Pockets were once simple bags that hung from a belt. Otzi the Iceman was a mummified man found in the Alps. Dating to 3,300 BCE, the man had a pocket made of leather. Pockets worn hung from belts persisted for thousands of years. In the 13th century, slits called fitchets were cut into garments to reach an inner pocket hung from a belt. Women also wore these pockets accessible through slits in the side seams of their garments. The hidden bags thwarted pickpockets and were used to store coins, combs, keys, and hankies.
Sewing patterns made in the 1840s feature pockets sewn into the side seams of men's trousers. Utilitarian garments produced during World War I featured pockets in women's clothing.