Have you ever wondered why there’s a teeny-tiny pocket on the right side of your jeans? You know, the one above the bigger pocket? The one that will hold absolutely nothing? Well you don’t have to wonder any longer, because we have the definitive answer.
As the very first company to produce blue jeans, Levi Strauss & Co. explained the curious design decision. It turns out that the tiny pocket has an official name: the watch pocket. It’s also been around for as long as jeans themselves, which dates it back to the early 1870s.
When jeans were first being worn in the 19th century, this small pocket served as protection for pocket watches, a staple accessory of that day. On its blog, Levi explained the design of those early jeans, the reason for the tiny pocket and the many nicknames it’s had over the years.
“The first blue jeans had four pockets — only one in back and, in the front, two plus the small, watch pocket,” the company wrote. “Originally included as protection for pocket watches, thus the name, this extra pouch has served many functions, evident in its many titles: frontier pocket, condom pocket, coin pocket, match pocket and ticket pocket, to name a few.”
Here are a few more fun facts about jeans:
- Women own, on average, seven pairs of jeans, according to research.
- Jeans were originally called “waist overalls.”
- The orange thread on Levi Strauss jeans is trademarked. It’s a subtle feature to help make the brand recognizable and also matches the copper rivets.
- A single bale of cotton can make 225 pairs of jeans.
- The first jeans came in two styles: indigo blue and “duck,” which was a brown cotton.
- Blue jeans became popular overseas when American soldiers wore jeans while off-duty.
- Limbo, a boutique in New York City, was the first place to give jeans an aged look through washing techniques.
The more you know!