Harem Pants Through The History Of Persia

Harem pants are the most comfortable and interesting pieces of clothing created, there are many names devoted to it, Aladdin pants, genie pants, elephant pants, parachute pants, bloomers and the list goes on and on. The origin of these pants are from Persian and Turkish cultures where they were called “Shalwar or “Shalvar”. Shalwar in these cultures simply means pants and it is still used in rural parts of the Middle-east, Africa and other Asian cultures as a practical and hands on everyday piece of clothing, however in the west these pants have been considered as exotic and unusual pieces of clothing, they have been mostly known as a bold fashion trend.
These pants originated from Persia about 2000 years ago, and the interesting fact is that it was used by men and women at the same time, in their everyday use. These pants were evolved from men’s “dhoti” that was a skirt like tunic that was wrapped around in the shape of a trouser. For women’s clothing the evidences are vaguer than men’s fashion since they did not appear in artworks till a certain time, however it is known that women also wore these pants and the only differing fact is that when they were in private they would were slimmer and much more fitted pants and when they went out in public they would wear more loose and baggier pants with tunics to keep the humility and concealed their bodies.
In the western fashion world this idea of modesty and humility in women’s fashion remained and was similar to the middle-east as they wore long skirts and dresses to cover their legs just as the harem pants did in Persia, however pants remained strictly for men’s wear in the west throughout the following centuries up until a certain time.
Loose and baggy pants for women were only seen in mid-19th century in the west, before that it was only seen as stage costumes and even undergarments rather than actual daily use clothing. Amelia Bloomer was an influential women’s rights activist that went on European world stage in a Turkish-Victorian dress, meaning that she was wearing a short dress (knee length) with baggy pants claiming that this outfit is easier and more comfortable on the skin and it allows movement and freedom from corseting and hoop skirts, at the same time it is more hygienic and clean since it is shorter and it didn’t collect dirt and germs on the trailing of the skirt. She hoped that this style would create a buzz and become the new fashion for women similar to the women in the middle-east and Asia, however this did not go the way she hoped. Later when this style of pants became popular and trendy they were named “bloomers” after her name.