The History of Harem Pants

The History of Harem Pants

by Emily Myint on

Can you believe that Harem Pants have been around for almost 2,000 years!? Originally from the Eastern hemisphere, they symbolized modesty and tradition. Today, they are recognized as comfortable and stylish everyday wear!

@cheyeenegil wearing Lenana Burgundy Harem Pants

@cheyennegil wearing Lenana Burgundy Harem Pants

When Harem Pants were first invented, they weren’t even pants! Originally called, Dhoti (a dress-like tunic worn traditionally by men in countries like India and Bangladesh), it started as just a rectangular piece of un-stitched cloth wrapped around the waist and legs, and knotted at the waist! Over several hundred years, the style developed into what we see today!

Dhoti in Deli via Flickr

Dhoti in Delhi via Flickr

In the early to mid 1900’s, Amelia Bloomer, a Western women's rights activist, created the early renditions of today’s Harem Pant. She intended for her design to be used as a uniform for the feminists of the time to represent freedom and liberation for women everywhere! Even so, most weren’t big fans of the fashion statement.

The biggest revival of Harem Pants made its rounds in the 1960's and into the 70's, but it was the 80’s that got real attention. Thanks to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” Hammer Pants became an overnight sensation!

Nathan and James doing the Hammer Dance on Shark Tank

The Elephant Pants Founders Dancing on Shark Tank

In 2009, Ralph Lauren released his spring collection with several variations of Harem Pants.

Since about 2012, Justin Bieber has been known to rock the Harem Pant trend throughout his world tours. His on and off-stage harem pant looks received more publicity and coverage than the star himself!

Today, Harem Pants can be seen from yoga studios to college campuses! People adore them for their comfort, cute design, and unique look. No wonder why everyone loves our Elephant Pants 😉

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