server apron, wearables

Pockets on Uniform: What to Do When Your Uniform Doesn’t Have Pockets

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Millions of professionals don the uniform at the beginning of each day. Your uniform might be button-down and formal or it might be heavy-duty and protective. You might have just a uniform shirt and a few outfit standards or you might wear a full costume to perform your daily role. Your uniform defines the material, cut, and style of your clothes at work. Some uniforms are designed for utility, including tool belts or aprons bursting with pockets.

Uniforms designed for appearance, however, often have no pockets at all. This little oversight is especially inconvenient if your duties require even one handheld tool or small supplies. Where do you put your phone, or clip a pen, or holster your scanner if your uniform has no pockets, is sewed-shut, or useless, and tiny? We know exactly the challenge you’re facing, it’s a common problem in uniformed roles where the uniform was not fully thought out in design. Fortunately, there are many handy and even stylish solutions available for on-the-job pockets.  

Wear a Jacket with Extra Pockets

Many jobs allow employees to wear a jacket under common conditions. Wintertime, refrigerated storage, and over-chilled offices all result in jackets at work along with your uniform. Prioritize jackets with plenty of well-built pockets that don’t dump their contents. Interior breast pockets are also very handy when you’re short on other pocket options. In some workplaces, you can wear a light jacket all the time and use this as your default pocket solution. You may alternately be able to choose a pocketed vest or sweater to wear most of the time.

Tie On a Pocketed Apron or Half-Apron

Depending on your role, the best solution might be a service apron with a professional array of pockets. You can pull on a full apron or just the lower half-apron that is essentially all pockets. There will be no confusion about your attire as a uniformed pro wearing a few extra pockets in a very professional way. The right apron for the job will depend on the style and venue of your workplace and, of course, on the style of your uniform. Find an apron or half-apron that matches the color scheme of your uniform (black matches most palettes) and wear it in a way that is both useful and a little stylish. Even if your employer didn’t intend for apron pockets to be part of the uniform, many will understand practical self-equipping.

Add Holsters and Loops to Your Belt

For a more heavy-duty way to add pockets to your uniform, try belt holsters. Many uniforms include a sturdy belt holding trousers or work pants in place and securing your tucked-in shirt. A sturdy belt is also an opportunity for subtly and seriously increasing your cargo capacity. Start with a phone and wallet holster to carry your personal essentials. Most employers will nod at a quick and practical way to keep the most personal effects on your person. From there, a few loops and extra holsters can quickly solve your pocket problem. A solid-bottom holster can hold spare change and loops can handily hold keys you use daily. Loops can hold hanging tools and additional belt holsters.

Carry a Messenger Bag or Purse

Some roles allow you to carry a bag through the workplace. A single subtle bag slung across your shoulders can serve all your personal storage needs without interrupting your uniformed appearance in a major way. Whether a bag will work depends entirely on your employer and possibly on your specific manager. Some may carry a utilitarian messenger back, a small backpack, or possibly a shoulder-strap purse to serve as portable pockets.

Find Sleek Cuts for Cargo Pants

If your work attire is casual, try swapping your slacks for cargo pants of the same color and general cut. We’re not talking about the puffy cargo pants of your teens. Instead, look for sleek, slacks-cut cargo pants that have subtle yet reinforced pockets stitched into the sides. As long as you look professional and fit into a group photo of your uniformed coworkers, a few extra pockets that only provide you a little on-person storage could be your solution.

Sew In Hidden Pockets

If all else fails, add pockets to the uniform itself. Check for ‘sealed pockets’ first, these are stitched shut so that using them doesn’t interrupt the ‘line’ of the clothes. Use a seam ripper (a small sharp tool) can be used to open up sealed pockets. If your uniform has an inner lining, you can sew a small pocket into the clothing itself. Take a small square piece of fabric and securely sew the left, right, and lower sides to create a pocket. This can allow you to wear your given uniform and still have a few secret pockets to stash a pen, change, your phone, and other small essentials.