Dangerous Coats


From left to right: Coats from the 1910's; 1920's Winter Coats; 1925 Sears catalog

The importance of "common sense, fairness, kindness, equality" and deep pockets!

As someone who creates custom coats, I take pride in my generous pockets; both on the exterior and interior of my coats. I personally love to plunge my hands deep into my coat pockets where I hide all sorts of practical (and sometimes, not so practical) items. But women's coats with cavernous pockets have not been the norm throughout history. There's been an inequality in the size of women's pockets for centuries. My mother in-law started me on this train of thought. She was going through an ancient chest in the attic which stored clothing from either her mother or grandmother. There were old petticoats, velvet hats, fox stoles (with head, tail and all!) and a sheared fur coat with an asymmetrical front kick flounce. To my best guess, the coat dates back to the late 1910's or early 1920's. I was fascinated by it and gave it a close inspection. One the most amusing details was this little tiny pocket in the inner right side of the lining. It appeared to be an after thought.

Then my friend Lisa posted the delightful poem, Dangerous Coats by Sharon Owens on Facebook and I decided to dust off my keyboard and resume my Fashion Fridays. Motivated by the powerful speech by Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , describing how the act of dismissing of women is common place and deeply rooted in our culture, I'm choosing to do a series on how sexism and politics has effected women's fashion in both the past and present. Some of it will be fun, some of it will be historical and some of it will be a little disturbing. Let me know if you have any topics that you'd like me to touch on. Below are some pockets from my own creations that show I put my money where my mouth is... or at least within easy reach in my pockets. Next Fashion Friday, I'll go into more details about the history of pockets. I hope everyone is staying safe and sane in these most unusual times and may we all be reminded of the importance of "common sense, fairness, kindness, equality" and deep pockets! denise PS: The framed image on the right of the poem is a print that I found in a thrift shop when I was a design student and it's been hanging above my sewing machines for decades. I can just feel the yummy velvet of the red and blue coat.

Details of the generous interior pockets in the coat I created for my friend and client, Ellen, this past winter.

My cavernous pockets know no gender. The left, shows the interior pockets and the right shows the exterior pockets of a men's faux suede duster I designed this Spring.

One of my own coats. (Did I ever mention that I'm of the belief that every woman should have a coat in her favorite color). This is the coat I was describing when I said how I love to plunge my hands into my pockets. I always put a spacious interior pocket on both sides of my coats.... unless requested otherwise... but who wouldn't want two pockets!!?

Just in case you missed the seditious leaflet I was carrying in my pocket.

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It's been said....

“There's more to clothing than just adornment.

It does more than merely change

how the world perceives us.

It changes how we perceive ourselves.”
 

― Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Kiss

​"One should either be a work of art,

or wear a work of art"
 

― Oscar Wilde

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