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Apologies, lovely readers, that I’ve not been on here for an awfully long time. I shall attempt to update more often. 🙂

I’m afraid I’m breaking my silence with something fairly frivolous, though I think it says an awful lot of horrible things about our culture’s attitude towards women.

I’ve just worn outside for the first time a new coat – an end line from Nomads, bought from a seller on eBay. It’s a rather gorgeous, long velvet patchwork job with a hood. Open from the waist down, which is possibly going to be sub-optimal when I have period pains, but on the other hand it enables it to be nice and non-restrictive in its length, and it’s big enough to wrap around my legs when I sit down. Being made by Nomads it is also fair trade, which is a big plus.

So far, so good. It’s also pretty warm where it closes despite not being as thick or heavy as I expected, and the lack of weight given my disabilities is a real advantage. I got the large size despite being rather thin, which was sensible as it now fits over four layers. It’s almost too long which may cause problems in the wheelchair, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. 😉

HOWEVER, it has no pockets. Not one. Not even a pair of those rather inadequate, shallow, oddly-angled and non-fastenable pockets that most long women’s coats have and which appear to have been designed by one of Dickens’ pick-pockets for ease of access.

But no, instead, there are no pockets at all.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot very well imagine a man’s coat, similarly designed as a warm and smart garment for winters in town, lacking such an essential thing as pockets. I don’t think it would even occur to a designer to omit them.

Are women who wear women’s clothing expected to have no keys? No train or bus tickets? No parking permits or spare change? No gloves? And this even by ethical and talented designers such as those employed by Nomads? The open nature of the coat below the waist *does* mean that I could carry such things in my trouser pockets… except that the leathers I’m wearing today at least also have no pockets, which again I have never seen in a man’s leather trousers. I usually wear a rucksack, but sometimes it is just nice to be able to access my Oyster card or similar quickly, and rucksacks are better for items one does not need to get to in a hurry.

*sighs* I suppose I must conclude that I am expected to conform to the demands of designers and carry a handbag. Despite the fact that those things hurt my shoulders, are difficult to carry alongside a proper rucksack, and are a nightmare to keep secure in areas such as central London. And they are much harder to negotiate when you carry a walking stick, as I frequently do.

Where this particular outfit is concerned, I’ll think of something. And I love my coat sufficiently in other respects that I shall put up with this rather startling flaw. But I shall also be writing to Nomads, because this is just *silly*.

There are so many more important and urgent things for us to be campaigning about that I’m reluctant to start beating the drum too loudly for the need for women’s clothing to have good, secure pockets, designed (as men’s are) to fit with the appearance of the garment. Even so, this does seem like yet another example of the fact that products designed for women are aimed more at the people who are going to be looking at the woman, rather than for *her*.

And I for one am getting thoroughly fed up with it.

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