Updated: Apr 27
SCOTTeVEST: The brand name that travelers covet for their hidden pockets and versatile applications. Is it worth the hype? Always Packs Tissues investigates.
Note: Always Pack Tissues represents many tried and tested travel sites as what is called an 'affiliate' partner. That means if you click on my ads I may get a commission from a resulting sale.
SCOTTeVEST Doesn't Just Make Vests
There are probably two ways that you have potentially come across the term "SCOTTeVEST": first, in a simple google search for 'pickpocket proof' clothing. You'll drool over the appeal of hidden zippers and pocket count, you know, because pocket count is as valuable as word count on your high school paper. The more pockets the better, and some of their products have 20 or more pockets! From vests (of course), outerwear, pants, accessories and yes, women's clothing, SCOTTeVEST has created quite the name for themselves based on the allure of one thing - HIDDEN POCKETS.
Alternatively, you've probably heard of SCOTTeVEST by word of mouth. In my case, I had just hosted a murder mystery dinner at my house and as we lingered over post-murder cocktails in to the wee hours, Terence Shrimp, aka investigative photog of the evening, started showing off his wardrobe to the rest of us hippie clad murder suspects. In tan and khaki from head to toe, Terence looked like Steve Erwin, crouched in the Serengeti grass, waiting for the perfect shot of a lioness feasting on its prey.
From pocket to pocket, Terence proudly showed the large fold in his SCOTTeVEST to stash a tablet, pockets for keys and wallets, hidden compartments for a passport or ear buds, coin pockets, pockets within pockets, and then "dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried"....oops we're getting off track. Mr. Terence Shrimp was as proud of his SCOTTeVEST and its versatility as Bubba Gump rattling off the many ways to prepare the fruit of the sea.
One friend chimed in that he also owned a SCOTTeVEST, and another fiddled away on his phone ordering one right there on the spot. In this one conversation the previously unknown to me brand "SCOTTeVEST" was catching fire. I had to have one of my own. The next morning, I ordered two items for women from the SCOTTeVEST website - the Dorothy Dress and the Scarlett Skort. I couldn't wait to unpackage them and try them out!
A Review of the Dorothy Dress:
Who doesn't love a little black dress? If I had chosen a more appropriate size for me, this could have been VERY flattering. Instead, the Dorothy Dress fell short on style but high on functionality. Read on for more.
Why I chose this one: This is their cutest, most youthful dress option, in my opinion. It has a snug top that flares by the knee.
Price: Pre-discount $129
How many pockets: 4
Delivery speed: Ordered on a Saturday, arrived on Thursday.
First Impressions: Looked huge, wide and with no visible flattery lines. The material is slinky and very lightweight, but durable like workout shorts. Black is not VIBRANT, it's more like charcoal. There are no tags by the neckline. I didn't think it was going to fit.
After I tried it on: Wow! It fit way better than I'd guess looking at it on the hanger. Nice big zip pockets on the sides with interior pockets within those pockets. The cut around the neck looks like nurse's scrubs. The armpits are average and don't show any unsightly bulges or bra. The line of the dress falls nicely and is fairly shapely. Cute enough for a day out in the heat in Florida, and with the right accessories could be very cute for an evening.
Outer zip pockets (2): Large zippered pockets fit my phone and all my stuff without the feeling of any sag or heavy load. Bonus: zip pockets were a win going into the ocean with all my stuff (read: no emergency trip to the store for rice to dry out a soaked cell phone).
Pocket-within-a-pocket (2): These inner pockets are just nice to haves for other stuff you want to corral. Although it fits my Google Pixel very well, the zipper pockets on the Dorothy Dress eliminate the need to use the inner pockets as added security from falling out.
Applications: A dress with pockets eliminates the need for a purse and cuts down on rummaging through stuff to find the essentials. An everyday dress with a little added functionality.
Biggest perk: Zip pockets
Biggest let down: Size Large is too big for me to look really attractive, but black is black and can look good on just about anybody.
It kind of has a 'I just threw on a cape from the nearest Hair Cuttery' vibe, but with the right jewelry and attitude looks good I think.
Field Test: I took this dress out and about on a day camping in Titusville, Florida, most notably known for being home to the astronauts during the 1960s space race. The town is littered with cute little has-been motels and diners, and stellar views of all the rocket launch pads. Playalinda Brewery is a cool spot in town for beer flights and snacks and then we took a drive down to Canaveral National Seashore for some pics in the water. As I splashed in the surf and the dress got wet, I tested its ability to dry quickly, which it did within about an hour. I got to thinking if the material had some UPF coverage, but I couldn't find anything on the website about it. I romped around town, got sand on it, got it soaked and everything held up well all day.
