Where do you buy dresses and skirts with pockets?
September 6, 2010 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Where do you buy dresses and skirts with pockets?

Over the years, it's been getting harder and harder to find dresses with pockets in them. I don't want to carry a purse everywhere I go, so pockets are a necessity. Some women solve this problem by always wearing jeans, but the climate I live in is too warm for me to wear long pants, for nine months of the year. Dresses are so much easier and more comfortable.

I used to buy dresses with pockets from Land's End, L.L.Bean, and Eddie Bauer. I remember with particular fondness a washable linen dress from Eddie Bauer, and lots of nice "necessary knits" that Land's End used to put pockets in. No longer. Apparently pockets ruined the smooth line. I don't care about looking sleek if it means I don't have a tissue handy when I sneeze! Keys and wallet are also far less likely to go missing if they're safe in my pocket.

The best source I know of now is the Vermont Country Store, but most of their dresses now are unfortunately voluminous muumuus. I don't care about fashion, but an enormous muumuu is too much. I love their Romance of the Rose dress, but I've had that exact one for at least three years already; I wish they'd make it in a new print! Their Knit Skimmer Dress isn't too bad, but I'd prefer it without the buttons down the entire front. Their Knit A-line Dress is too short and too informal for me to wear in public. Just My Size carries a rayon challis skirt with pockets that I like, but I don't care for their dresses.

Can you suggest any other sources for dresses or skirts with pockets in them? Preferably cotton or mostly-cotton, and preferably in the US. No dry-clean-only, ever (though it turns out lots of unlined rayons wash well even if labeled dry-clean-only). If it matters, I wear size L at the Vermont Country Store and size XL or 1X or 18P everywhere else, and I can't stand to wear a crew neck or anything right against my throat.
posted by Ery to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I would suggest looking to brands aimed at athletes or what generally gets labeled as "active lifestyle." Try title9.com. I have dresses with pockets from both Lole and Prana. Also, for dressier stuff, zappos.com and 6pm.com are good at correctly labeling the features of their clothes. I found a cocktail dress with pockets from 6pm.com recently! (I think it was BCBG Max Azria.)
posted by pixiecrinkle at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2010

I just bought this dress from Target, which happens to have pockets. Maybe some of their other dresses do as well.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 11:28 AM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just wore a j. crew dress as a bridesmaid in a wedding, and it was all cotton and had pockets. It doesn't look like they have my specific dress on the site any more, but here are many more with pockets. Not all are cotton, but lots are on sale! I guess they're going through a pocket phase.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 11:32 AM on September 6, 2010

Until I got a gigantic oil stain on it, I had a perfect plain as anything A-line skirt from Silhouettes (14P). They no longer make that particular one, but what I loved about it was 1. that it was long and plain, so I wore it all four seasons and it matched everything, and 2. TARDIS-like pockets; nearly invisible from the outside and roomier than expected.
This one is cotton and has pockets. Searching for 'pocket' doesn't work on the site except where it's in the title of the item.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:38 AM on September 6, 2010

Dress a Day looooooves dresses with pockets. Although her main focus is on vintage patterns and dresses, she frequently posts about dresses for sale from various catalogs and websites, and is almost guaranteed to tell you whether there's pockets involved.
posted by katemonster at 11:40 AM on September 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

Skirts with pockets are very trendy right now. However, a lot of the time the pockets are hidden or discreetly placed so that you might not see them right away. Look for full skirts. Examine closely at the seam along the sides to see if maybe they have pockets.

Minor issue: I have two skirts with pockets, and they don't tend to be anywhere near as secure as trouser pockets. I've had problems with things escaping while I'm sitting down. They also don't work great with heavier things like cell phones or full key-rings.
posted by Sara C. at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2010

Coldwater Creek. A lot of their skirts and dresses have pockets. (One of my friends only wears clothes from CC, and almost all of her skirts have pockets.) This sweater dress is particularly nice and not too casual, although it's not cotton.

(I'm not seeing a lot of stuff with pockets in their new designs on the website; you might have better luck at one of their stores, where you can see several seasons of designs.)
posted by shamash at 11:44 AM on September 6, 2010

My drycleaner is able to add pockets to skirts and dresses, depending on the cut and fit, of course. It's not always ideal, but it works and is not too expensive.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2010

Every skirt or dress I've bought at Anthropologie in the past two years has pockets.
posted by chelseagirl at 11:46 AM on September 6, 2010 [4 favorites]

I think you should consider just buying dresses/skirts you like and adding DIY side-seam pockets yourself. Or google "add side-seam pockets" for more resources.

