Hippie/Gypsy/Harem Pants

In Persia, 2000 years ago, the origin of the Hippie Pants was born.  They were worn by women among the different Middle Eastern tribes to represent modesty and innocence. This is evident in the design, loose around the hips and legs, thus diminishing any trace of a voluptuous feminine body shape. The trousers were also a symbol of the Muslim women’s role as a ‘patriarchal property’. Men also wore these loose-fitting pants (called Nguyen) when doing chores, as the baggy fit allowed for comfort while doing manual labour. 

Hippy Pants/Harem Pants/Salvars/Shalwar are but a few of the commonly used names for these pants during this time period. An essential part of everyday life, the Persian word ‘Salvar’ does mean ‘pants’. 

This clothing item made its way into Western culture in the mid 1800’s by a women’s rights activist – Amelia Bloomer. Ha! You do see where I am going with this? We can thank this lady for the infamous comfort of Bloomers. Amelia took harem pants and used them as a uniform for feminists wanting to fight for their rights – these pants represented freedom and liberation with their higher hemlines and masculine connotations.

Although these new trousers offered more comfort than the corsets and petticoats of that time, Amelia failed to convince most women to hang up their old clothes in favour of the newer, exotic alternatives. 

In 1909, a French fashion designer – Paul Poiret – created a collection of clothes which included both Oriental and Persian influences that could easily be embraced by the American and Western cultures. This collection featured garments such as Kaftans, Headdresses and a new wave of Harem Pants. These new designs were more feminine, and made from silks and satins and embroidered, with intricate beading adding a softer and more oriental touch. These trousers could be flaunted with the accompaniment of tunics and waist wraps.

Welcome in the Hippie Pants and an era that still influences.

Also known as palazzo, gypsy and Boho pants, hippie pants come from the people best described as belonging to an international subculture movement in the 1960’s and 70’s. During this era, the music, philosophy and fashion had its own characteristics. 

Enjoy the cool comfort wear of our traditional hippy/gypsy/harem pants always in store. 

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