Pocket Panache

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Struggling in my handbag is an almost daily experience for me. Oh, I made sure to choose a bag with all the organizer pockets including one for a cell phone. (Forget the fact that either I fail to turn the phone on, I fail to turn it off so it has lost all power when I want to use it, or I fail to put it back in my purse at all after I’ve taken it in the house to charge.) The main goal is to get with all the new time-saving, organizational gear.
Let’s live beyond the sectional bag, fold up the cargo pants and slip into “e-wear”. With room for your cell phone and a full array of today’s other gadgets – CD and MP3 players, digital cameras, and pocket PCs, a new trend in clothing has hidden chambers for every little thing (the lining is channeled for all the wires).
Retailers are anticipating a growing market for “gadget-ready clothing”. Research suggests that 60 percent of Americans will be carrying electronics six or more hours a day by 2007. Clothing companies see the need for a place to put it all, predicting that the wearable-computer market will exceed $500 million in the next four years.
Once a standard only for the galaxy travelers of science fiction, where Spock pushed his “v” shaped lapel pin or Kirk logged onto his wrist communicator to check in with their starship, today’s small electronics market is expanding. From Levi’s to a company called Technology Enabled Clothing, manufacturers are turning out pocket- laden pants and parkas with minidisc players built in.
One caution: How will the pocketed wonders fare at laundry time? All gadgets need to be removed before cleaning. At my house, these extra little things to remember get left for mom. However, the tips run high in our laundry room. Though not intentional, the legal tender I wash, find refreshed in the dryer, and – in turn – claim as finders keepers (sometimes), affords me a continuous windfall. The prospect of MP3 players that can be tumble dried doesn’t cut it like the cash.
So far, I’ve managed to stay out of Mark’s large, organizer-type wallet that’s too big for his back pocket. I usually find it wedged next to the base of the driver’s captain seat in my van after he’s driven during a family outing. He’s a good candidate for an “e-vest”. I say hats off and pockets on; let’s find a place for it all. That shoe commercial keeps ringing in my ears. You know? The guy with a tough voice says, “Shoes for your feet. Pockets for your stuff.”

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