The History of Harem Pants

Harem pants are the new craze in the world of fashion. Many people can be seen wearing them on different occasions. These pants are a result of the cultural mix with the western world. The history of these pants and the recent comeback of them is a perfect example of how the harem pants, which were once something that was used to conceal and de-sexualize women are today used as a form of expression. In this article, we would be talking about the history of harem pants and why they are called so.

Origin of Harem Pants

Harem Pants were first seen around 2,000 years ago in Persia. In the middle-eastern tribes, these pants were mostly worn by women for representing innocence and modesty. The design and style of the harem pants speak volumes about this as these pants are loose around the legs and the hips.

In those times, many family members also used to wear these pants as the baggy fit allowed one to complete the daily chores easily and comfortably. These pants are also believed to have originated from a dress-like tunic known as Dhoti.

Dhoti is mostly worn as a traditional garment for men in the eastern world. Over the last many years, harem pants have undergone different design variations and have today become the first version of tulip-shaped pants. These pants, which were initially worn by women, are today being adopted by men too.

Why are Harem Pants called so?

The initial style of Harem Pants made its way into the Western culture in the middle of the 1800s by a Women’s Rights activist, known as Amelia Bloomer. She is the lady behind the infamous “Bloomers”. Amelia Bloomer made use of Harem Pants as a uniform for the Feminists who were fighting for their rights. The Harem pants represented liberation and freedom from the masculine connotations and higher hemlines.

Today, harem pants are more comfortable than the petticoats and corsets that were commonly worn previously. Amelia Bloomer failed to convince the women that their old clothes should be worn in place of the exotic new alternatives.

Thus, the popularity of harem pants diminished, however, they have again gained popularity in today’s world. In the year 1909, Paul Poiret, a French Fashion designer, designed and created a collection of clothes that were influenced by Oriental and Persian cultures. The collection had garments such as Head Dresses, Kaftans, as well as a new wave of harem pants.

Such designs were more feminine and were made from satin and silk material. Intricate beading and embroidery were introduced for adding a softer and more oriental touch to these clothes.

Paul Poiret showcased that these pants could be flaunted with tunics and waist wraps for getting a more feminine and Eastern feel. This new trend went on for a while, however, it again started losing popularity after a few years in the Western world.

The harem pants again reappeared in the 1960s and 1970s, however they were launched into mainstream consciousness in the 1980s. Today, harem pants are easily available at all the different stores and even online.

One can see them at all places, right from the big screen to a local Yoga center. These pants have lost their political stigma and become unisex. Many people enjoy wearing these pants not only for their functionality but also for their fashionable uniqueness.

How to Wear Harem Pants?

Harem Pants have a loose and comfortable shape that offers complete freedom of movement. This gives them an advantage and an edge over conventional clothes such as skirts or jeans. These pants are a great option for wearing inside and outside your home. They are even a perfect option for sports and hobbies such as weight lifting or belly dancing. With harem pants, you can also simply sit down on the couch and relax.

With different colors and style variations available in harem pants, they can be easily used for getting different looks, right from smart and sexy to the off-beat Avant-garde style. The harem pants have a unique ability to lend a uniqueness to each outfit.

Thus, it is easy to see why most of the modern fashion designers jumping on this creative bandwagon to evolve such once plain garments.


Harem pants are a great addition to a modern person’s wardrobe. They can be worn by both men and women and thus are a great option for all. Make sure you go and purchase one today!