Utilitarian yet chic, functional yet stylish, SS23’s most popular trend has the style set well and truly in its pockets
There are certain things in life that make women wild with happiness. Discovering a much-loved lipstick at the bottom of an old handbag, a fully checked off to-do list and Net-a-Porter delivery notifications are just a few that spring to mind. But have you ever bought a new dress and then later discovered it has pockets? Now that’s an unrivalled level of joy. Something so simple yet effective, we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve complimented a friend on her outfit only for her to immediately chime in with: “I know, it has pockets!”. You’ll be pleased to know, then, that designers are going mad for them this season, with everyone from Miu Miu and Marant to Fendi and Chanel incorporating these statement details into everything from formalwear and workwear right through to workout gear.
“First and foremost, pockets are practical, offering an easy place to store essential items,” Sinead Cutts, style director at The Outnet tells MOJEH. “Aside from that, they are often a style addition, changing the look, feel and also the silhouette of a garment.” A huge part of the Y2K revival, the pocket trend has taken over runways in recent months, incorporated in some way or form across a number of different collections, and allowing wearers to move through the world unhindered and hands-free. “I feel it’s definitely a trend we are going to see a lot of throughout the year,” agrees Camila Liguori, senior private client stylist at Farfetch. As women, however, they aren’t something we’ve always been able to take for granted. In fact, pockets have been a subject of debate since the 17th century when, while they were prolific in menswear, women were still left with no other option but to carry their belongings around in external pouches that came fastened to a belt or the skirt itself. “Traditionally pockets were absent in womenswear to ensure a woman’s silhouette was kept streamlined without the interruption to a pocket to her shape,” explains Cutts. Thankfully, however, the same comforts are now afforded to all.
While bags may be elegant, well-designed and just generally beautiful, they are still an adornment. And that’s the great thing about pockets — they symbolise the pursuit of hands-free happiness. For SS23 in particular, the trend comes reinterpreted in the form of glam utility, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself sporting cargo pants with a crop top come summer. “The utilitarian trend has given women the freedom to wear baggier, boxier styles with multiple pockets. A fitted top or tank tucked into cargo pants achieves this look while also feeling minimal and fresh,” advises Cutts.
From Miu Miu to Sacai, Iris & Ink to Marine Serre (one of its multi-tasking coats has at least 40 pockets to its name), everyone is getting in on the act with leather jackets, miniskirts, khaki cotton coats and even tweed two-pieces coming with zipped or buttoned pouches. So popular is the trend that The Frankie Shop’s multi-pocketed Maesa Cargo pants flew out of warehouses as soon as they debuted. “The utilitarian style has never felt so chic,” continues Liguori. “All of these pockets symbolise mobility and liberty. In particular, The Frankie Shop’s pleated wide-leg cargo pants feel at once chic and relaxed. I’m also obsessed with the pockets galore seen at Sacai which represent confidence in each piece, from the reworked trench coats to the diagonal zip-belted midi skirts and cargo belted shorts.”
Over at Miu Miu we saw clothes designed to see you through a busy day, with enough pockets to stuff your keys, cards, phone and the kitchen sink in, protruding from midis, leather waistcoats and summer- friendly shorts. Also of note was Fendi’s runway which, celebrating the Baguette bag’s 25th anniversary, saw mini-baguette pockets attached to beanies, gloves and leg warmers as well as a satin cargo overall and a Tiffany blue leather utility coat. Nicolas Ghesquière threw in some statement pieces at Louis Vuitton — a grey cocoon coat with massive pockets and a supersized zip, as well as monochrome and red co-ord with overblown epaulettes — while 16Arlington modernised embellished mini-dresses with handy-sized pockets, and Diesel added no less than 12 to a very sultry pair of cargo pants.
“Then there’s the baggy jeans seen at Bottega Veneta that get my vote,” adds Cutts. “Jeans with pockets as deep as traditional menswear denim. I also love the leather zipped front waistcoat by Miu Miu which has built-in pouch style pockets that have been made a feature of the garment and are big enough not to need any bag.”
As comfort becomes a priority to more and more women around the world, are supersized pockets here for the long haul? “Definitely,” enthuses Cutts. “Pockets are a crucial design detail that add functionality and dimension to a piece of clothing. We require pieces with multi-tasking functionalities in our wardrobe due to our ever-changing lives, and long may that continue.” Hear hear.