Harem, History?

Harem, History?



In the fifth grade I wanted a pair of harem pants and imagined myself dancing like MC Hammer. Don't judge, I was only nine years old and real life seemed to be what was playing on MTV during that time.   I talked my mom into making a pair of harem pants out of bright purple paisley fabric and accessorized them with a gold chain that hung at the waist.  I chose the fabric and thought they were on par with Hammer.  I was so proud of those harem pants and wanted nothing more than to have a unique pair that no one else wore.  Looking back, it was a moment that I will cherish forever and chuckle to myself, "what was I thinking?" The irony is that I find myself telling that story a lot lately.  You know why?  Harem pants are back, that's right, they are back!  The modern day versions are a little different but very stylish none the less.    

My theory is that they started with the men's jogger that became popular last year.  Remember when the "joggers" came about?

Looks like the harem style?  Yes?  I think this jogger brought harem back into our wardrobe! 

Last week I purchased my first pair by Free People, they are completely adorable and extremely comfortable.

A little different than my purple paisley pair but it's apparent that harem pants are back.  

So, it's only right that this week's style story is brought to you by harem pants.  

I'd like to thank harem pants for not making me look crazy when I tell my purple paisely story.  Harem pants, I will forever have a special place in my closet for you.  

Here's the good stuff, the fascinating history of the harem pants.

First, we should think of harem as a style or look, which was inspired by middle eastern fashions.  

You should also know that the term harem means loose fitting trousers that are brought in at the hem without a taper.  The harem style originally caught on as a skirt and later transformed into pants.  Both harem trousers and skirts are available in today's fashions.

The harem look was founded in 1910 by Paul Poiret who also designed skirts that held a very similar structure but were open at the bottom.  

The term harem was well known throughout the West and soon caught on in neighboring countries.  

The interesting thing about harem pants is that they keep coming in and out of fashion.  They are slightly different each time but clearly the harem style. In the early 20th century Poiret had a greater motive in mind and wanted to liberate western women through fashion.  

His "Style Sultane" included the harem pant Also, we will reimburse mileage. which was made with full legs and tied in at the ankle.  Other names used to describe harem were jupe sultane and jupe pantalon.  These styles became so controversial because at the time Western women did not wear pants, only dresses and skirts.  Poiret grew daring and started to take explicit approaches to his fashion .  Others did not see it his way and felt he was out of line and women should not be viewed as sex symbols.  He continued the stance that the harem style was fashion forward and respectable women could still wear the style. 

 Just a thought, women of today that are considered risque and act out in much more inappropriate manors.  Like Janet Jacksons super bowl wardrobe malfunction, Miley's twerks, Gaga, and Madonna to name a few.  I think this brief history reminds us of what the struggle used to be and seems silly in hindsight. In today's view harem pants are perfectly acceptable.

Lets talk about the late 19th century which would have been in the 1980s.  This is around the time that I begged my mom to make those purple and gold paisley harem pants.   This harem area belong to the man himself, MC Hammer.

From personal experience, harem pants are extremely comfortable.   I now understand why MC hammer wore them, they are great for breaking down some dance moves.  

The greatest part of the harem story is the number of times they keep coming back.  This is the perfect example of how fashion continues to evolve.  I like to think of myself as a harem connoisseur , especially since I got Hammers moves down!

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