When the cool, cotton-cinched sack was delivered to my office, I was immediately intrigued. It was soft, supple and seemed to have something sexy stuffed inside it. As I released the drawstring and tipped over its top, a major amount of material made its way out. I wasn’t sure how it happened, but once it stopped its dramatic tumble, it tamed its way into a terrific pair of harem pants.
More specifically, ‘Buddha Pants.’ The company’s tag line is ‘Pants That Make You Dance’ or ‘Pants You Can Pack In A Pocket’ and while I wasn’t sold on how to wear them, I was definitely impressed with the gimmicky way they got them into my hands. I mean, I knew the ‘drop-crotch’ kind-of culotte was making a comeback; I just didn’t know to what extent.
I did, however, notice early last year the parachute pant had made a subtle resurgence, but it came and went before I could wrap my head around it. I’m not gonna lie; when it waned I breathed a big sigh of relief. I mean, imagine: elastic, vinyl and zippers mixed with the South Florida heat and humidity? Holy “no thank you, Batman.” It wasn’t a trend I was totally willing to tackle.
Moreover, nothing ruins a fashionista’s credibility more than a sweaty butt or a sticky nether region. I’m a firm believer in that old school ‘Dry Idea’ deodorant motto: “Never let them see you sweat,” especially in areas that aren’t meant to be seen in the heat of the noon-day sun. After the parachute pant non-craze came and went…
A few months later, while traipsing around London, specifically in Covent Garden, I noticed that the women there were wearing an abridged version of the parachute pant. It was, say, half harem, half parachute. I cheekily dubbed it ‘The Hara-chute.’ I snickered at the thought of having to make it work in my own wardrobe back in Miami. Fast Forward to 2014…
I closely studied the big ol’ britches that came in a bag and then put them on over my own pair of pants. They were beyond roomy and ridiculously comfortable, but were they cool? Did I look cute? Could I possibly pull off these pouchy, poochy, eye-popping pants myself? I headed to the Deco Plex (the hub of the shows creativity) to find out.
And believe you me, I can always count on my Deco peeps (co-workers) for a dose of the cold hard truth, with an extra-special side of oozing sarcasm. Although, let me add, I don’t always take fashion advice from them. As soon as I walked through the door, the zingers-slash-oneliners began. Here are some of the highlights…
“Hey, MC Hammer called, he wants his pants back!” “Who let the genie outta the bottle?” “Barbara Eden would roll over in her grave, but she’s not dead yet!” “Are you auditioning for Aladdin?” “Did Koko & Palenki finally cut you off?” “You could put all your shoes in the crotch of those pants!”
Naturally, during all the heckling, someone in the background was singing “2 Legit 2 Quit” and when that was over, someone else chimed in with “U Can’t Touch This.” Personally, my favorite MC Hammer song back in the day was “Pray,” but apparently, not even that could help me with the troublemaking trousers.
I didn’t give up, though. I longed to sex up those slouchy slacks, but I just didn’t know how. We all have our limitations. So, Odette (Deco’s illustrious assignment manager,) called for reinforcements. She arranged for me to meet-up with three popular Miami fashion bloggers, along with Rachel Raab, the creator and founder of ‘Buddha Pants’ and Ellie Frost, one of her business partners.
And wouldn’t you know it, everyone but me showed up in their guru gauchos. Yeah, I was the uptight, skinny jean wearing, wouldn’t change my ways because I didn’t know how to work it, entertainment-slash-fashion reporter. Btw, if I could use an emoji here, it would be the little yellow-faced guy with those fat tears squirting out of his face. Luckily, I wouldn’t feel like a total turd for long.
Rachel and Ellie couldn’t have been any nicer. They told me the company’s inspiration was partly due to a pair of pants that a friend brought back from Paris. What’s more, they bunched them up in a bag to make them the perfect travel-ready companion to add to any wardrobe. If that weren’t enough…
Each blogger gave me personalized tips on how to make the pants work for any potential fashion situation. Whether wearing it preppy, pretty or to a party, the ‘Pants That Can Make You Dance’ seemed to have endless possibilities.
Finally, I felt like I could truly “Give Harem Pants A Chance.” I love the throw back quality of the look. It’s mysterious, from days gone by (they originated in the Arabian Peninsula almost two thousand years ago) and modern at the same time. They’re a total cross between a skinny jean and a skirt.
The following week when I got my television wardrobe delivery from Koko & Palenki, my stylist, Shari, included the prettiest pair of Haute Hippie black harem pants (pictured in this blog.) I bought them immediately. I prefer wearing mine low to the waist, with a fun flat and a funky T-shirt. Sometimes, I even wear them to get my zen on. I’m no yoga guru, but I like whispering to the fashion Gods every now and then and why not do it in style?
If you decide to “Give Harem Pants A Chance,” remember, it’s all about working the triangle shape of the trouser: wide at the top, tapered at the bottom. MC Hammer may have sung it best, but fashionistas are wearing it better. So, everyone “Stop, It’s Harem Time!”
Blog wardrobe provided by
FB Koko Palenki
FB Shireen Sandoval
photography by tod p/t4twophotography
Editor: Matthew Auerbach