The Evolution of the Pocket

The evolution of the pocket…form following function. More specifically, form following necessity.

From the very beginning, modern man needed something to carry his goods around. All jokes aside, even historic records support this statement. Recovered in the early ‘90s from the Alps, the 5,000-year-old Otzi “Iceman” was found with a pouch affixed to the belt he wore.

This same construction was utilized for the next several thousand years and only relocated to the interior out of necessity due to theft. Historically, the word "pocket" references a pouch worn around the waist. Women’s pockets were originally a separate article worn underneath her petticoat, accessed via small slits in the side seam. Similarly, earlier European men’s tunics had slits to allow for access to the purse. To “pickpocket” a woman at this time period involved cutting the strings that bound them to the wearer. Courthouse documentation from the time period would list the “pocket” itself as the stolen item, similarly to now as “the stolen purse.”

In the 17th century, men’s apparel began to have pockets sewn into garments, oftentimes intended to serve a specific function, such as storing a pocket watch. These details continued to be incorporated into the design of a garment long after the item it was designed for became obsolete, as in the advent of the wristwatch. That tiny pocket you’ll find on the front of your jeans, often called a coin pocket, is actually historically referred to as a watch pocket.

Why does this matter? At MuskOx we are always looking for ways to make our products--including features like pockets--serve our customers. Often this means diving into the past and looking at how pockets have evolved over the years. What can we learn from designs of the past and how can we improve them for the modern man?


American Hoodie by MuskOx Apparel, Hoodie with Double Kangaroo Pocket


We love seeing the look of surprise when a customer discovers the extra hidden secured pocket in our American Hoodie. It is a great place to safely tuck away your phone while still being able to utilize the outer pocket to keep your hands warm.

We’ve also learned that the ability to button the pockets closed on a heavy-duty flannel shirt is valuable for hard working MuskOx men. Our good friend and woodworker, Andy Rawls loves The Grand Flannel because of the pockets that button shut. He uses the closable pockets to hold tools while keeping sawdust from weighing them down.



The Classic Crew and Canyon Quarter Zip are both classically styled pullover shirts equipped with modern features to add extra confidence to everyday life. We know the importance of convenient pullover shirts with pockets and the added security that they add to your journey. Our favorite tales are of the jetsetters running through the airport with their passports securely held within the zipper chest pockets that the Classic Crew and Canyon Quarter Zip offer. 

Little did you know, that secure pocket on your favorite shirt has been the most reliable friend you never knew you had. Gold, pocket watches, phones, passports, tools--pockets have always been there for you. 

From heavy-duty flannel shirts with pockets to pullovers with pockets, our current and future collections will always be constructed so you can keep close whatever you need for any adventure. 

We’ve got you!