Here’s an interesting fact. Shirt pockets are disappearing. Ten years ago 90% of the shirts sold by Marks and Spencer had a front pocket, today that percentage is down to 25%. Why? Well, the sartorial expert who was consulted on this subject by no less august a body than the BBC said that he thought it was because men were more clothes aware than they had been in the past and the shirt pocket simply ruins the line of the shirt, especially if you put something in it, so they’ve opted for pocket-free shirts and neater silhouttes.
I think that’s rubbish, to be honest. Most men are happy if what they wear to work is clean, comfortable and doesn’t get them laughed at on public transport. I think the real reason is that what men use pockets for has changed. Think about it – ten years ago a mobile phone was a rarity, and what most men put in their shirt pocket was a pen and maybe a packet of cigarettes. Today fewer people smoke and business people carry BlackBerrys. Now a BlackBerry is a nice thing, handles calls and emails and acts as a phone and a calculator and so on, but it doesn’t fit in a shirt pocket, does it?
No, it doesn’t and as a result, the shirt pocket has gone the way of all other evolutionary dead ends – it’s begun its march to extinction. However, on casual shirts, pockets are MORE evident. Why? Because most of us carry a mobile and while we might put it in our jacket pocket at work, we slide it into our top pocket when we’re wearing a polo or rugby shirt. Simple isn’t it? Business shirt photograph by Plutor, used under a creative commons attribution licence