Carry on: Chic clothing with pockets

March 15, 2017 in Fashion, Style, Travel by alliemcc

I recently had a lovely chat with someone who needs her hands free to work with her service dog, and avoids carrying even a backpack because of memory problems related to her disability. She usually wears cargo pants to carry her essentials, but longs to have other options.

I, myself, have been on the hunt lately for a chic, durable, affordable backpack. I consistently have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, and it's aggravated by a tote bag– not to mention with my narrow my shoulders, I have to keep a hand on the strap to keep a bag in place. I'm curvy below the waist, so sporting a fanny pack or wearing cargos disrupts the sleek style lines I try to maintain, waist-down. Oh, to be hands-free!

I have long kept a catalog of beautifully pocketed clothes. Aside from their practicality, I agree with 20th century American designer Claire McCardell, who felt that pockets were essential for boosting one's confidence. 

Plenty of brands make travel-worthy clothes that pack easily and won't wrinkle, but still somehow expect you'll be packing a wardrobe of bags as well. Thank your lucky stitches, there's hope beyond cargo pants.


My uncle had introduced me to ScottEVest years ago, when they offered just one style of gimmicky but brilliant travel vest with an infinite number of pockets. Lo a bunch of years later, they now have a well-rounded line of women's garments as well.

I'm skeptical about the jersey skirts, which by their nature are drapey and stretchy and perhaps not ideal for loading up with pockets, but the tops are impressive. I love the chambray Charlotte, which would get heavy rotation in my wardrobe regardless of location.


woman modeling clothingarts brand long sleeve shirt and wrap front skirt

ClothingArts is a brand I found in my research, again making an impressive showing with women's apparel after having success with men's pocketed travel apparel.

Based in Brooklyn, which is evident from their styling and branding, these are a few degrees further away from the outdoor apparel model. The wrap skirt is a nice achievement, and the dress is definitely on my wishlist, although it appears to be light on pocketing.

Clever Travel Companion

Another brand brought to my attention via a search, Clever Travel Companion focuses on jersey pieces for layering, foundations, or athleisure, rather than the more polished, business-casual-appropriate styling of SCOTTeVEST or ClothingArts.

Their pocketed infinity scarf is a great, practical option for day-to-day, or vacay.


Active and outdoor clothing also tends to feature more pockets, if it fits your personal style and lifestyle needs, although as I mentioned, these brands (and the ones featured above) tend to be designed for an athletic (i.e. not curvy) physique.


Duluth Women

Title Nine


Whether it's for a trip, work, or day-to-day errands, whether you can't or just don't want to carry a bag, pockets are essential for hand's-free confidence.

That's looking good while actually doing stuff.

What are your favorite pieces with pockets? Please leave a comment below, especially if you've found something that works well for curvy bods, and/or assistive and mobility devices.