Sholdit wisely addresses the initial confusion about their product with a tab on their website simply labeled “WTF?” – which they explain stands for “what the FUN.” It took me a minute to get the hang of Sholdit scarf/pocket/purse hybrid, I’m not gonna lie. It comes looking like an infinity scarf – which you can also wrap around your body in a number of other configurations – but you can attach the included (bedazzled!!!) strap and fold the scarf in on itself to create a purse. While counter-intuitive – if the point of having a pocket in your scarf is so that you don’t have to dig through a bag, why then turn it into a bag that’s already full of scarf? – but it does make it easier to pack up if you’re throwing it into a bag and going off on some adventure where you don’t need your pocket/scarf – yet.
I wish I could write about my experience with Sholdit scarf in transit, dashing through airports all over the world on layovers and having my passport and boarding pass at the ready. (I’m usually that person who has to dig for something at the bottom of a bag while everyone else in line silently hates me. I’m sorry.)
The scarf is also a much more attractive and comfortable way to secure important things than, say, the elastic money belt I had strapped under my shirt on countless overnight trains when I was backpacking across Eastern Europe and Greece last spring. Another plus is that when a stranger in a uniform wakes you up at 3 AM because you’re at the border, you can just reach into your scarf instead of having to pull up your shirt and pretend it’s not weird in order to get your passport. I’m sure it’s also useful for securing your belongings if you’re traveling comfortably on an airplane and going to see the sites like an adult, too.
Unfortunately, I’ve had approximately zero globetrotting adventures since receiving Sholdit, so I can only imagine the other ways that it would be useful. (Note to the company: want to send me somewhere?? Winter holidays are coming up – I’ll bring the scarf and take lots of pictures for Instagram I promise! DM me) I have, however, used the scarf to hold cards I need handy (to not hold up even more lines) and my brand-new iPhone 7 (I know) that I reeeaally don’t want to drop in the toilet because I forgot it was in my back pocket.
While I received one (1) scarf – the basic model in black – a quick look at the website (https://www.sholdit.com/) reveals a huge array of colors, patterns, and fabrics. The fabric of mine is pretty light and has a funky texture that doesn’t really inspire cuddly thoughts, so it’s more about the convenient pocket than the warmth. They do, however, have other fabrics that look a lot cozier, and would be perfect for winter or to keep warm and healthy on a plane. They’ve also got a variety of other, similar products, like a pocket scarf modified for nursing mothers. Centering women and their experiences, and making products specifically for their needs, is a pretty dope feminist project. (As much as an item can be while still existing within, and therefore inherently reinforcing, capitalism, a system which serves to disempower many women, but that’s not really Sholdit’s fault/also acknowledging that there are different kinds of women, not all of whom want to or can nurse children.)
Overall, my political digressions aside, while my initial reaction to the scarf was closer to “what the FUN,” once I wrapped my head (and my neck) around the concept, it made more and more sense. It’s just useful, and let me remind you one more time that the purse strap is BEDAZZLED. 10/10 on just that one aspect. And maybe I can even ascribe a feminist significance to their product (but I probably shouldn’t go that far).