What is the Small Pocket in Men’s Pants For?

Have you ever noticed those little pockets on your jeans? We bet you do. And we’re sure that you have asked too, what are those for. Because honestly, they’re far too small to be useful. You may have given up on trying to use it by now because it is far too small to hold anything you certainly need. But, seriously, what’s the point of having it in the first place?

It might no longer serve its purpose today, but it did in the late 1800s. The small pocket is known as a watch pocket. It was designed to be a safe place for men to store their pocket watches. Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

If you find this interesting (which we bet you do), let’s dig deeper into the mystery of your jean’s small pocket.

Behind Your Jean’s Small Pocket

The pockets’ popularity can be traced back to the design of waist overalls. It was the original name for Levi Strauss & Co.’s blue jeans. They appear on the design in the patent Strauss, and J.W. Davis received on May 20, 1873, for Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings.

The original pants had four pockets, all of which were riveted. There are three on the front, including the small pocket above the relatively sizeable right pocket. On the right side, beneath the leather patch, there was also a riveted back pocket. Copper rivets prevented the pockets from ripping and strengthened and secured the openings.

Since the small pocket was designed to hold pocket watches, it is rarely found on suit pants. Suit jackets already have pocket watches, so a pocket watch on the pants is unnecessary. According to Tracey Panek, the Historian for Levi Strauss & Co., Levi Strauss himself kept a pocket watch in the jacket of his business suit.

For working men ranging from carpenters and miners to railroad engineers, the original copper-riveted jeans had a tiny pocket to hold small pocket watches. And the design has stayed with almost every pair of jeans ever since.

Today’s Small Pocket on Jeans

Nowadays, almost no one wears a pocket watch. We’ve moved on to telling time with smartwatches and phones so that teeny pocket is usually empty. However, to maintain the integrity of the original design, Levi Strauss & Co. keeps the watch pocket.

Also, other pants feature a pocket as a nod to the pocket watch. The style gives pants a more casual appearance because they don’t appear to be designed to be worn with a jacket.

The small pocket is placed differently by different brands. Some people put it in the front, next to a larger pocket. Others include a smaller pocket within the larger side pocket. Levi’s jeans, on the other hand, have remained relatively unchanged since the nineteenth century.

It isn’t much you can do with the tiny pocket these days. Some people recommend using them to store coins or keys, but they delve into your hip. Everyone else suggests them for matches and tickets, but they’re challenging to get if your fingers aren’t comparatively tiny.

On the other hand, the small pockets are helpful for carrying small pieces of hand jewelry for a few moments. For example, if you’re planning to propose to your significant other, but that’s about it. But for the most part, it’s best just to ignore them. And you could just consider the small pockets to be a part of the history that we still have. Cool, right?

Best Jeans for Men with Small Pockets

It’s nearly impossible to find the perfect pair of jeans. There’s a lot to think about: the fit and your build, the level of distress, which pairs can be worn to which occasions, and whether or not they’ll need to be altered. And so, to save you some time, we have listed the best jeans that you can wear – of course with the added aesthetic of a small pocket.

Levi’s 512 Slim-Fit Tapered Jeans for Men

Levi’s has never been known for bizarre designs or outlandish colors. Still, when they do innovate, it’s in the form of soft fabrics, cozy textures, and flattering silhouettes, just like their 512 Slim-Fit Tapered Jeans for Men.

Everlane The Performance Jeans

The brand Everlane is serious about denim. The brand tested their jeans by washing them 50 times to ensure sturdiness, stretch recovery, and a long-lasting indigo color for a 365-day guarantee. Well, it’s time to make room in your closet for a few pairs because we’re sure that you’ll love the fit, four-way stretch, and classic look.

Wrangler Classic 5 Pocket Jeans

Why fix something that isn’t broken? Wrangler’s classic 5-pocket style is a best-seller on Amazon for a long-lasting pair of denim jeans with a comfortable fit that allows you to move easily throughout the day.

Buck Mason Maverick Slim Jeans

Raw denim is great for getting that nicely worn-in look, but it takes a little more effort than most guys prefer. Buck Mason, fortunately, has a solution. The Maverick has a rugged look you’ve been looking for, but without the monotonous break-in, timespan required to achieve the best look. So instead, it’s modeled after a pair of raw jeans worn over twelve months.

RE/DONE Slim Jeans

You may have heard that the chunky sneakers your father used to wear were excellent, but so are the dad jeans. Have you heard about it? 

Well, we’re sure you can get some vintage Levi’s and break them in over time. However, why do you bother when RE/DONE can do it for you?

The company sources the highest quality vintage Levi’s jeans available, modernizes the fit with customization, and voila, you have your very own one-of-a-kind pants that are a million times cooler than your grandfather’s pair.

Martine Rose Panelled Straight-Leg Jeans

This London-based label is known to take iconic wardrobe staples and incorporating unique design elements that catch the eye without overpowering it. Subtle panel details add a modern twist to a classic pair of jeans for Martine Rose’s latest denim offerings, producing a seamlessly nice look.

The Bottom Line

Isn’t it’s nice to understand why our pants were designed a certain way? It’s mind-blowing that the small pocket on men’s jeans, called the watch pocket, has long existed since 1800. But, and it might not be as helpful as it is right to know, it still nice to see something which has been a huge part of the history of jeans.

READ ALSOIs Men’s Shoe Size the Same as Women’s Shoe Size?

Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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