It's official: Women's pockets too small for smartphones

Data shows what many of us knew all along -- women's clothing isn't designed to carry the gadgets we use every day.

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Bonnie Burton profile photo
Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
2 min read
LG Optimus G (Sprint)

An impractically tight fit. 

Josh Miller/CNET

Whenever I try to stick my iPhone into the front pocket of my jeans, it always seems to quickly fall right back out as soon as I sit down, walk or otherwise move like a human.

When it comes to women's clothing, the frustration over small, inefficient pockets that can barely accommodate a stick of lip balm, let alone a smartphone, is nothing new.  

Women's slacks, dresses and business blazers often have zero pockets. Then there are those idiotic fake front pockets that you can't actually stick your hand, or anything else, into.

Now, though, women have data to back up our frustration. To show that women's clothing features pockets too small for advancing technology, The Pudding put pockets to the test.

The publication measured both men's and women's pants pockets in 20 of the most popular jeans brands sold in the US. It found that, on average, the front pockets in women's jeans are 48 percent shorter and 6.5 percent narrower than men's front pockets.

The test also discovered that only 40 percent of women's front pockets can accommodate an iPhone X, while 100 percent of men's pockets can. Twenty percent of women's pockets can fit the Samsung Galaxy , while 95 percent of men's pockets are able to. When it comes to Google Pixel phones , things are far worse. Only 5 percent of women's pockets can handle the device, compared with 85 percent of men's pockets. 

It's not just smartphones that women are having trouble storing in the front pockets of their jeans. Only 40 percent of women's front pockets can fit a wallet specifically designed to fit in front pockets.

The Pudding also discovered that the best place for women to carry their smartphones and wallets might be the back pocket since there's little difference between the size of back pockets in women's and men's jeans.

Of course, then we women run a greater risk of getting pick-pocketed by stealthy thieves who can snap up valuables before we know what hit us.

"I honestly believe the fashion industry is not helping women advance," Camilla Olson, creative director at Savitude, which matches machine learning with fashion to help personalize clothing choices, told The Atlantic in 2014."We [women] know clearly we need pockets to carry technology and I think it's expected we are going to carry a purse."  

Or maybe we can all just be done with women's fashion and just wear much more practical overalls. That way we'd all be free of the need for purses, fanny packs and pants altogether. 

Solving for XX: The tech industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about "women in tech."

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