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May 27, 2010

Harem Scarem: Could these pants work for me?


Wise readers, I need your input: What do you think about loose, flowing, dropped-crotch pants for men?

I know I'm a little behind the times here, as apparently these have been showing up on runways for the last couple of years, primarily for women.


I saw the male version for the first time on a young Asian man in my neighborhood about a month ago, paired with a very preppy blazer and tie, and he looked great.  Actually, his had more of this shape:



You may remember these pants in an earlier incarnation:


Which makes me think of this.


Sometimes these are called harem pants, sometimes parachute pants, sometimes Hammer pants, sometimes the ugliest pants ever.  But as the temperature reaches up into the nineties (fahrenheit) these pants are starting to look more appealing.  I don't want to put on anything tight or heavy, but I'm not ready for a caftan.

They were a big part of Hedi Slimane's Dior Winter 2008 collection for men,  and variations have been showing up on many a runway since then.


After doing a little online research, especially on Pattern Review, I know that this look elicits a strong emotional response.  Some love 'em; most HATE 'em.  (Something about all those folds on the hips.)

I'm not riding a camel through the Garden of Allah, I'm a (shortish) middle-aged Western guy walking the streets of Chelsea.  I don't rap.

So, knowing me as you do:  Yea or Nay?

If nay, could you kindly elaborate?  If yea, what pattern would I use?


79 comments:

  1. Oh Peter, Peter, Peter. What has the Selfish Seamstress done to you? Just my humble opinion but ewwwwwwwwwwwww on any of those pants. I don't care WHO is sporting them on the runway.

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  2. Those pants speak. They say "Fashion Victim". I'd go for the caftan.

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  3. I vote yes, if only to see those ridiculous pants recreate for the world to see. So while my vote should be a no, I vote YES. I am learning at the feet of SS :)

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  4. 'I don't rap.' This comment made me burst out laughing at my desk. As would a photo of you in those pants. Please make them!

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  5. Please no, I beg you please. These pants should be reserved for men who suffer from a special form of elephantiasis.
    While I understand the sweltering heat of summer, this is very much a fashion over function issue. May I suggest a pair of madras pants to get you through the summer.

    But I agree it would be fun to see pictures of you sporting those through the city. I must say it would be for the sake of humor and not fashion. And if anyone could pull that off you could.

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  6. Really? are you really that warm that you would stoop to this? That's what cotton shorts are for my friend.(Selfish Seamstress would encourage you to make these and be photographed in public in them, for her use in a future blackmail conspiracy)

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  7. Well........there would certainly be fewer fitting issues.

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  8. I'm sorry, in my opinion, those are hideous. Can you not wear shorts if you're that hot?

    (In case you hadn't noticed, I'm one of the people who thinks the best name for them is the ugliest pants ever.)

    Sophie

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  9. A BIG NAY.
    I hate them on girls, let alone guys. I heard a guy once say that girls looks like they pooped in their pants when they wear these. Couldn't really argue with that.
    Sorry Peter, it's a big HUGE NAAAAYYYY.

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  10. Am I the only one who loves hammer pants? I had a pair during the early 80's when they were in style (Issye Miyaki anyone?) and I loved them! Believe it or not, I got mine from the Salvation Army. They were silk knit, very comfy and cool for summer. I wore them with gladiator sandals a wide belt and tight tank. In other words, please make a pair of harem pants and wear them with pride! (and let us see some photos.)

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    Replies
    1. I love these pants and will be sewing a pair for myself!

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  11. Knowing that when (breast)tissue lies against other skin all it does is trap sweat, I fail to see that dangling man parts will be any cooler draped in what would undoubtedly be a rayon knit. Good grief make (another) nice pair of cotton pique or linen pajama pants.
    And please, no one use the word commando in any further postings... :)

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  12. I put those pants in the same category as spandex leggings. Not particularly flattering, but somehow they keep showing up!

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  13. Ordinarily, I would run from those pants shrieking. But in all honesty, if anyone can make them work in a fun and stylish way, it would be you. SO, I say yea!

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  14. julie, you are not the only one. I picked up a pair of harem pants from Athleta a couple of weeks ago and I ADORE them. They don't have a super exaggerated drop-crotch, but definitely still strike the silhouette. Photos to come on Saturday!

    Peter, I say go for it. I prefer the version in the very first image, which is a bit more loose and flowy down to the ankle ... but I do believe you could rock just about any version of these.

    And they're comfy as all get-out.

