People baffled as they find out what tiny jeans pockets are really meant for
People were shocked to discover the real purpose of those tiny pockets in jeans.
Jeans, a staple in most wardrobes, come in various shapes and colours, but they all have one thing in common – a small pocket that seems pointless.
However, it turns out this pocket has a specific use dating back to the late 1800s when people needed a snug place to keep their pocket watches.
A curious Reddit user asked: “In most jeans, there’s an extra pocket in the right pocket – what is it for, and what do you use it for?”
These little pockets date back to the 19th century. They were sewn into Levi’s ‘waist overall jeans’, the original name for classic blue denim trousers, and were just the right size to hold a pocket watch.
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The design was patented by Strauss and J.W Davis in May 1873 as an “Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings”, and first distributed in 1890 with the Lot 501 jeans, which inspired the Levis 501 jeans.
Tacey Panek, historian at Levi Strauss and Co, told Insider: “The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss and Co. Archives (from 1879) includes the watch pocket.
“Our 19th-century overalls had a single back pocket on the right side of the pants beneath the leather patch.”
The tiny pockets on jeans were originally designed to hold pocket watches, therefore – to today’s jean wearers – they might seem pointless, but during WWII, the design served another purpose.
Panek shared: “One interesting fact about the watch pocket is that during WWII the two corner rivets were removed as a way to conserve metal for the war effort.”
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“The rivets returned to the watch pocket after the war. It was riveted in the top two corners and included our recognizable arch design, called the Arcuate, stitched with a single needle sewing machine.”
“The watch pocket was an original element of our blue jeans, like the rivets on our pockets, button fly, arched back pocket stitching and leather patch. To preserve the integrity of the early design, Levi Strauss and Co. maintains the watch pocket.”
People have different uses for this small pocket. One Reddit user said: “I have always wondered about the small pocket in my jeans. I don’t put anything in it – I can’t even get my fingertips in it.”
Another user thought: “I thought it was meant for lighters.”
One user said: “I keep my Chapstick in there – I’ve never lost it. It just gets washed about 309 times.”
An AI tool was used to add an extra layer to the editing process for this story.
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