"You should let me try it on", Mom said with a hinting glance, "I'd kill to have that dress!"
Overall: Not the most flattering size on my small frame, but it's a solid choice for comfort and pocket use. It doesn't get much play in my closet, and really only comes out for days I need an extra breezy dress and don't care about dressing too well. It's become my camping and lazy weekend dress.
A Review of the Scarlett Skort:
A tennis skirt with built in shorts, this option was a low-budget choice for me to enjoy the hot Florida summers without the dreaded thigh chafe! With extra pockets for my chapstick, phone, keys and coins or cash, this takes product takes the win.
Why I chose this one: I don't wear skirts, ever. Part of the reason for this is they leave me with chafed thighs and don't typically flatter all that much once I hoist it up over my gut bulge. I wanted to find a skirt that offered sensibility and style to change up my travel wardrobe.
Price: Pre-discount $74
How many pockets: 6
Delivery speed: Ordered on a Saturday, arrived on Thursday.
First impressions: Nice slinky material. It looked like it had nice functional pockets and the right amount of material.
After I tried it on: Super comfy. Shorts under the skirt are loose and not thigh squeezing. The waistband tie is made of a quick dry sort of material and doesn't tie very well. I need to tie it a couple times to hold my pants from falling down! Once you load your pockets full of the standards - phone, keys, chapstick, it becomes pretty bulky and cumbersome. Not attractive.
The primary large pockets (2) on the sides reach all the way down to the shorts line. You can pack plenty of stuff in there, but even with just phone, keys and sunglasses my loose-fitting Large started to sag a bit.
Pocket-within-a-pockets (2): these mesh pockets snugly hold my phone and reduce sagging with the way the weight of the contents is distributed. With the tight fit around the seams, fear of losing my gear out the sides doesn't cross my mind.
Back waistline pocket (1): great for a fold of some cash, or for a display like my man Terence Shrimp, when you want to show off the cool functionality of your skirt.
Front waistline pocket (1): currently holding my chapstick happily!
Applications: This is great for going to theme parks, shopping, short haul flights or train rides, etc. The idea is that I can ditch a purse or add-on and focus on bigger bags as primaries for low-budget airline baggage rules. I'll be wearing these camping on the weekends!
Biggest perk: Fun pockets, shorts underneath are comfy
Biggest let down: A little wide on me. The edges pouf out (with empty pockets) and seem to be meant for larger, curvy women.
Overall: Nice. Based on comfort alone I will be keeping this skort. The pockets are an added bonus.
Field Test: I wore these to take our camper out on the coast. I packed all the essentials - phone, keys, sunglasses, cash for random yard sales (in the hidden waistline pocket!) and chapstick. And it goes without saying, I also packed tissues. The fit was great but the more I put in my pockets, the more I found myself pulling the waistline up from drooping.
Overall: I actually really like this skirt and grab for it from my drawer frequently. It's just not super flattering. I wear it for comfortable weekends where I'll be doing a lot of shopping or walking outdoors. It holds SO much stuff in the pockets. Of the two products purchased, I like this one best for comfort and functionality. I could have used a much smaller size though.
Were the Hidden Pockets Worth the Price Tag?: The Final Verdict
Ultimately, SCOTTeVEST has a good marketing campaign. Hidden pockets are awesome and fun to brag about. But since I first purchased these items I have had a lot of buyer's remorse over the cost.
I've seen numerous competing options at literally a fraction of the price - cute and sporty dresses with zip pockets in multiple colors. One example of this was at Decathalon in Spain for less than 20 euros. I catch the eye of ladies in tennis skirts at a shopping mall parking lot and think, that's what my Scarlett Skort was supposed to look like - mid thigh and snug, not wide and below the knee. These are just two examples, but they illustrate my regret and I feel there are other options out there that could provide me the same value at a smaller price tag. Perhaps that is to my own fault for buying too large, but here's my honest truth - for the items I purchased, I would not rush back to buy them again.
And in case you were wondering, yes, my mom got the dress in the end! So all was not lost.
Does this keep me from buying other SCOTTeVEST products in the future? No way. I've got my eye on some outerwear!