Breeches Need Pocket Power

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When you have a lot of friends, you need a lot of pockets.

When you have a lot of friends, you need a lot of pockets.

Now that the weather is turning colder, I think of this as both vest weather and also as the season that pockets return with the vests. (Okay, it was already vest weather closer to Canada and still sleeveless weather closer to Florida, but that’s what we’ve got now in the Blue Ridge foothills.) The problem is that my very favorite, best-fitting, most-durable pair of breeches has only one measly slash pocket. That’s just not enough for sugar lumps, dog cookies, gloves and cell phone.

With only one pocket, there is always the danger that the dog cookies will get mixed in with the sugar, especially on sweaty or rainy days when they start to disintegrate. My mare expressed her displeasure with this situation the first time her Dixie Crystals cubes got polluted by Milk Bone Mini crumbs and patooied one so hard that it bounced off the wall of her stall. She’s not so picky now, so I guess she got used to the taste.

Why haven’t breeches manufacturers figured out that women carry as much stuff in their pockets as men do? It’s better than it used to be years ago, when our breeches never had more carrying power than the tiny pouch inside the waistband that barely held a check for the instructor, marinated in sweat. One shallow pocket outside doesn’t get it done either.

My all-time favorite breeches, for their wonderful fit and materials, were made by Elizabeth G. Before she retired, I’d get to Dressage at Devon each year as early in the week as possible, head to her booth along the back fence, and pick out a couple pairs from her sale rack, ahead of the rush. Elizabeth said she didn’t like to include pockets, however, because it ruined the flat profile in front. Maybe that’s the same rationale that’s kept other makers from including pockets but, at least for schooling breeches, I want those pockets! I don’t care so much about pockets in the white breeches that protrude from the bottom of my shadbelly.

Elizabeth G also favored side zips to keep the front smooth. I still have a couple pairs of “outgrown” Elizabeth G breeches in the top of my closet. I keep hoping I’ll be able to fit into them again, although I’ll need a vest to provide the pockets. Either that or I know someone on eBay will want them.

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