What is the small pocket on jeans for?

There are certain things that, after seeing them so much in everyday life, go unnoticed. And they pass, and pass, until they end up becoming details that were always there (right?), and no one notices their origin.

One of these things is the small pocket on jeans, that square space of just a few centimeters that, when it emerged, was not for aesthetics, but for a matter of utility.

The origin of the small jeans pocket

We owe the invention of the mythical jeans to a certain world-famous brand. Its founder, a German who emigrated to the United States in the mid-19th century, decided to make work clothes for miners using denim, a highly resistant fabric suitable for the harsh conditions of that work.

The first jeans marketed by this brand had four pockets: a back pocket, two front pockets and the small pocket we are referring to. The function of the latter, far from being aesthetic, was to keep the classic pocket watch and chain, a popular and delicate object that, until then, there was no choice but to keep it in a much more unprotected pocket.

The time of the watch has passed, but not of his pocket.

With the arrival of the 20th century, the wristwatch put an end to the days of the pocket watch, which eventually fell into disuse. However, the new denim brands kept the small pocket on their pants, perhaps as a detail that distinguished the denim from other pants.

Although the pocket watch was practically no longer used, in the 1930s another object appeared that, intentionally or not, fit perfectly in the small pocket of the cowboy: the Zippo, a lighter that had to remain in an upright position to prevent the gasoline it contained from spilling.

Continuing through the decades to the present day, the small jeans pocket is used to store practically anything that fits in it: coins, wrappers, gum, lighters that don't spill...

What about the rivets on the trouser pockets?

Without leaving the jeans, another of those small details that already serve an aesthetic function are the metal rivets on the jeans pockets.

These metal parts were put on the first jeans also for an essentially practical reason, as in the case of the small pocket.

As we said before, jeans emerged as work clothes for miners, who loaded their pockets with a lot of weight during the long days. To prevent this excess weight from unpicking and tearing the miners' pockets, the corners were reinforced with metal rivets, thus increasing the strength and durability of the garment.

The color of the thread was perhaps the only element with an aesthetic connotation of the first jeans, because the color called caldera is the one that combined best with the metallic color of the rivets. That is why most of today's regular jeans are still sewn by default with this rather tan color thread.


It is curious that a garment originally designed for work has become a fashion icon. In fact, from the first brand that invented jeans to the present day, there have been hundreds of companies that market this mythical garment, both women's jeans and men's jeans.

As is always the case, high levels of demand drive brands to cut costs and reduce lead times through assembly line production, all at the expense of workers and the planet.

We put into practice the slow fashion model, creating denim clothing in an artisanal way, with sustainable materials and a timeless catalog.

The slow fashion is not a fashion, but the solution to problems that go less and less unnoticed and have a clear origin: the fast fashion of the big fashion brands.

Don't be part of the problem: be part of the solution with sustainable denim fashion from Bustins Jeans.

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