I love specialized pockets that have been designed to hold specific things. They’re not that great if you want versatility, but they’re absolutely awesome if you have the right things to put into them. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to get a small, Alcantara-lined pocket put into the interior side of my summer sport coats (Alcantara being a soft, suede-y material). The purpose? To hold my sunglasses – sort of like having an eyewear case built into my jackets.
Here’s another specialized pocket. This one was patented in 1949 by Esther Priest Montague, who came up with a solution for people needing to carry umbrellas (either indoors when they’re shopping, or perhaps outside in anticipation of rain). Montague invented a special kind of pocket that into the front of raincoats. It was 18" deep (so designed to hold shorter umbrellas) and made with a banded top (so that your umbrella wouldn’t accidentally fall out). The bottom was also reinforced with an extra layer of lining to prevent the umbrella’s tip from wearing through the coat.
You can still find raincoats with umbrella pockets these days, but they’re very rare. If you have an alterations tailor, however, he or she can put one in for you (depending on how your coat is built). If you get one, consider something made from of mesh, so the pocket can quickly dry, and get it made to the length of a compact, travel umbrella. That way, when your umbrella is in your pocket and you’re sitting down, it’ll lay next to your thigh without sticking out past your knee.
This could be a great solution for anyone who has ever accidentally left their umbrella behind at a restaurant or bar. You never forget your coat, and now – if you have an umbrella pocket – you’ll also never forget your umbrella.