Ever wondered about that tiny pocket in your jeans? Here's the explanation

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.08 - 2023 7:06 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Here's the explanation.

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We all know that pockets in jeans and trousers are incredibly useful. They allow us to carry essentials like phones, keys, and wallets. However, many jeans come with a small pocket located at the top of the regular pocket. Have you ever wondered what it's for?

The mystery of this seemingly useless pocket has finally been solved. The small pocket dates back to 1890 when it was sewn into Levi's 'waist overall.' Back then, it was commonly used for pocket watches, a purpose it no longer serves today.

Tracey Panek, Levi Strauss' historian, shed light on the pocket's history. She said, "The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss archive dates back to 1879. These trousers had a watch pocket sewn in. Overalls from the 19th century had a single back pocket under the leather patch." Tracey says according to Insider.

Interestingly, the pocket has never been sewn onto suit trousers because a pocket watch would be part of the jacket's interior.

The role of World War II

The pocket's continued existence has a reason, and it's tied to World War II. Panek explains, "During the Second World War, the two corner rivets were removed from the watch pocket to save metal for the war effort. However, they returned after the war, and the two upper corner rivets were included in our design, Arcuate."

Levi Strauss and Co. have chosen to keep the pocket to preserve the integrity of the early design, Panek concludes. She also writes on Levi's website that "Levi's rose as a fresh and modern brand in the wake of the war."

So, the next time you put on a pair of jeans, you'll know the history and purpose of that tiny pocket.

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