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Why do jeans have a small pocket: who came up with it

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Fashion historians attribute the invention of the watch pocket to Levi Strauss himself

Jeans are one of the most versatile items in a modern person's wardrobe, with bold styles for fashion-forward individuals and classic models for conservatives. However, a puzzling detail is present in almost all of them—a tiny pocket on the front of the waist.

Where did it come from, and what is its purpose? OBOZREVATEL investigated the matter, exploring at least three versions. The pocket first appeared on jeans in 1873, at the dawn of this wardrobe item, sewn onto the invention of the legendary Levi Strauss himself.

Version one - a watch

Fashion historians suggest that Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis added this patch to jeans to conveniently carry a pocket watch on a chain. The pocket's size was slightly larger than in modern models. In men's suits, watches were worn in the jacket, but work clothes did not allow for this, so the inventors of jeans solved this issue in this way. They also reinforced the watch pocket with metal rivets for strength and durability.

Version two - a useful little thing

As jeans were originally designed as work clothes, wearers needed to have various small items on hand. Carpenters might carry nails, miners could hold rock samples, and gold miners needed a place for small nuggets. Tailors created this pocket for such practical purposes.

Version three - a lighter

This version is associated with cowboys. Ranchers in the American West often smoked cigarettes, necessitating a lighter throughout the day. They started using this pocket to keep it at hand and easily accessible.

And what about now?

Modern jeans typically feature more functional pockets, a couple in the front and a couple in the back. The small watch pocket has become more of a nod to tradition. While it can still hold small items like coins, it largely remains a decorative element.

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