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  15. Peter darling, go for it! You're of a lean build (compliment!) and you have the attitude so you can wear anything you d@mn well please and still carry/show it off. I love those pants - if I was a bit taller than 'mumblemumblemumble' myself then I'd have some as well and sod the haters :-D.

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  16. I say go for it! While there are many scary hipster versions of drop crotch trousers out there, I'm confident that your adaptation will be infinitely more wearable. How about this more décontracté version from the Sarto. a couple years back? http://bit.ly/9KYuv0

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  17. nay, i say go for some thai pants which are just as roomy and look less ridiculous.... http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/thai-fishermen-s-pants

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  18. My gut reaction is that you should run--sideways like Hammer, if you want to--away from the harem pants. But if anybody could rock that look again, it'd probably be you. Follow your heart, Peter.

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  19. A big, fat, HUGE NAY!! Horrible, horrible pants.

    They were a travesty when they first came out and are even worse now. By all the sewing gods, Peter, please don't make or wear these monstrosities! You are far to handsome and stylish to be sporting a jodhpur/adult diaper look.

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  20. Seeing as ANYTHING that deviates from the usual boring mens fashion is intriguing to me, I vote yea, if not just for the fun of it.
    Ignore the old fuddy-duddies leaving comments of horror. You are young and thin and could definitely rock them. And I agree with Katie, go for the Thai fisher-man pants pattern...

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  21. I fear you are in one of those moods I get in where I want "something different". Be wary of such moods. You are headed for a serious "What Was I Thinking?!" episode if you make/wear these pants. Sarah is right when she wrote the word diaper.

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  22. I say YES! Wear them with a loose linen shirt, I'm thinking something inspired by traditional menswear in the middle east/the western part of asia.
    Like shown here: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Salwar_kameez
    But, of course adapted to New York 2010. That would be soooo coool, and probably very comfortable too. Go for it!

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  23. Oh Peter. Ethnic styles as suggested by Karin and Katie would be okay, interesting without being strange. But harem pants like one in the photographs you posted are just wrong and an abomination to the gods of fashion, and they will smite you for it. Just say no.

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  24. Don't do it!!! IMHO, I would rather see men in skirts than these dastardly "pants" that look like everyone has a doody in their trousers!

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  25. NO!!!!! Go for a kilt, if you must choose something fashionable and loose fitting....they always look a bit rogueish and sexy on a man...(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5f5de_l2ZM&NR=1
    for a great inspirational fashion show; and see how Alan Cummings rocks his kilt look!)I can totally see you rocking a kilt of your own, Peter!

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  26. Hi Peter, I'm new to your bog. I found you on Pattern Review, and had the best time ever looking through all your old posts!! You are a natural sewer!!
    I just had to add you on my blog list, so I can keep coming back :)
    I'm passing your blog on to my daughter, who just graduated from Art School in Fashion design. I know she will love you!

    As for the pants, if anyone could work those, I really think you could!!!

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  27. I'd rather see you rockin' a kilt on hot days than these droopy drawers. I'm in the "hate 'em!" category, I know, but darling, you have excellent knees! Why hide them?

    Kilts are sexy. Try that instead, maybe?

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  28. oh yeah! I LOVE those pants! Please make a pair and wear them with pride. If you like them and want a pair..do it! Don't worry about whether or not someone else likes them!

    I must say I do like Vintagegal's idea of a kilt though. And, like her I could see you totally rocking your own!

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  29. Noo.. Scare 'em is right! But I don't like these pants on anyone, so it's nothing personal :)
    And I'm a big fan of men in kilts. There's nothing more sexy than a man with great legs in a kilt!

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  30. Naaaaaaay!

    (Hasn't Cathy ever talked to you about the dreaded thigh-chafe? Admittedly, that's girl-talk, but since you've been helping with her photo shoots I'm surprised the subject has never come up.)

    Syl

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  31. Uh, no, sorry. They look fashion-tragic, as well as uncomfortable. How can people walk with all that fabric wadded from crotch to knee? That said, as an attractive man you should be able to pull it off. Best of luck!

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  32. No...please god...no. Why do that to yourself?

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  33. Ooh, yes! A KILT! Forget the diaper pants, make a kilt, Peter!!!

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  34. If you need more room in the crotch, why not go with some relaxed fit levis or loose fitting chinos? Even track pants have more class than those whatever you call thems.

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  35. Don't do it! They'll make your backside look like a droopy, saggy mess.

