Do you have a pocket tee? If not, it’s time you got one because it’s one of those pieces of clothing that have become an ultimate wardrobe must-have for any guy.
Pocket t-shirts come in multiple styles, from your classic everyday crewnecks to celebrity favoured Henleys to V-necks that are great for casual layering.
We love a pocket tee because it’s just the right amount of extra flare to still be suitable for most occasions, from casual Fridays at work to weekend drinks at your local pub.
So what are pocket tees, and why you should get them?
How the t-shirt story began
Have you ever thought about who wore the first t-shirts and how this now ubiquitous garment came to be?
Well, the first t-shirts in the late 19th century did not really look like the ones we wear today as they covered the whole body instead of just the torso (yes, they had long sleeves and bottoms!). The first people to wear these t-shirts were labourers like mine workers to protect their outerwear from bodily dirt and fluids.
Yep, it doesn’t sound great, but have in mind that bathing and laundry were not as common then as it is now!
In the early to mid 20th century, the t-shirts looked much more like they do now but were still mainly worn undergarments by military personnel and later college athletes.
You wouldn’t have met a person wearing just the t-shirt all the way until the 1960s, after tees as outerwear was popularised by Hollywood bad boys like Marlon Brando and James Dean.
Today a t-shirt is both a beloved piece of wardrobe from both outer and underwear!
Did we always have pockets?
Today it’s pretty unimaginable for clothes to be pocketless. Jeans, jackets, coats and other clothing all have pockets for us to keep miscellaneous items.
But pockets did not appear on clothing until around 500 years ago, and still, they did not resemble the modern pockets we have today much.
People simply wore small pouches attached to their petticoats and belts or just hung them around their waits.
Because they were not part of the garment, it was easy to lose the pocket, or for thieves to steal it, so with time, tailors started making cuts in pants that developed to be the pockets we have today.
Pockets on shirts and t-shirts
Pockets on shirts and t-shirts didn’t generally appear until the mid 20th century, and the first ones to wear shirts with pockets were sailors who used them to keep small items.
Because women’s clothing was very different (aka not comfortable) for a large part of fashion history, it was mainly just men’s shirts with chest pockets. Women were expected to carry their things in purses.
While pockets served a practical purpose for a long time, relatively recently, designers started adding them just for stylistic purposes.
Shirt and t-shirt pockets usually come in three main styles. The classic shirt pocket has pointed corners and is quite large. The rounded pocket can be found on most tees and has rounded corners. Lastly, utility pockets are also quite large and have made a splash in men’s fashion by creating a unique, edgy look. Utility pockets often are made from a different material than the tee.
Why you should get a pocket tee
Pocket tee is a great addition to your t-shirt rotation because it makes any outfit look a little more fun or, more precisely – less boring.
The pocket adds some quirkiness and freshness to the style and almost substitutes accessories if you’re not one for necklaces or bracelets.
Lastly, while still casual, a pocket t-shirt gives an air of class with quiet simplicity. Who doesn’t want that?
Best pocket tees
If you’re looking for a pocket tee to add to your collection, here are a few that we truly like.
Mott & Bow pocket tee is soft yet thick enough to keep its shape. It’s not too tight yet not too loose and will look great on its own or as a layering piece.
Frank and Oak tee made from a cotton and polyester blend is very soft, stretchy, and has tight sleeves. It also has a tiny pocket for those who don’t like the big ones.
Fresh Clean Tees has some great crewneck pocket tees made from fine cotton. They come in stylish colours that will go pretty much anything and have a really lovely feel. The pocket is just the right size too, so it’s an overall winner in our book. Check it out here: freshcleantees.com/collections/pocket-tees
The last pocket tee we want to recommend is by Everlane. It’s made from 100% cotton and is very thick, so it’s a great find for everyone who dislikes the too-thin shirts. It’s also one of those tees that feel worn in and super comfortable from the first time, which is quite rare!