What’s in My Pocket?

Each of my dresses has a pocket on one side, preferably the right side. In this pocket goes the things I will need throughout the day at an event. This includes:

  • Building key
  • A small wallet/pocket with ID and cash. This is roughly 3.5”x2.5”.
  • Handkerchief
  • Possibly a workpocket
  • Possibly a purse (a small item that carries money)
  • Possibly a fan
  • Possibly a glass

Under my skirts, I have a seperate, tie-on pocket* for emergency items. Yes, I am a strong believer in keeping emergency items on you. Between car crashes, floods, debilitating migraines, and rabid racoons, I find it best to be prepared. This is the style recommended for women traveling. In this pocket I keep:

  • Epipen
  • Medications I need immediate access to
  • Car key (mine pop apart)
  • Phone if I need it

The Lady’s Guide to Perfect Gentility and Manners, by Emily Thornwell, 1859.

When I am walking into the village, or event, I carry things in their particular containers:

  • Straw working materials go in a basket or bag or wallet depending on the work and era.
  • Meals go in a basket most often
  • What other stuff have I carried in my pockets?
  • Bananas
  • Water bottles
  • Bag of crackers
  • Camera
  • Workbox
  • Slippers


Separate pocket beneath the petticoat for travelling – Eliza Leslie’s The Behaviour Book , 1853 & 1859. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89098853203?urlappend=%3Bseq=106 Republished as The Ladies Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners, 1864.

*Yes, I am aware some are apposed to the wearing of tie-on pockets for the Civil War era, some strongly apposed. As I do multiple eras, I find keeping my essential items on me in the same place, regardless of era, is the best way for me to make sure I can quickly access what I need.

Published in: on February 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Fascinating. And the separate hidden pocket is a great idea. Thank you!

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