An Illustrated History Of Jean Back Pockets

In recent years, denim has decided to not be so boring. Gone are the days of simple skinny jeans. Instead, subtle rips, frayed edges, or — for those who dare — sequins decorate the fronts and bottoms of our favorite pairs of denim. The thing is, though, the backside of said pants has become all about sublety. No more embellished logos, super-bold stitching, or colorful designs that add flair and show off just what brand we can’t get enough of. But why? Why have our jean back pockets gotten so boring? Dressing today may be all about minimalism, but we’re missing the decorated denim of yesteryear big-time.

We think it’s time brands started looking back at the embroidered pocket. For some inspiration, we’ve compiled nine of the most iconic ones. They have us reminiscing about our middle and high school days and wanting to dig through our childhood closets for that old-school pair of True Religion flares — stat. You know you want to, too.

Gloria Vanderbilt

An Illustrated History Of Jean Back Pockets1

In the ’70s, then-52-year-old socialite Gloria Vanderbilt decided she was going to create one of the first lines of designer jeans for women who were looking to mix high fashion with the versatility and wearability of denim. The resulting items weren’t just more tight-fitting and curve-accentuating than the other options on the market at that time — they also featured Vanderbilt’s signature, scribbled in red, smack-dab in the middle of the right back pocket. Vanderbilt’s label was one of the earliest examples of how a designed jean pocket can have an extreme affect on brand sales. People didn’t just want to be like — and dress like — Vanderbilt; they wanted others to know just whose jeans they were wearing.


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