Streetwear Harem Pants

Harem pants and streetwear: the union of two cultures

Streetwear is an international trend with many inspirations. Each culture contributes with its most cult pieces. This is what contributes in large part to enrich it and make it a fascinating fashion. As a leader, we cite the example of the famous harem pants.

Constantly revisited, the timeless harem pants takes the title of the most popular oriental garment without competitor. What are its origins, and how has it evolved over time? How to adjust it to your streetwear style? We tell you all there is to know in this article

streetwear harem pants

History and evolution of the harem pants

Born in the heart of the East, the harem pants was not long in knocking on the doors of Western fashion. From a practical everyday garment, it has become a cool enough pant to integrate the streetwear trend.

Looking back at its origins, we realize that it's not so surprising that it conquered the street so quickly. Follow us to understand why it is an inseparable part of modern culture!

The Persian roots of harem pants 

If you know anything about Indian culture, you've probably noticed the similarity between Dhoti and harem pants. You may think it's the same thing, but it's not.

The Persian roots of the harem pants

The first one is a much less complex Indian outfit, made of a fabric tied around the waist that has a separation in the middle.

On the other hand, the harem pants has everything of a normal trouser. It has just a separation of the crotch much wider and much lower, and it is tighter at the ankles. This little configuration is purely Persian in origin, although there is a small nod to its Indian predecessor.

Moreover, others say that it goes back to the first Chinese dynasties. However, it is said that the credit goes to the Persians, since they have largely contributed to its popularization. There are many paintings and artistic representations that prove it.

The harem pants, which literally means pants in Arabic, was an everyday garment. Super practical for everyday activities, and breathable enough to withstand the heat of the Middle East, it was the standard attire at the time.

It was a garment intended even for women, who could therefore move freely without accentuating their shape, in accordance with Persian traditions and values. And yes, the wearing of pants in the East was much earlier than in the West

A fashion along the silk road

Actively involved in trade, the harem pants was soon imported to the four corners of the world. This is to say that the back and forth and the exchange of luxurious goods have shown it in its best light, and made it an elegant and prestigious model.

asian harem pants

It was welcomed in Turkey as among the African nomads with open arms, and it became a fashion phenomenon. It was integrated into the traditional Ottoman uniform, adopted by even the greatest royalties of the empire. Among the Saharan Bedouins, they were fascinated by its atypical cut, and by its great adaptability.

But it does not stop there! It was also found everywhere in Asia. The harem pants was very popular in Tibet to protect against the cold. In India, the most elaborate models are a symbol of nobility and fortune. Even the samurai wore them, that's how cool they were!

As impressive as it may seem to you, all this is only the beginning of the evolution of the harem pants. It was its arrival in Europe that marked the real success of these iconic baggy pants


When the harem pants seduces the West

Already widespread in the Maghreb countries, it is without great surprise that the harem pants ended up jumping to the other side of the Mediterranean. The French army that occupied Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco were inspired by it to create the outfits of the troops formed by locals.

The contact in small doses, but over long periods of time between these two opposing cultures ended up making them rub off on each other. This is how the famous harem pants was brought to Europe.

At the same time, on the other side of the globe, American feminist activists absolutely succumbed to its charm. Remember that it was not usual for women to wear pants, and that it was against social norms.

The leader of this movement is Amelia Bloomer, who constantly praised the practical advantages of the harem pants. She couldn't get the word out at the time, but she left behind the "Bloomer", a very similar piece that looks like a bloomer


The harem pants : a valuable addition to streetwear

Relaxed, casual and super extra large, you guessed that the harem pants had everything to succeed in streetwear. It is in phase with the mentality of the street, and is no longer considered as an intruder in the fashion world.

The harem pants in popular culture

Just a minute, but how did we get here? When did the harem pants become a modern trend?

To be honest, like many streetwear items, we still owe it to the hippies. It was an integral part of their super loose, minimalist and ultra-comfortable clothing style. In addition to reviving this somewhat forgotten trend. They put their artistic touch to it, and brought it many, many colors

Shortly after, it's a music star who brings it out again. You've probably heard MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" somewhere. In the video for the song, we pay proper homage to our favorite puffy pants. It was the relaunch that really propelled the harem pants to its current status.

The glory hour of the harem pants

From the poorest Persian streets, the harem pants has imposed itself to the Fashion Week. Improbable, but not surprising when you know the elegance and success it once had. Its place on the catwalk is well deserved, and this is what has reinforced its position of strength in popular culture.

