Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

Where Have All the Pockets Gone?

by Kendra Vandervalk: Risking Health, Liberty, and Sanity in Search of the Perfect Pair of Pocket Carry Jeans

Several months ago, my husband and I were hard at work in Kohl’s in search of the unicorn of pants: plus-sized stretchy boot-cut jeans in short length with pockets deep enough to hold a gun. We’d already been to Target, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and a few more. We’d seen fake “fool you” pockets, shallow pockets, flimsy pockets, and pockets only good for carrying a quarter, so you could make half of a phone call if your purse were ever stolen. We greeted the shopping day determined and strong, but after hours of searching we had grown weary of these token pockets and were hungry, thirsty, tired, irritable, and developing an aversion to fluorescent lighting.

Knowing that time was running out for both of us – (we had just made-up after a heated argument about which dressing room was the closest) – I garnered what little spirit I had left and went to try on yet another batch of jeans. I came out to show my husband a promising pair, and was alarmed to see that he was still diligently checking pockets while I was in the dressing room. Somehow it was a less suspicious activity when we were together. Alone, he looked like a weird pervert with a jean pocket fetish and women were starting to stare.  Aside from being afraid for him, all I felt was pride. Here was my husband, feeling up all the jeans in a 10-mile radius at the risk of his liberty, to demonstrate his dedication to me and the plight of the pocketless.

I love to pocket carry. Of all the methods I have tried, it’s the one I feel most comfortable with, and something about my large curves allows a .380 LCP to practically disappear against my thigh. Plus-sized fashion has really improved over the years, but my search for pocketful jeans makes me realize that we may have lost something along the way. Why are there no pockets? Do the designers think we don’t want them for fear of filling them up with iPhones and car keys and looking larger? Do women really feel that way? I hope that most women who wish to pocket carry have enough respect and love for their bodies no matter what size they are to want to protect themselves and not care about a pocket bulge.

After all that searching I bought exactly one pair of jeans: a plain, stretchy, straight-legged pair with a higher waist than I prefer. The LCP fits perfectly in the pocket and it’s easy to draw the gun cleanly. I did have to compromise on style, but accessories can help a girl pull off any look with confidence and my favorite is a gun loaded with self-defense rounds. It does make me wonder though:

Oh, where have all the pockets gone,
that hold more than a dime?
They’d have me be defenseless,
but sure look slim from the side!

Do you find yourself in the same situation? What did you do about it? Are there pockets in your part of the country? Write me at

Kendra Vandervalk works in higher education planning fundraisers and otherwise begging for money. She lives in Connecticut with her husband of 10 years and a pack of rescued beagles. She tries her best to juggle volunteer work with a beagle rescue league and numerous other non-shooting hobbies including scrapbooking, writing, reading, and dancing. She has been shooting for over three years and has just decided to also become an antique gun collector in all her spare time.

Leave a Reply