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  36. Do it! I've been wearing pants like these, in style, out of style no matter, since I was 18, and I'm 51 now. I probably have more pairs of zouave pants (the original name for them) than any other human on the planet. Don't listen to those people who cry fashion victim. Fashion victims are people who wear only what's deemed "in" and never develop their own style. It takes a truly bold, creative soul to break from the pack and wear statement clothing. I know you have it in you, Peter. Please don't disappoint me.

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  37. I got a bit interested in the subject!
    I think I mean something like "dimije". They look much better. http://www.tportal.hr/moda/moda/21663/Dimije-modni-zlocin-ili-modni-diktat.html
    Or "Sirwal": http://minmisr.over-blog.com/categorie-10856434.html
    Do avoid the bag-under-bum-look though... ;-)

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  38. No, no, no, no, no.

    Also, let me add: NO.

    Or, put another way: HELL NO.

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  39. Oh Peter, you fashion provocateur! Of course you could pull off this look on the streets of Chelsea. But if you do, drop Scott a line and make a splash on The Sartorialist. You owe it to your fans.
    Fashion is attitude.

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  40. Well, I like the first ones. Can't say I love the ones that are soooo low in the crotch and sooo tight in the legs, but either way they look more for men than women, IMHO. Rennaissance or medieval is what comes to mind for me.

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  41. Ewwww no Pete. Are you kidding us?
    Some were ok back in the day, because they were not so extreme, I even made my boyfriend a pair at the time that he LOVED. They had a velcro waistband and were the guys equivalent of a wrap skirt. Really they looked like baggy track pants - and not full-on version with the low crotch and super skinny legs. Ugghh! I think some designer is rolling around laughing at the trend they started as a joke to humankind.
    The ones that are more like Genie trousers are BETTER, in fact I would rather see you wear these, bells and all! http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/McCall's_7739

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  42. I say no. If you need a breeze in your region during these hot summer months - how about a pair of linen pants?

    I was there the first time this one went around too and I wish this "trend" would die. Forever.

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  43. You have heat stroke. No way, No how. If you want to see what it would look and feel like just get an XL sweat shirt or t-shirt with long sleeves - sew up the neckline - then put your legs into the sleeves and pull the hem to your waist - see what what I mean.....

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  44. OMG, Tammy, that is brilliant! :)

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  45. If you really feel the need to make a pair of pants like this, check out the pants from Project Runway Australia, Season 2, Episode 5. The episode was about finding a man on the streets of Melbourne and convincing him to get a makeover and be the model for the challenge. Anthony created a pair of "hammer, harem....fugly (but not too fugly) pants" for his model and they looked pretty cool. Maybe you could pull that style off.

    Good Luck

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  46. Nay. Oh, Lordy, nay, nay, nay. These hideous pants bring to mind a little phrase we used in high school: TTBU (Try to Be Ugly). Certainly, we can all agree that ugly should be avoided at all costs?

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  47. Don't forget, once you put something on the internet it remains there forever! You might regret this one day!

    Actually I am in two minds (typical gemini!), and think they could be a goer, but only if you have a very edgy/avantgarde style anyway.

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  48. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. ugh.

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  49. Yes yes yes! I simply adore those pants and have been considering making myself a pair for a while now.
    But I have to say I'm downright puzzled by the intense negative reaction. It's surprising seeing a commenting community that is usually so unconditionally supportive be so invested in policing what you should/shouldn't wear. I honestly can't imagine where all the (seeming) hostility is coming from.

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  50. There are different variations of loose fitting pants. The hammer pants are cut differently than the harem pants. And the version you're seeing all over the runways and sidewalks are actually "Sarouel" pants.

    They have a decent pattern in the May issue of Burda magazine which I have sewn up a few pair.

    The pants are not for everybody and men need to be especially careful how they fit and style them.

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  51. No. Please don't. These pants make everyone who wears them look like a toddler in desperate need of a diaper change.

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  52. I wore them in college, but never that exaggerated, they were just loose fitted. Those I loved, but like I said, not droopy. If you can find that, go for it, but not the droopy drawers, please. I like earlier suggestions of loose cotton or linen pants.

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  53. Garrison, not to worry: the hostility is toward the pants! LOL

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  54. Here's what I suggest - put a sweater on upside down, belt it at your waist and see if you like the look before sewing a stitch! Do show us the results too.....

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  55. Well, frankly, I think they're horrible on men or women. It looks like the wearer forgot where his bathroom is, and so has a large load in his pants. I think of you as more dapper than that.

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  56. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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  57. If you're going to do them, go all the way - Aladdin pants.

