Journalists Jan Diehm and Amber Thomas of the data journalism site The Pudding, measured the width and depth of the pockets of 80 pairs of jeans across 20 brands – 40 men’s and 40 women’s – sourced from malls in Nashville, New York and Seattle. To overcome any quibbling about men’s pants being bigger than women’s and therefore having bigger pockets, the journalists always chose size 32 waists and sampled one skinny and one straight pair for each gender.
They measured the front and back pockets of four pairs of jeans for each of the 20 brands and guess what? On average women’s pockets are 8.89cms shorter and 0.762cm narrower than men’s for straight cut jeans – that’s a disadvantage of 48% shorter and 3% narrower space for women than that allocated for men. In the case of skinny jeans women’s pockets are 46% shorter and 10% narrower.
As a practical demonstration of what this means in terms of the carrying capacity of women’s pockets – 100% of men’s front pockets can fit an iPhone X or average sized wallet in them while only 40% of women’s are large enough. For back pockets the discrepancies are far less significant and while the study is not exhaustive by any scientific standards it’s at least hopefully a beginning to getting jean manufacturers to take notice of something that women have long and justifiably been complaining about.