences.

Herman Melville, White Jacket; or The World in a Man of War (1850)

Now, in sketching the preliminary plan, and laying out the foundation of that memorable white jacket of mine, I had had an earnest eye to all these inconveniences, and re-solved to avoid them. I proposed, that not only should my jacket keep me warm, but that it should also be so constructed as to contain a shirt or two, a pair of trowsers, and divers knick-knacks—sewing utensils, books, biscuits, and the like. With this object, I had accordingly provided it with a great variety of pockets, pantries, clothes-presses, and cupboards.
The principal apartments, two in number, were placed in the skirts, with a wide, hospitable entrance from the inside; two more, of smaller capacity, were planted in each breast, with folding-doors communicating, so that in case of emergency, to accommodate any bulky articles, the two pockets in each breast could be thrown into one. There were, also, several unseen recesses behind the arras; insomuch, that my jacket, like an old castle, was full of winding stairs, and mysterious closets, crypts, and cabinets; and like a confidential writing-desk, abounded in snug little out-of-the-way lairs and hiding-places, for the storage of valuables.
Superadded to these, were four capacious pockets on the outside; one pair to slip books into when suddenly startled from my studies to the main-royal-yard; and the other pair, for permanent mittens, to thrust my hands into of a cold night-watch. This last contrivance was regarded as needless by one of my top-mates, who showed me a pattern for sea-mittens, which he said was much better than mine.


No wonder, that lured by some crimp into a service so galling, and, perhaps, persecuted by a vindictive lieutenant, some repentant sailors have actually jumped into the sea to escape from their fate, or set themselves adrift on the wide ocean on the gratings without compass or rudder.
In one case, a young man, after being nearly cut into dog's meat at the gangway, loaded his pockets with shot and walked overboard.


  1. Learned a new word today... "superadded".

    From REI's description of Sahra cargo shorts...

    Whether you're on a dusty trail in the mountains or boarding a plane for an overseas journey, the lightweight REI Sahara Cargo shorts offer the fit and features to keep you happy.

    Lightweight nylon fabric dries quickly and resists pilling, and is easy to pack away in a backpack
    With a UPF 50+ rating, fabric provides excellent protection against harmful ultraviolet rays
    Fabric is treated with a Durable Water Repellent? finish to repel moisture and stains
    Pleated cargo pockets with rip-and-stick? flap closures offer ample space for trail and travel items; a zippered pocket on the left side secures essentials
    2 front hand pockets (1 has an inner coin pocket), 1 rear zippered pocket and 1 rear rip-and-stick? pocket provide additional storage
    Gusseted crotch? facilitates freedom of movement for increased comfort
    Included webbing belt can be completely removed and worn with other pants
    Elastic waist helps secure the fit; waist features a snap and a zippered fly
    The REI Sahara Cargo shorts have a relaxed fit