Pockets of History

The type of pocket that Lucy Locket lost was a tie on garment, worn on tapes around her waist. Pockets like these were quite common before the introduction of handbags, but they are now largely forgotten, a hidden part of fashion history.


This exhibition at the Fashion Museum explores the making, using, nature, function and significance of pockets from the 18th century to the time when they eventually died out at the beginning of the 20th century.


The exhibition includes over 25 examples of pockets, which have been loaned to the Fashion Museum from museums all over the UK especially for this show. There are examples from the Museum’s own collection including an 18th century pocket embroidered in bright coloured wools and an interesting plain ‘double-decker’ pocket, which dates from late Victorian times.

Image: cream fabric pocket embroidered with bright coloured flowers

Mid 18th century embroidered pocket


An online exhibition of pockets can be seen at the V&A museum website