It seems to be that people either love or hate the ubiquitous harem pant. But love it or hate it, there’s no denying that harem pants seems to make comeback after comeback each season, which really speaks to its underlying appeal to the masses.
Personally, I seem to be under the strong impression that harem pants are a wardrobe staple – much to the horror of my father, who witnessed the rapid degeneration of his beloved 70’s icons into:
Can’t touch this!
Ah, MC Hammer. You can understand why my father’s so visibly upset by the resurgence of harem pants. They’ve become synonymous with the enemy that swallowed up legendary greats such as the likes of The Beatles and the Bee Gees. I mean, I get it. Looking through the images of MC Hammer’s fashion choices is a reasonably upsetting experience, but you really can’t fault the guy for trying to be comfortable and stylish all in one go. In retrospect, that’s what about 98% of all women want. But don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to look like Mr. Hammer to rock a pair of harem pants. Depending on the cut of the pants you choose, you’ll still be able to look pulled together in a relaxed-casual way, and all without sacrificing the element of comfort!
Mastering the art of wearing harem pants seems to be an ongoing battle with a lot of women, and can be a difficult trend to navigate. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject matter, but I do know what I like and what I don’t, and here are some general tips I stick to when considering a pair of harem pants:
- The Nappy – I would never advise anyone who isn’t 6 feet tall with pins that go on for days to wear a pair of harem pants with a crotch that sags way past the general area of your actual crotch and bunches awkwardly in a pool of fabric. Unless you’re just going to be staying indoors at home, it’s best to steer clear from these specimens if you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing. At best, you’ll look like you never left the 90’s, and at worst, you’ll look like you’re wearing nappies. These only look really good on about 0.0001% of the entire planet’s population, so do not be deceived!
- Saggy Pockets – Another pair of harem pants that most people often find difficult to style are that of the saggy-pockets specimen. If you have hips that are wider than your shoulders, don’t pick harem pants that have sagging side-pockets, even if it’s a slim fit in the waist and leg. The sagging pockets juxtaposed against a skinny lower portion will only serve to exacerbate the width of your hips and can end up making you look wider than you really are! If you simply feel as if you mustown a pair of drapey harem pants, make sure the pleats sit flat along your pants and don’t cause unflattering bunching in certain areas.
- Saggy Bum – Similar to The Nappy, this is yet another style of harem pant to watch out for: the ones that make you look like you’ve got a saggy tush. Always, always, always check how you look like from behind, because often things can look perfect on the front only for you to assume that the back will be the same. This is a myth.Harem pants can sit flat and tidy on the front but have the most unflattering behind. Take it from a serial purchaser of harem pants. You don’t want to look sleek and chic on the front only to turn around and have a pert derriere ruined by slumping fabric.
- Yes! – Try to purchase pairs which are more fitted throughout; ones that look more like slouchy trousers are usually your best bet, rather than pants you stole right out of Aladdin’s closet when he wasn’t looking. These cuts work best for a multitude of occasions and generally look good on everyone. I reckon the less draping there is on a pair of harem pants, the less stress you’ll face attempting to make it work for you. I also spend far too much time looking through the racks for a perfect pair of tailored harem pants, which can be a girl’s best friend on Fat Days and OMG-I’m-WAY-Late-And-Need-Something-That-Always-Works Days. (If you’re interested, see how I wear harem pants here.)
- Try – Pair your harem pants with a blend of cropped and/or fitted tops, or even a slightly looser top which you could tuck in or cinch in at the waist. Play around with a whole bunch of tops with different textures, lengths, and fit. Find something that suits you!
In terms of colour or print, it really doesn’t matter. Jewel tones are an awesome colour to rock, and a couple of muted prints out there are extremely wearable (although I feel as if some of them look more like pajamas, but that could just be me). Wear what speaks to you, as long as you love it and the cut and fit is right for your body, it really shouldn’t matter what colour/print it is.
Here’s a couple of lust-worthy inspirations to help you along:
I can’t find a single fault with either of these ladies’ looks and would gladly wear both outfits in a heartbeat. But how disgustingly perfect does Olivia Palermo look? Loves it.
I hope these tips helped you if you were looking to tackle this trend! Have fun with it and don’t take it all too seriously!