3.6.08

Harem Comedy...Ok, Not Quite.

When the first lot of dropped-crotch, super-drapey trousers emerged on runways all those months ago, I chewed a fingernail and thought, 'Hmm, don't those look like.....dhotis?'* After a little more fingernail chewing, I decided the really super-drapey versions also looked a bit like Patiala salwars (picture right at the bottom since I can't bear the idea of that pink being at the top of my blog page), and left it at that, thinking they looked rather cool but still rather circumspect thanks to the seeming flappiness of the legs (flappy legs on trousers just make me want to hoik them up like a skirt).
But a very short while later (this was in November), girls in pants like the ones in the photograph below, started popping up all over the streets of Bangalore - or so it felt, anyway. Come March, I spotted them on girls in Delhi too (primarily worn with racerback t-shirts, it seemed). And I'm no trend forecaster, but I really do think that if something ends up catching here, of all places (no offence to anyone, but India is not the most fashion-forward of places- it's the truth), and this consistently too- two more sightings of the trousers happened just yesterday- there's probably something to it. I'm putting the sudden spurt in the popularity of dropped-crotch pants entirely down to how much they resemble existing forms of traditional clothing (though the shape, as worn by the girls I've seen so far, isn't a dead spit of the inspirations)- which is why Sarah Mower calling the shape 'avant-garde' sounds strange to me. Though I've yet to try it since I'm not much of a pants girl, it's easy to see the appeal- in beastly summers like these, the looseness and the cropped length are basically yelling that comfort is not to be sneezed at. And a bit of draping just makes it even better- I've been trying to find a decent picture of someone wearing one of these for months but had no luck until the Sartorialist re-posted this photograph- which was taken in March- yesterday.

*which, worn the Bengali way- which is the way I was thinking of- are fantastically tough things to pleat and wear (this comes from firsthand experience of being forced to wear one for a school play- in which my character was a guy. I also got a cane and a fan for that getup. Whoever said I don't like drag?)

16 comments:

Shelby said...

I think with the wrong fitting, or figure it could very easily slide into MC Hammer territorty at the height of his career, which is usually a negative fashion influence. But I really like the way they look on that girl, soo. High five, fellow not a fan of pants girl.

susie_bubble said...

Thanks for the added terminology...harem pants always sounded so simplistic.... I just call them dropped crotch (yes...it sounds gross...) for ease.... I really really don't get what is the fuss with these pants.... they're just pants and if anything are easier to wear than skintight skinnies.... HK/Tokyoites wear these all the time... hell, my mum wears these.... perhaps it's a culture clash... I see these as completely normal shaped pants that I wore when I was 15-16 in Hong Kong.... I still wear them sometimes but to me, they're the equivalent of tracksuit bottoms... just normal slouching around the high street pants...

Charlotte said...

I am not a fan of this kind of pants but I love the outfit in the picture!

bobo said...

i don't know if it's me, but the pics you've shown drop nowhere as low as the harem pants go.. the ones here at least, go to just above the ankle length.

watching, i really do fear that the wearer may trip.

Meg said...

=) I'm seeing a veritable flourish in dhoti/harem pants posting and I'm glad I'm not the only who has questions about them.

fashionaddict said...

I think it's because this is a shape seen more commonly in this side of the world (add Thailand to the list of India, HK and Japan), I actually think these are pretty classic, though unfortunately, I can't pull them off.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Shelby: I guess a lot depends on attitude, really...and high five right back at you! (pants are annoying things to shop for)

Susie: Dropped crotch is a good way to go with describing these, but the truth is that the shape of these aren't new to me at all (though I only wear them as pyjamas)- it's just that a new way of wearing them has emerged, I guess (along with the cropping/adaptation seen in the pic). And I like my pyjamas! Maybe they just don't look strange to my eyes because I've grown up seeing those shapes, but I don't get the fuss (might be the old culture clash, like you say).

Charlotte: I like the outfit too!

Bobo: D'you mean lengthwise? I've seen enough girls wear those, and they don't all trip over their salwars- I reckon it might be just the billowiness that makes it look that way.

Meg: The popularity of cropped pants like these surprises me too, but I really do think they're wearable. I still don't quite get the hate these pants get though (like when Queen Michelle wore them)..

Fashionaddict: I think you're right, these pants probably don't look as strange to Asian eyes because they're a tweak on shapes that we're used to seeing. And I don't think I'll be able to wear these as anything other than pyjamas (they are madly comfy), but I can still appreciate them.

headmistress said...

they do look pretty comfy I have to say, but they can't possibly do any favours to someone like me with short legs and err... curves. I envy anyone who can pull them off!
I love the patiala look too but again, I have qualms about looking like one big billowy thing...

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

these look like the hammer pants i bought when i was in 2nd grade that my dad then copied. while i was young enough to use my age as an excuse, i still give my dad a hard time for his drop-crotched hideous pants.

emeraldcloche said...

The pants that the girl on Sart ( I've loved what she more both times she snapped her) wore are a really wearable version of this style I think. The really loose, drapey ones like Queen Michelle's will probably never make it to the mainstream, but those would made a lot less waves.
I want to get me some of those. They look comfy and fairly flattering, and that's coming from someone who hates pants.

bobo said...

yep, it's the billowiness. much like ducking while travelling under one of those height regulators on the road.

rohit said...

Love the pictures you have posted. you HAVE DONE AMAZING WORK them?They are fabulous!these are gorgeous illustrations!Very nice,Lovely pictures



you are fantastic!!!

a kiss for you, my dear friend!
god bless u dear

Carissa said...

i love that woman on the sartorialist

Blue Floppy Hat said...

HM: I think it might just take a bit of getting used to- I don't mind billowy, and they do make awesome pyjamas (the Patiala ones, I mean). And I have more curves than are convenient to dress, so I know something about that :)

Cupcakes and Cashmere: I never knew of MC Hammer when I was a kid, so these really don't look hideous to me. Either way, I like the relaxed shape.

Emeraldcloche: I actually like them drapey, but you're right- these won't raise eyebrows.

Bobo: I hate height regulators, I'd rather climb barriers.

Rohit: erm, they're not by me. And am I being spammed??

Carissa: It's good to see you back...and yes, she does look awesome.

Sarah said...

I'm loving the pants and I'm in the process of hunting down a pair of these at the moment.

Fashion Is Poison said...

i just got some and have yet to try them out (on the street) but i think these will be around for a while

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