Start with some super-cheap yard sale dresses to practice on.

Or a local tailor/seamstress could do this for you as well.
posted by marsha56 at 11:48 AM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just got 2 from Anthropologie. So great!
posted by pammeke at 11:50 AM on September 6, 2010

I got a DKNY dress from Filene's Basement a couple years ago with big, glorious pockets and it is THE BEST THING EVER. Looking quickly at the DKNY site, it looks like maybe a quarter of their skirts/dresses have pockets. Unfortunately, buying their clothes direct is prohibitively expensive.

If you have a Filene's, Nordstrom Rack, or similar store near you, definitely check those places out. I have found a couple of pocketed things there that I think have been passed up by the masses because pockets can make you look hippy. But for me, utility of pockets > increased circumference of ass.
posted by phunniemee at 11:52 AM on September 6, 2010

Best answer: decent exposures sells skirts.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Athleta and Title 9 both often have pockets in their skirts and dresses, I've found.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:14 PM on September 6, 2010

VINTAGE. they're better made, with better fabrics, and I find pockets are more common and better hidden in vintage dresses. Plus, they're often fairly inexpensive.
posted by custard heart at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2010

This is just speculation, but I would guess that clothes aimed at health care staff would be likely to have pockets.
posted by Bruce H. at 1:14 PM on September 6, 2010

i buy a lot of dresses from american eagle because they tend to have hidden pockets big enough for me to stick my hands in, as do their skirts. h&m also has dresses with pockets.
posted by lia at 1:29 PM on September 6, 2010

Best answer: It's a bit spendy, but J. Peterman regularly carries dresses with pockets (don't forget to check the Last Chance Dept.) Right now, dresses with pockets there include the Pintuck Dress, the short-sleeve 1947 Dress (I think--you can call and ask; they're reputed to have excellent service), and the Chikankari Dress (I think). They tend to have more in the summer, as I recall, and their catalog is fun to read.

(And even if you don't care about fashion, they have the added benefit of being much classier/elegant/timeless than most other dresses with pockets that I've seen.)
posted by wintersweet at 1:35 PM on September 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just bought two skirts from Ann Taylor with pockets!
posted by echo0720 at 1:46 PM on September 6, 2010

American Apparel may not be your bag, but they have a high-waisted A-line skirt with pockets that is easily the most comfortable thing I own.
posted by vanitas at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2010

I've had some success with The Limited's dresses in the past for more office-y clothes.
posted by lilac girl at 1:57 PM on September 6, 2010

Why go through the stress searching for a good dress, that also has pockets?

If you have a sewing machine, or access to one, they are totally makable. Or most dry cleaners could make the alteration for you for not to much.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:20 PM on September 6, 2010

I've bought a bunch of skirts and dresses with pockets from Forever 21. I think it's actually gotten more common lately!
posted by melancholyplay at 2:30 PM on September 6, 2010

I feel like pockets are really popular in younger-looking designs right now, hence F21, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, et al will almost always have a few dresses with pockets in stock. Perhaps pockets are unpopular with middle age women and the brands that cater to them for whatever reason, so look where the college crowd shops. Online shopping highly recommended if you want to quickly eliminate everything that doesn't have a pocket.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:45 PM on September 6, 2010

I have the same problem that you do, and frankly, I just found it easier to get a fanny pack or other strap-on belted pocket to put around my waist on a daily basis than it is to find pockets in clothes. (If you've seen the sorts of things people at the Scottish Games are wearing... that sort of thing.)

I got mine at a craft fair, but etsy.com looks like it has some when you search for "belt pocket." Something like this might do?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:01 PM on September 6, 2010

I've had excellent luck with dresses from Target having pockets. I just got a dress from trentacosta that has pockets.

I tend to get around the whole thing by making my skirts out of men's pants. Girl pockets are far too shallow for me.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:43 PM on September 6, 2010

Patagonia and Title 9 both have them.
posted by nat at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2010

Response by poster: It's great to see that pockets are making a comeback in women's clothes, and that so many people care about them. Thank you all so much.

I've marked as best the answers with online sources where I was able to find dresses in my size that I like, but all of the answers look like they'll be helpful for someone.
posted by Ery at 7:49 AM on September 10, 2010

Response by poster: eShakti is a real find. The dress I ordered from them just arrived, all the way from Chennai, India, only a week after I learned about them here, even with the custom sewing. It's exactly as described and pictured on their website, and it fits perfectly. The pockets are deep and comfortable, and I love being able to change the sleeve length and neckline style to suit me. Thanks, lalex.
posted by Ery at 1:40 PM on September 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

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