At first, designers were more focused on a futuristic techno look, but now we're moving back to a pure urban aesthetic. For several years now, the harem pants has been on par with cargo pants or sweatshirts, with the exquisite oriental flavor that it gives off. The models we see nowadays are perfect for a streetwear outfit. It is a fashion quite widespread here in France, but also in Japanese streetwear and in the States.

If the harmonious relationship between streetwear and harem pants testifies to one thing, it is that urban culture is welcoming and caring, and that it is without a doubt one of the richest and most diverse


5 Tips for a Streetwear look with harem pants

We couldn't end this article without telling you how to make the harem pants the ultimate asset to your streetwear style. As you probably already know, this unique artistic movement is in constant transition. Between the retro going towards the vintage and the futuristic rather modern, streetwear is constantly evolving.

a streetwear look with harem pants

To know how to wear streetwear, you must first master it. That's easy to say, but how do you do it in practice? The answer is simple: you have to know how to create a subtle balance of clothes and be able to match them in the right way. Easy to say, hard to do, but not for long!

As we keep saying, the pants are the pillar, the base, and the heart in a streetwear outfit. And the harem pants, if you make good use of it, let me tell you my friend, it's the best streetwear pants ever. We are not even exaggerating!

What is certain is that the harem pants is no different from any other clothing. Making the right choice depends on the person, the material and even the cut and color. Don't panic, all your worries will disappear thanks to our 5 tips to get the best streetwear look with harem pants.

1. Opt for the right cut, at the right size !

You love the cut of the harem pantsthat you see on the networks or that you see in some of your friends? Be careful not to fall into the trap, the result is not always so tempting.

In fact, its atypical design makes it somewhat difficult to guess what would look good on you. Expect surprises in the ankles or thighs.

Even if it's not too flashy, it would be a disaster scenario anyway! You won't feel comfortable in your skin, and that's the opposite of the streetwear mentality.

So concretely, how to avoid that? There are two things to consider 

  • First, find the right size: follow the instructions on the sales page if there are any, otherwise check that these are the measurements you need.

  • Study the cut: according to your morphology, try to detect what would fit you best, according to your experiences with other types of pants in general

2. Choosing the right shoes for your harem pants

Shoes are an "essential" for any self-respecting streetwear outfit. In order not to get lost, our advice is simple: always go for well-known brands, but only if the models are iconic and affordable.

We can never say it enough: your sneakers are your trademark! In addition to being mostly original, they go perfectly with different pants, including of course the harem pants.

So, what are the best sneakers to go with a harem pants ? If you ask this question to a thousand people, they can give you a thousand different answers. It's not surprising, everyone has their own taste, but there will be models that will make everyone agree 

  • The stunning Yeezys: with their neutral tones and minimalist leanings, they'll go great with your harem pants.

  • The essential Dad shoes which are very appropriate in our case. With their rather large volume, they will be perfect to counterbalance the whole.

  • And our favorite sneakers to wear with a harem pants, the inevitable Air Force 1! In its low version and with its white color, it is the ultimate sneaker in streetwear.

Now that you know which sneaker to choose for your harem pants, let's get down to business and tell you how to create your look !

3. Balancing your look

We will not lie, at first glance, it is quite difficult to build a look with harem pants. Know that it is largely by lack of habit that we have this impression, because with time, it ceases to be a centerpiece, and it becomes much more an ordinary pants to match.

So, for beginners, how do you do it? Avoid overloading your upper body. Stick to neutral tones and simple designs, in colors that are close or complementary to the bottom.

Then, once you've got your groove going, you can put the focus back on another part of your look: a hoodie you're crushing on or a hot T-shirt. Of course, as long as you have a pair of pants that are less noticeable

4. Find the best models

Golden rule when it comes to choosing a harem pants : be careful with cheap materials. All their charm and all their techno side, and take our word for it, it's not going to work with second choice models.

Second criterion, and not the least, you have to find original models. The cuts, the pockets, and the decorations vary enormously. For example, our harem pants Sumashi pants with checks is a little nugget. Not to mention the HIKARU model which is the perfect middle ground between jogging and harem pants.

5. One last secret: accessorize to the max !

Finally, the last trick to pulling off your streetwear style with harem pants is to opt for the right accessories. Chains are great options for gothic or techwear looks. Belts also fit well, especially the big ones or the vintage styles.

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