People are discovering what the tiny pocket on your jeans is for and it’s blowing their minds | The Sun

EVER wondered what that tiny pocket on your jeans is for?

It could purely be for fashion or it could have a historic purpose that might well blow your mind.

The tiny-weeny pockets date back to 1890 when they were stitched into Levi's 'waist overalls' jeans.

They were originally designed to hold pocket watches, but as we don't use pocket watches anymore, what purpose do they serve now?

The now commonly seen blue jeans made by Levi Strauss & Co invented it two centuries ago and has kept it ever since.


The tiny pockets are on the design in the patent Strauss and J.W. Davis made for "Improvement in Fastening Pocket Openings," on May 20, 1873.

However, they were first put into mass use in 1890 with the "Lot 501" jeans, which became the model for the Levis 501 jeans we are familiar with today.

Levi Strauss & Co's very own historian, Tracey Panek speaking to Insider said: "The oldest pair of waist overalls in the Levi Strauss & Co. Archives (from 1879) includes the watch pocket."

"The watch pocket was a feature of our first waist overalls." Levi's explained.

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The tiny pocket is never found on suit trousers because a pocket watch would be kept in the jacket of formal wear.

Suit jackets were designed to already have a pocket specifically for pocket watches, so a pocket on the trousers wasn't needed.

Panek explains that the man Levi Strauss kept a pocket watch in the vest of his business suit.

So, is the tiny pocket pretty useless today?

We all tend to use our smartphones or even watches to check the time now, so finding a pocket watch is pretty rare.

The jeans still keep the mini pocket as a way of keeping the original 501 design alive, so essentially for nostalgia's sake.

They have had the same design since the 19th century, with the exception of WWII when the metal hardware disappeared.

"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," Panek said.

"The rivets returned to the watch pocket after the war."

Trousers that have the tiny pocket are called "five-pocket pants," but the little pocket is not actually the fifth on the jeans.

The fifth pocket is actually on the back-left, which was added to Levi's 501 jeans in 1901.

"Our 19th century overalls had a single back pocket on right side of the pant beneath the leather patch," Panek said.



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"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," Panek said.

"To preserve the integrity of the early design, Levi Strauss & Co. maintains the watch pocket."

Other fashion brands also use the small pocket watch created by Levi's but may put it in different spots on the trousers or hide it in different ways.

Some even hide it inside a bigger pocket.

They keep the tiny pocket as a way of making it clear the trousers are casual and not meant to be worn with a formal jacket.

As for what we can do with the little, mini, tiny pocket now?

Well, people say it holds rings well, matches, coins or even keys.

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