by: Michelle Wamego


Did you know that pockets started as bags not even incorporated into clothing? Pockets began as a small bag that hung from a belt, usually worn on the outside of clothing, in medieval times. As the volume of skirts expanded ladies began to make slits in the seams of their gowns and would wear their “pockets” under their petticoats. Ladies would fill their pockets with coins, jewelry, beauty products, perfumes, and snacks like cakes and oranges! As fashions’ silhouette narrowed again in the late 1790’s with the Empire dress, (a style influenced by Josephine Bonaparte) the pocket moved to outside the skirt in the form of the Reticule, a small bag and precursor to the modern-day purse.

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