What’s the Deal with Women Carrying Purses:The Answer at Last


Women carry purses.  It’s a fact of life, but one that has puzzled men forever.  Why do women have this compulsive need to carry around something that (1)you’re always worrying about –where is it now, I can’t put it there! (2)weighs a ton, (3) and seems like something out of a magic act; the most amazing things come out of the bag. Why can’t they just walk out of the house(or apartment, as the case may be)and without one?  Let me give you a quick explanation.

The root of purse-carrying compulsion is simple.  Women’s clothes are usually made without practical, functional pockets. That includes dresses, blouses(yes you’ve seen blouses with pockets; I’ll get into that later), pants-with jeans as the notable exception, and jackets. 

Often when you see a women’s jacket that has pockets on it, they are false pockets–very shallow–or you’ll find they are actually sewn shut! Men’s jackets also have pockets on the inside, but women’s jackets have no inside pockets. 

Dresses-again with rare exceptions–are made without any pockets, because the designers have to figure out how to do it without ruining the lines of the dress.  To avoid that headache, they either put the pockets in the seam, or forget about it altogether. Watch the TV show “Project Runway” sometime, and see how much trouble they have even sewing zippers in women’s clothes. The garments almost never have pockets, and since they are always worried about running out of fabric, the dresses are made with barely enough room to allow the women to get their bodies into them.  Women larger than a size two leave the designers in tears…In more recent years they’ve made the designers make clothes for normal sized women, but the designers grumble endlessly about it, and have no clue what to do when the women actually has a bust they must consider…..

Women’s blouses that have the two pockets over the chest have non-functional pockets.  No woman in her right mind would put anything thing in those–they are over her  breasts. Anything put in there would be physically irritating, and draw extra attention to that area, which would be emotionally irritating.  Again, it is a matter of preference for the woman involved but when’s the last time you saw a woman wearing a pen in the pockets on the chest of her blouse? 

Pockets in pants tend to be very shallow–so you are almost guaranteed to lose anything you put in them.  Side pockets gap–and have the added insult of making you look wider.  Since denim jeans are made of such sturdy fabric, they tend to not distort the body as much as regular material.  Jeans are also made form-fitting so you might have to consider removing your jeans to get anything out of the rear pockets–they are for decoration–and the front pockets are, again very shallow.

Men’s jackets have at least four pockets, pants have two, and if his shirt has pockets on it he can actually use them.

Clothes construction aside, there is one more reason women carry purses.  Women tend to plan ahead; it’s trained into us from childhood.  She carries with her anything she things she might possibly need in the course of the day(or evening). That’s why when you ask if she has any gum, or a pen, or Chapstick, or the address of the place where you’re  going, she usually has it.  I know sometimes it looks like we have everything in our bags except the kitchen sink (it wouldn’t fit)and we spend endless time searching for things, but there’s a method behind the madness. 

Note to bag designers: Cut us some slack and put a light in the purse like the ones in refrigerators(they turn on when you open the bag) so we can see inside the bag!  Years ago AVON had a briefcase with an interior light, and it was a brilliant idea. Again, the bags are made with–if you’re lucky–two pockets inside, and everything else is just thrown in there. Since everything shifts as you move, you have to hunt for what you want. Also.  Why make bags that weigh a ton before you put anything on them.  I’ve seen the expensive bags on shopping channels that have more hardware on them than a tool chest, but you’re expected to add more inside them and then try to carry them around on your arm?  That will only work if the bag goes from your house to the car, and you won’t be carrying it around for long.  I’ve worked with women who bought bags like this, were thrilled to get them.  After a single afternoon spent shopping with the extra weight on their arms,they  decided to never use them again unless they were sure they weren’t going far.

So, in conclusion all I can say is, just be grateful that the woman you’re with isn’t asking you to carry her purse, and that she’s willing to carry your keys or wallet(you know you ask us), and gives you some gum from her bag.  After all without a purse she could carry very little  and might have to ask you to carry her lipstick or something worse like personal item; you know what one I mean…..


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