PYT: India Calling

By Lumay Wang • Sep 9th, 2009 • Category: Obsessions of the Week, Trends   

Ethnic and cultural influences have maintained their staying power through this summer and into the fall collections. From prints to jewelry, terms such as “tribal” and “global” have wandered into the fashionista’s vocabulary. Last year, style watchers buzzed about drop-crotch pants, but this season they will undoubtedly be talking about the harem pant. This pant is characterized by tapered ankles and volumes of fabric around the thighs and possibly knees. A drop-crotch is not an uncommon trait. Most harem pants use soft materials that easily drape around the body. This craze appeared on various fall runways including Balmain, Issey Miyake, and the always colorful Vivienne Westwood.

I personally am still on the fence concerning this stylized pant. I have witnessed several successful outfits featuring a jersey harem pant. It feels breezy and relaxed and can be the perfect transitional piece between summer and autumn. On the other hand, I simply cannot envision myself wearing anything that reminds me of hated middle-school sweatpants. You know, the ones that everyone always cut out the elastic at the bottom. Because I’m relatively short, the cinching at the ankle combined with the volume would only make me look shorter. This result is an effect that I obviously try to avoid.

If you are tall, skinny with legs that go on forever, you can pull off this comfy bottom. But, if you are anything but (which includes most of us), try your best to avoid this look. If the forces of the harem pant are too strong to resist, I urge you to accentuate your waistline and keep everything up top streamlined to balance your bottom half.

Here are some more flattering options:

Silence & Noise harem pant ($58, Check the weight added by the pleats with a slimming black color. The high-waist accentuates a smaller middle and helps to create an hourglass figure. Pair with basic tanks or slim fit tees.

Liz Claiborne ($23, Isaac Mizrahi is certainly updating this womenswear brand by injecting a sense of fun. The cotton gauze fabric is perfect for cooling summer nights. Slip on some flat sandals, and tuck in your shirt. Add some colorful bangles to finish off this casual daytime look.

Alice + Olivia “Eddie” pants ($99, Bring a touch of exoticism to your next evening outfit. The black silk gently shimmers in light. A racerback tank or even tube top can play the canvas to your bold jewelry and statement shoes.


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