Whether you're a lady or a bloke, dressing up a pair of splendidly funky harem trousers is an unusual, quirky and highly personal way to make festive season fashion a lot more than just a little bit different. They're colourful, they're fun, and we sell a huge range of them, from unisex to men's and ladies'.
Here's our latest Christmas hippy fashion feature, all about harem pants and ways to wear them this festive season.
Our happy, hippy Xmas harem trousers feature
So how did harem trousers break into the West's fashion scene in the first place? It's an interesting story. Roll back time to 1911, when the brilliant French fashion designer Paul Poiret was a trend-leading influence on what the wealthy and fashion-conscious wore.
He was such a trailblazer that his contribution to couture has been compared to Picasso's influence on modern art, a powerful accolade. He was inspired by Middle Eastern fashion and created some splendidly eccentric versions for the glitterati of the era.
But it was much more than a style thing for Poiret, a renaissance man with revolutionary ideas. He showcased his harem trouser collection – his jupe culottes - in an effort to reinvent and liberate female fashion. Women did not wear trousers at the time, and it was a totally alien idea.
The term harem pants entered our language as a generic term for baggy trousers caught in at the ankle, in styles mimicking European bloomers, the South Asian shalwar pant, the Bosnian dimije and Ukrainian sharovary pant, and salvar, traditional Turkish trousers. Once they arrived here, they never went away.
They were a 1960s hippy favourite. They had a resurgence in the 1908s thanks to MC Hammer. They came back again recently, big-style, when Justin Bieber adopted them and the trend went global. Trends come and trends go, but harem trousers go on and on. We sell thousands of pairs every year.
How do you wear a pair with seasonal flair? Read on.
Xmas party harem pants for men
How brave are you? You'll stand out in a sea of dinner jackets and suits wearing a pair of patterned harem pants and a tight t-shirt. Wear them with a white T for a bright, crisp look or black for darker, serious seasonal drama. It takes a confident man to wear brightly-patterned, colourful kecks, but it kicks ass. And it reveals your individuality. You nutter!
We've tried it, and harems look a bit weird with a normal shirt. Collarless shirts look really cool, though, since they also have an eastern feel. As do collarless jackets. A dark collarless jacket completes the festive picture.
Glitzing up womens harem pants for Christmas parties
Back in 1911 Poiret's harem pants were widely seen as 'immoral and inappropriately sexualised' by a scandalised society. But he actually designed them for the chic woman who wanted to reveal, "the harmony of her form and all the freedom of her native suppleness."
Too right. They do exactly that. Harem pants flow beautifully and hang elegantly with luscious folds. Some, with a low crotch, are almost skirt-like. Others are more form-hugging. We sell flowery ones and exotic print versions, some tie dye, some plain, some embroidered, with a low, medium and high crotch. And they all look amazing dressed up for a Christmas do.
Two ways to wear harems and look amazing
If you're wearing a pair of highly-patterned and brightly-coloured harems, you can take things two ways.
- Go the sophisticated route and either choose a black or white top for simple elegance or pick one colour from your pants and find a top the same colour
- Take it to the boho-style max and go eclectic, buying one of our fabulously colourful and interestingly-styled hippy tops to either tuck in or flow over the top
Cossack looks and pixie boots
Harems are born for belts. A big, dramatic, waist-cinching belt looks amazing. Add a very wide or very narrow glittery belt for extra Xmas oomph. This season's funky ankle boots, high heeled or flat, are perfect for harems since you can tuck the bottom of the pants into your boots. Scarlet velvet ankle boots are gorgeous, widely available on the high street.
Harem trousers also look cool tucked into knee-length boots, a sort of crisp, Christmassy Russian Cossack look you can perfect with a sparkly white top and furry gilet. When most of the ladies are wearing little black dresses, you'll make a fresh, cool, bright splash.
How do you wear yours?
We'd love to know how you plan to wear your harems this Christmas, whether it's a work party, house party or fancy dress do. A photo would be even better! Feel free to leave a comment or contact us.