When it comes to fashion, some little details are so ubiquitous that we tend to take them for granted (like why most zippers say YKK). Which is why you probably don’t question the tiny little pocket in your favorite pair of blue jeans. But why is it there?
Often called a coin pocket, that mostly unused, shallow pocket located above the main pockets of your pants was not designed for loose change—originally, it was meant for a pocket watch.
Recently, The Independent pointed to a 2012 Quora forum discussion about the origin of the tiny pocket, crediting Levi Strauss—the man who literally invented jeans back in 1873—for the invention of that extra pocket. A 2014 blog post on Levi’s website confirms this, saying that, early on, Strauss’s jeans (which were designed for cowboys) were given a small pocket which was designed as “protection for pocket watches.”
The company acknowledges that while the pocket has been around for almost as long as denim jeans have, its name has evolved over the past 140 years to reflect its use: “Frontier pocket, condom pocket, coin pocket, match pocket and ticket pocket, to name a few.”