Love or loathe: harem pants

We need to talk about harem pants.

You know the ones I’m talking about, right? The loose-at-the-crutch trend that took over catwalks and Sportsgirl clothing racks for most of last year? Beyonce was wearing them, Rihanna was wearing them. Gwen Stefani was a BIG fan. I had some. Heck, my mum was even wearing them. I think.

They were the pants that did everything; the Eddie Macguire of pants, if you will. Comfortable AND practical. You could wear them at night. During the day. To the movies. To the beach. On the red carpet. With heels. With flats.

Oh, and they were also widely known as poo-catchers.

Everything I read about harem pants last year suggested they were a seasonal trend that wouldn’t make it to winter 2012. But everything I read was wrong.

The good news, if fashion writers of the world are to be believed, is you can keep your harem pants in your wardrobe for another season. The bad news? You can keep your harem pants in your wardrobe for another season.

They’re sticking around for another season, according to The Sydney Morning Herald:

THE most fashion-forward and comfortable way to make a stylish statement this weekend may be lurking in your cupboard from last season.

It is no secret that many people either love them or hate them but harem pants are still a fashionable wardrobe staple and can go from casual to dressy with the right accessories.

The SMH spoke to a ‘fashionista,’ a sytlist and a fashion designer about harem pants – and asked for their opinions of how best to wear them. (If you’re as fashion-challenged as I am, you’ll find their recommendations pretty handy). The overriding tip was to wear a fitted top and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.

Here’s what stylist Annalisa Armitage had to say:

“To prevent looking like a sack, a slim fitting top is required. You’ve never heard me say it and you probably will never hear it again so here goes – a black singlet top is the perfect accompaniment.

“I rarely recommend a black top as its normally the fall back position for most people, it’s boring and for most people black near the face is too harsh – other colours can be so much better.

Meanwhile,  fashion designer Mary-Anne Pham said she wasn’t a “mad fan” of harem pants.

“I think they are best left to the I Dream of Jeannie’s of the world and you’ll note that it’s an old show that is rarely screened on telly anymore,” she said.

“In choosing the right harem pant please ensure you buy a silk pair as this will mean the fabric will drape and fall much more softly over your legs.

“Jerseys and cotton varieties tend to make everyone look much larger than they are and really they should be made illegal. The only time you could be excused for wearing those versions is when you’re ten months pregnant. Actually they’re not even an option then so do make sure you get a silk pair as they will be the most slimming.

So what do you think of harem pants? And how many pairs do you own?

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