Color Me Stylish…In Europe…

15 August 2009 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

Being as all fashions originate across the pond and straggle over to the States in a matter of years, there are certain ways of dressing in full bloom in Europe that some of us (well, most of us) Americans would hardly even consider.  I’ve always known that America is toward the lower end of global-trend-trickle-down, but I never fully understood how far behind we were until a few weeks ago, when I was terribly excited to find that every other woman on the streets of Madrid was rocking a pair of harem pants.

Harem pants, drop crotch pants, genie pants, what have you…they’ve had a maligned reputation ever since the Hammer days. Americans find them so ugly they typically refuse to consider reviving them, while over in Europe, harem revival is in full swing. Knowing how American women feel about the style, it was amazing to pass all sorts of beautiful Spanish women in varying degrees of drop-crotch-ness: some styles easily pass as sweats while others resemble floor length skirts with elastic around the ankles! And, maybe because I was seeing them in a European context, I thought…these look good! Chic, even. I saw hipsters wearing them with tank tops and gladiator sandals and fashionistas wearing them with fitted jackets and chunky heels. Needless to say, I think you know where this is going: before the week was over myself and almost every other girl in my traveling group had purchased a pair. My harem pants are very bohemian, with a bold print in olive and burnt orange (pictures to follow) from a street vendor between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol.

Of course, who knows how much wear they’ll get here in the States. In Spain, where drop crotch pants abound, I wore them all the time. Now, however, they are almost exclusively worn to art functions where they will at least be considered by my peers with an artistic eye. What I find more amusing than my friend’s reactions, though, is the reaction harem pants as a whole are currently receiving from the fashion world. Last month, I found two glossies with completely opposing opinions: one boasted a cover girl wearing a pair yet contained an article denouncing any women caught in them as an epic fashion fail, while the other had an article lauding their cut and comfort. Hmm…fashion is fickle, but what else is new? InStyle recently put out a piece with celebs wearing shiny, satiny versions at public functions. They’ve been up and down the runways; what I am truly waiting for is the time when the runway trickle down hits the American public and I can smile bemusedly about the frivolity of fashions, and the ultimate desire of women (including myself) to be en vogue, even if it means hiding your favorite pair of European pants until Vogue seals them with Anna’s stamp of approval.

Ultimately, the significance of this train of thought is that the world of fashion is constantly sending out mixed mesages and contrasting ideas, and women should rely only on their own likes and dislikes when considering a wardrobe. If I were to wait for the magazines and editors to agree on when Harem pants will be in style here in America, I’d never get to wear them. Instead, I’ll take a cue from the ladies in Spain, and embrace the oddball trends when I chose.

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Entry filed under: color around the world, do it!, fashion oddites, fashion philosophy, net-a-porter helped out on this one, pants... not slacks!.

Halls Of Style 13.8.09 Halls of Style 14.8.09

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