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T-Shirts With Boob Pockets Are Dumb

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This functionless pocket is the breast accoutrement no one asked for.

A woman wearing a white T-shirt with a pocket, a choker, and black jeans Photo: Urban Outfitters

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In today's installment of I Don't Get It, it’s time to call out a faction of T-shirt designers I like to call “pocket pushers.” You know who you are. A perfectly good design is coming to fruition; the neckline is right, the sleeves aren't too short, everything looks promising. Then bam — seemingly out of nowhere, a gratuitous pocket is slapped on the chest and everything goes to hell. Just like that.

I can't tell you exactly how many times I’ve unfolded one of these offenders at a store, only to wince and think to myself: “That pocket. Why?!”

Here’s the thing: Women have boobs. Many women, like me, have boobs that require extra support and don't want any extra accoutrements in that area. And regardless of bra size, how many women do you know who actually use said pocket? There isn’t much that’s practical to store in there anyway, and what does fit is likely to protrude, given the typical default T-shirt fabric is, of course, cotton. In the end, rather than a convenient and stealthy place to put necessities, the pocket becomes a sort of boob bullseye, screaming “LOOK RIGHT HERE! AT THIS LEFT BREAST!” For most of us, that’s not the goal.

So why are brands still doing this? I asked Diane Ashbee, the vice president of women’s sportswear at the iconic tee brand C&C California, to decode:

“We like to use pockets as a design feature, if it adds an aesthetic interest to the garment. We have tee styles with pockets and we have styles without pockets. A pocket can change the feel and look of a garment. For instance, it can add needed balance in contrast to the shape of the neckline.”

Ok, fine, I’ll take that. Of course, my pocket stance is a personal preference, perhaps mixed with a little bit of righteous indignation on behalf of the big boob crowd. It’s just not for me. In the end, I’m happy as long as brands offer a decent selection of quality pocket-less options. It is, at least, nice to be given the chance to have a pocket at all.