Frogmouth Pockets

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Connery-Goldfinger-Frogmouth-Pockets
Frogmouth pockets in Goldfinger

Frogmouth pockets, also called western pockets or full top pockets, were popular on trousers in the 1960s and 1970s. As opposed to traditional on-seam or slanted pockets that are accessed from the side, frogmouth pockets are accessed from the front like pockets on jeans. But unlike pockets on jeans, frogmouth pockets are not curved. They are slightly slanted down across the front, and offset down from the waistband so the pocket is in the middle of the hips rather than on top of the hips. On lower-rise trousers the frogmouth pockets don’t need to be offset from the waistband. Unlike side pockets, frogmouth pockets don’t flare open trousers that fit tightly across the hips. Frogmouth pockets aren’t very fashionable today, but with the popularity of jeans and tight trousers it’s surprising that the frogmouth pocket hasn’t made a comeback. Though the style naturally goes with today’s trends, they will continue to look dated to the 1960s and 70s unless they come back into mainstream fashion.

Moore-Frogmouth-Pockets
Douglas Hayward trousers in For Your Eyes Only

Sean Connery’s brown cavalry twill trousers in Goldfinger and Thunderball have frogmouth pockets, as do some of his casual trousers. Douglas Hayward, who made Roger Moore’s suits in his 1980s Bond films, put frogmouth pockets on Moore’s suit trousers. They can be seen on the grey flannel suit in For Your Eyes Only and on the black trousers worn with the white dinner jacket in Octopussy.

Connery-YOLT-Frogmouth-Pockets
Notice the dart above the pocket.

Whilst pleated trousers can’t have frogmouth pockets, both flat front and darted front trousers can. Frogmouth pockets and darts aren’t often seen together, but Sean Connery’s grey trousers in You Only Live Twice have a dart above the middle of the frogmouth pockets. Darts can also be along the front edge of the pocket, which is how the brown trousers in Goldfinger are made, and it may be the case for Moore’s Hayward trousers too. Roger Moore’s trousers in The Persuaders have offset jetted frogmouth pockets that cut through the front dart, which is in the middle above the trousers’ leg crease.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting post – I had not even thought of these making a comeback, but as I often say, *everything* comes back eventually.

    My memories of these pockets are that in the 80s, you would see older unfashionable men wearing ill-fitting, loose polyester trousers with these types of pockets. I have no memory of these ever being “in” or looking cool, but I didn’t notice men’s clothing until the 80s. I wonder if this is a common way of thinking of them? If so perhaps they are still too strongly associated with being unfashionable. Perhaps hipsters will reclaim them first!

    Given that pleats (and by that I mean shallow, single pleats) are just starting to appear on men’s pants again I think that the frogmouth pockets may have missed their chance this time around.

    • Possible they’ll make a comeback but I doubt it will happen consciously by those who wear them.
      From my experience people simply don’t notice such small things. They don’t notice the type of pockets, or whether their trousers have pleats, or turn ups, or lapel width or jacket length. They notice whether their suits are skinny or “too baggy, like an old man’s jacket”. People dress in the fashion that fashion designers give them.
      Those who follow fashion trends know what look is in right now, but don’t know how the little things that make the look.
      Perhaps that came off as a little cynical, but I’ve noticed a lot more attention put into accessories recently than the base construction of the suit.

  2. As a self confessed dinosaur I admit to choosing precisely these style pockets for any trousers and suits I get made by my tailor. I really like their streamlined look and the advantage, as you point out, that “unlike side pockets, frogmouth pockets don’t flare open trousers that fit tightly across the hips”. The other clean looking alternative is, as Moore did also on many occasions, have no front pockets at all although I find this, for some reason, a little odd, as, one may (shock horror!) want to put ones hands in the pockets while standing, especially when wearing a suit. With a full suit and no pockets at all in the trousers where does one put ones hands without appearing a little stiff?

    The only drawback with the frogmouth pockets, as I see it, is that it’s not possible to have a small coin pocket placed just under the waistband as it wouldn’t really make sense above these style pockets.

  3. I’m not a fan, but for those who are, Jump The Gun suits and trousers commonly have frogmouth pockets, as do those from DNA Groove.

    • And how about the perfect Goldfinger 3-piece suit, in collaboration with David Mason ?

      … just kidding 🙂

      That said I think it is too sad the trousers you offer (Edbury) are only available in flat front, but I understand only a very small percentage of people could be interested in buying them in a pleated version.
      Business is business !

  4. “Frogmouth pockets aren’t very fashionable today”…

    No?
    I have several pairs,light grey,charcoal,tan in cavalry twill,and houndstooth (black and white and brown and tan).
    Here in Italy are easy to find.
    Are great with a odd jacket with narrow lapels and a solid silk knitted tie!
    Saturday i dressed with a shetland herringbone brown tobacco odd coat, brown and tan oundstooth trousers with frog mouth pockets and a tan silk knitted tie from British Army that i have buy on ebay.

  5. This is an interesting detail. I have pretty big hips so when my trouser pockets flare out they make my hips look bigger. My tailor has mentioned to me the last time I went to see him that he thought maybe frogmouth pockets would be better. I’ll have to give these a try the soonest I am able to visit him again.

    • You can wear any type of pockets you want as long as your trousers fit well. You may need trousers with pleats, a darted front instead of a flat front, or two darts over each rear pocket instead of one to fit big hips. I have the same problem.

  6. I certainly consider frogmouth pockets superior in look. Unfortunately, my RTW revier – N&L, Cordings, E&R, etc. – doesn’t share my preference, only Holland & Holland, but they never ever had an online sale.

  7. A comeback is v.likely – everything old is new again. I used to see a lot of trousers with vertical pockets where there was a press stud or button arrangement to seal the pocket entrance. A tailor told me they were probably intended for European countries, where it is thought extremely rude for a man to keep his hands in his trouser pockets. Perhaps this will also return, as an alternative to doing away with the pockets altogether.

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