Fashion & Beauty

The Pleasure of Pockets

Actor Hunter Schafer wore a refreshingly practical gown by Armani Privé to the premiere of Kinds of Kindness at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, France, May 17, 2024. / Photo by Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock.

By Janet Kelly

WHAT DO women want? Pockets! Here’s actor Hunter Schafer at this year’s Cannes Film Festival nonchalantly putting her hands into the deep pockets of an Armani Privé gown. She looks gorgeous, but even more than that, confident.

In the main, when we talk about pockets we’re talking about how convenient they are. However, as my colleague Nancy McKeon points out, “a lot of it is really about looking cool. I can’t think of a better way to look laidback than to have your hand (or even hands) in your pocket(s). Our mothers would be horrified, but pockets give us something to do with our hands.”

And that certainly applies to all the easygoing summer dresses below—from Banana Republic’s utility dress to Ulla Johnson’s checked cover-up.


Banana Republic’s Utility Dress (also in black and clay brown) checks my boxes for the shift I’d buy to wear all summer long. With fabric that’s an 80%/20% linen-and-cotton blend, a loose fit and a full lining (so it won’t stick to you), it’s made for feeling cool and crisp in wilting weather. It sells for $150.

A 2012 Parsons School of Design graduate, Nikki Chasin combines the feminine with the unfussy for her namesake label. A playful zig-zag appliqué frames the gathered yoke and puff sleeves on this ivory, mid-length henley dress ($388).

Summer like a French girl in a sunny cotton poplin dress from Paris-based Soeur. Named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, it’s a smart option for steamy days thanks to its material, relaxed silhouette and breezy sleeves. Too much volume, no waist? No worries. A fabric belt at the back will cinch you in to flatter that part. The dress sells for $395.

When you feel like wearing a skirt instead of your jeans, this field skirt is one I much prefer over the endless long and draggy denim maxis. Fitted at the waist, it eases into a gentle full skirt that hits at the lower calf. Feed your inner cowgirl with its yoke details, waistband and a button fly. It also comes in a navy or light-blue cotton stripe and sells for $350. 

A shout-out to Ulla Johnson for designing this flow window-pane check dress with practical pockets. So, pull it over your swimsuit, yes, but I’d also team it with a T-shirt and wear it beyond the beach and pool.

The Françoise skirt kind of reminds me of an awning but in a good, beachy vibes way. It has an elastic waistband but also comes with loops to accommodate a coordinating belt. Plus, the skirt has the right amount of swoosh. It sells for $188 from Mille.

For grown-up girls, a sailor midi dress ($398) in nautical navy with shell buttons down the front and tabs at waist. Take a tip from designer Nikki Chasin who believes clothes should not be too serious and slip a yellow linen three-quarter sleeve blouse under it.



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Grownup Girl Fashion by MyLittleBird

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One thought on “The Pleasure of Pockets

  1. Nancy G says:

    LOVE pockets. In skirts, dresses. I always look for pockets. Where else do you keep Kleenex, keys, phone, a credit card?

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