Ever wondered why that tiny, somewhat pointless, the pocket is on your jeans? Well, it’s not for your coins if that’s what you’re thinking.
The small pockets date back to 1890 they were stitched into Levi’s ‘waist overall’ jeans.
Back in the day they were commonly used for pocket watches, and we clearly don’t do that anymore – 2021 seemingly seems be the year of Fitbits and smart watches.
Strauss and J.W. Davis patented ‘Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings,’ on May 20, 1873.
Levi Strauss & Co’s very own historian, Tracey Panek told Insider:
“The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives (from 1879) includes the watch pocket.
“Our 19th century overalls had a single back pocket on right side of the pant beneath the leather patch.”
It turns out that the tiny pocket is never found on suit trousers because a pocket watch would be part of the inside of a jacket for formal wear.
So really the idea of having such a small compartment is pretty pointless, yet, there is a reason why it’s still there.
Interestingly, it’s actually due to sentiment with regards to WWII, as to why they are still in existence.
“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.”
“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 & Co. maintains the watch pocket.”
On the Levi’s website, she wrote:
“This cinch-free blue jean with the uniform look of the Arcuate, a contrast to previous years when the single-needle application made each Arcuate design unique, was the blue jean of the future and you can still see it in our 501 jeans more than 70 years later.
“Levi’s emerged from World War II as fresh, modern and uniformly manufactured.
“And with a distribution that now spanned oceans, it was well on its way to becoming the world’s ubiquitous global garment that it is today.”