And It Has Pockets!: The Battle for Women’s Clothing Equality

How many times have you heard someone wearing women’s clothing exclaim, “And it has pockets!” Comparisons have shown that modern garments designed for women have about half the storage space of clothing designed for men. From their invention, pockets in women’s fashion have represented independence—so much so that in the 18th century, laws were enacted to strip women of their personal liberty by making the contents of their pockets the property of their husband. The right to have pockets went hand-in-hand with the right to vote. And people today are still speaking out about the inequality between men’s and women’s clothing based on this simple storage system.


Join costume designer Diane Johnston to dig into the pockets of the past, tracing the history of the humble pocket to determine if the battle for equality may still be decided by a few inches of extremely influential fabric.


Diane Johnston (she/her) is a theatrical costume designer who has spent the past 33 years creating costumes for productions large and small throughout the region. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design and is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Johnston has always been fascinated with fashion history and the historic trends that find their way into our modern closets. She is currently the Theater Teacher at Snohomish High School.


The CCHM Speaker Series season is sponsored by the Clark County Historic Preservation Commission. This month’s presentation is co-hosted with Fourth Plain Forward and brought to you by Humanities Washington and the League of Women Voters of Clark County. Admission is free and open to all.


For more information, contact the museum at 360-993-5679 or

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Mar 07 2024


7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


Fourth Plain Forward
3101 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661


April Buzby
Clark County Historical Museum