What pocket?
October 25, 2009 6:56 AM   Subscribe

What is this pocket called? And what is it used for?

For those that can't see the picture, the pocket I'm on about is the little pocket sitting within your righthand side jeans pocket.

I've seen it called a watch pocket, but otherwise I assumed it was just for loose change. But why have it on only jeans, or similar type trousers/pants? Why isn't it seen on more formal attire? And does it have a history; has it been around since the first invention of jeans? Does it have a specific use?

Pocket, pocket, pocket. The word no longer makes sense!
posted by Petrot to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is one of those rare birds: the genuine Ask Metafilter double. -- cortex

I clip my tape measure to it, it seemed purpose made for that, otherwise i always thought it was for change.
posted by Max Power at 6:59 AM on October 25, 2009

This Ask Yahoo! question (which references an Ask MeFi question) seems to have some suggested answers.
posted by lmm at 7:04 AM on October 25, 2009

Knew I'd seen this before.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:05 AM on October 25, 2009

The fob pocket can be found on both the trousers and the waistcoat. For keeping small valuables and well a watch safe.

I assume these are found in casual pants because it would be assumed that more formally one would be wearing a waistcoat (which has a more easily accessible pocket to the wearer). Also the pockets on formal clothes need to lie flatter than on casual.

More recently however the pocket is more likely to be found there as a convention, a nod to the past.
posted by gomichild at 7:06 AM on October 25, 2009

Which I see is the question lmm's Ask Yahoo! post references.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:07 AM on October 25, 2009

Oh, and I find that on most jeans, it's perfectly zippo-sized.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2009

I put my keys in there, since they fit snugly enough that they won't fall out, and don't jingle around or cause discomfort. I've never, ever owned a pair of jeans whose "watch pocket" I could fit a wristwatch (let alone a pocket watch!) into.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:08 AM on October 25, 2009

It is in fact called a "Watch Pocket", as it was originally intended to hold a pocket watch when jeans or dungarees were first developed in the 19th century. These pockets have shrank and enlarged in size over the years, but started out big enough to actually hold a pocket watch. Formal attire does in fact include this feature...men's dress trousers and suit jackets have small pockets sewn within the pockets. In this application, they also prevent the dress clothes from revealing bulges caused by items in one's pocket which would diminish the fashionable lines of the fabric's styling.
posted by Oireachtac at 8:31 AM on October 25, 2009

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