View Full Version : Pants pocket on the left? What---?
07-01-2004, 11:01 AM
Today's Straight Dope Classic (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_395.html) makes utterly no sense to me. I'm 35 years old, and I've never seen a pair of trousers on which "if there is only one back pocket, it's on the left, and that's also where you'll find the button or flap to slow down the pickpockets." I've seen very few trousers with only one pocket, and that one pocket has been on the right.
But Cecil seems to accept that the writer's bald assertion is correct. Assuming that this column is very early (there's no date supplied, at least as of this post), was this really the case as of the early 70s? Since my memory of clothing extends to the late 70s, it would seem that some great innovator during the Ford administration noticed that there's room for (gosh!) two pockets on trousers, and that on those rare occasions calling for back-pocket as(s)ymetry, the right pocket would be more useful to more people.
Which is a very long winded way to say, "WTF?"
07-01-2004, 11:08 AM
Don't worry, you're not alone in your confusion. :confused:
07-01-2004, 02:46 PM
Which is a very long winded way to say, "WTF?"
Um, all the pants I've ever had with only one rear pocket have had it on the left.
07-02-2004, 07:54 AM
I wonder if you are in caught up in a purely American phenomenon. Here in Europe I have never never never seen any gents trousers with only a left hip pocket. Sometimes they have both, more common is right hand only. I would decline to buy trousers with a left only pocket...
There again I am very right handed - not a bit ambidextrous.
But I use my left hand for "basic" actions - and my right for fine control - so I hold my wallet in my left hand - to select notes with my right - and my handkerchief is in my left pocket...
I have been wearing pants for a long time. I have also carried a wallet for a long time. Most of my pants have two pockets, but all of those that I have had with one pocket, have had the rear pocket on the right. Likewise, all of my two rear pocket pants with a single buttoning pocket, has had the buttoning pocket on the right.
Consider the coat. The inside pocket (arguably an alternate wallet pocket) is on the left side when there is only one, thus providing easy use for the right handed majority.
If anyone can find a pair of pants, with one pocket on the right side, in my size, I am willing to pay a fair price to have it as a museam piece to place next to my stuffed, leprosy carrying armadillos.
07-02-2004, 05:10 PM
so I hold my wallet in my left hand - to select notes with my rightIn order for you to do so, you need to transfer the wallet from your right to your left, take out the notes, then transfer the wallet back to your right to put it away. No need for the extra motions if you kept your wallet on the other side.
FTR: I'm right handed, wallet in the left pocket, comb in the right.
07-02-2004, 05:12 PM
windbag999, we're not talking about hip pockets here, but rear pockets. The only asymmetry I've ever seen in hip pockets is that occasionally the right hip pocket will have a small "change pocket" inside it (occassionally both will have this, but it's usually just the right, if at all). But on rear pockets, there's often an asymmetry of button vs. non, or button-with-flap vs. button-without-flap, or even pocket vs. no pocket.
And as I sit here right now, I'm wearing a pair of shorts with only a right rear pocket (plus two hip pockets), a bit of an annoyance for me, since I habitually carry my wallet on the left. I think I might also have some with only a left, but since I don't generally use the right rear, I don't notice them as much.
07-02-2004, 05:15 PM
Well, taking a survey here in the office I find that my pair of Dockers have pockets on both the left and right, each one equipped with a button.
I'm not about to go poking my head into co-workers cubicles to interrogate them on the design of their slacks, so we'll have to be satisfied with a sample of one.
By the way, Cecil also talked about how many left-handers do some things with both the left and right hands, which describes me to a T. I write with my left hand, but basically everything else I do (eat, throw, hammer, etc.) I do right-handed. I'm also not a 'hook' writer, so perhaps that explains it. When I write, the lines on the paper are rotated anywhere from 45-degrees to 90-degrees clockwise from the horizontal - a habit I started in junior high when we had to sit in those little 'chair desks' and the desk didn't extend all the way to the left. Any other left handers cope in this fashion?
07-03-2004, 07:13 AM
And as I sit here right now, I'm wearing a pair of shorts with only a right rear pocket (plus two hip pockets)
Well, that doesn't count. With all your physics work, Chronos, you've obviously subjected them to a parity-reversing transform or sent them through a non-orientable wormhole or something.
07-04-2004, 02:30 PM
Well, that doesn't count. With all your physics work, Chronos, you've obviously subjected them to a parity-reversing transform or sent them through a non-orientable wormhole or something.Well I should hope not! That would require simultaneously either a C or T reversal. T-reversed shorts are rather awkward to take off (although they're easier to put on), and C-reversed shorts are a tad bit uncomfortable, to say the least.
07-04-2004, 08:55 PM
I just checked all my uniforms and they all button on the left rear pocket.
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