    [IMG]http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a76/spyknow/aladdin.jpg[/IMG]

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  58. Yes, please! You could rock this look, big time. I'm a bit surprised by all the 'loaded trousers' comments ... I sense a tragic lack of daring and imagination.

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  59. Do NOT let the Selfish Seamstress talk you into it. She has motives.

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  60. I'm not a huge hammer pants fan, but I really like the style in the fourth picture down. Go for it.

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  61. Oh Peter... That is not a good look on anyone... I have to vote NAY... no... not even... please dont go there..

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  62. If you tread carefully, I think you can pull it off. Pic #1 looks best to me; the looser legs have better balance and look cooler to me. I expect, if you make some, you will need a spotter who will tell you if you have poor rear drape before you finish any seams.

    You might also pull off a wrap pant, like so: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=254336.0
    I love these for summer and they flatter most figures. The maker of that tutorial is a woman, but these are a great unisex style.

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  63. Peter, have a little dignity . . . no no no no on these silly pants! Unless, of course, you're making up a Halloween costume. Life is too short to spend your time on crap sewing projects!

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  64. You might try Simplicity 4788!

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  65. Ooh, radiolaria, that is perfect!

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  66. Ummm.... how about no!!! However, you would be the only person I could think of that could actually pull that look off!!

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  67. No. Just no. Well, maybe I shouldn't say anything since I'm about to make myself a romper (yep, a jumpsuit that's shorts)...

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  68. "You might try Simplicity 4788!

    May 28, 2010 9:23 AM
    Peter said...
    Ooh, radiolaria, that is perfect!"
    But only if you wear the fez too!!! :-)

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  69. Meredith, I found it online and bought it! I might just make that fez...

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  70. Noooooo. Please, no. It just makes me think of this:
    http://www.regretsy.com/2010/01/29/skants-skants-revolution/

    I vote utilikilt.

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  71. I have several pairs which I bought from Omar Serroukh's shop "Fez" at 71 Golborne Road in London. You ask about patterns: one pair was made for me by a tailor in Tangiers according to the design at La Bobine: Les deux sarouels de Meelili. They look like the top photo there, which you can see is smart, falling well, with nice folds. Easily smart enough to wear in an office.

    The fabric was a cashmere mix bought from Masons in Abingdon near Oxford: not stiff (hence the good fall), but warm enough for winter. On the other hand, because the trousers are so baggy, they're also good in heat: on Thursday, I walked in them from Paddington to Old Road near Moorgate, and despite the hot day, they were very comfortable. Contrary to what "Valerie May 27" implies, they're good to walk in.

    Most of the other Moroccan pairs I've seen are to a similar pattern, but with 3/4 length legs. They're generally in cotton; or in one case, for a smart formal pair, in what I think is gaberdine. Denim would be a bad fabric, because it's too stiff, and holds wrinkles far too well, which would mess up the pleats and the fall. In fact, I've not seen this Moroccan style in denim. The cotton ones are good to run in, and slow you down less than tracksuit trousers do, because there's less friction with the legs.

    By the way, "le sarouel" is (as far as I know), the generic French word for any kind of trouser with extra fabric between the legs, whether Dior high fashion or everyday North African. The word comes from Arabic
    "sirwal" or سِرْوَال, and is cognate with "salwar" as in "salwar kameez". The Moroccan word for the style in Les deux sarouels transliterates as "kandrissi"
    or "qandrissi": Google it, and you'll find Islamic-dress shops selling them, and so on.

    Hope Les deux sarouels is useful. You'll probably also like the Saaibestrijding blog by the Maastricht man Paul Tieman. The name is Dutch for "struggle against boredom", and he has designed many unusual pieces of clothing, including sarouels. (His blog is in English.) Take a look at those in his Zeven-en-veertig entry.

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  72. Oops. The link to La
    Bobine: Les deux sarouels de Meelili
    got lost. Let's try again. If it doesn't appear as a link, here's the URL: http://labobine.over-blog.com/article-13351231.html .

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  73. I agree those pants are not for everybody but I find them extemely confortable and very manly in a military or cargo look with heavy boots and a leather jacket.

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  74. I've been looking for pants like these for a while. I was doing some research and came across your blog. Where can I buy them? I need the cheaper version of Dior though. Did you get them? Do you love them?

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  75. Ha ha ha ha. Those are the silliest pants I've ever seen! They remind me of the scene in Mary Poppins where Bert dances with the cartoon penguins.

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