Fashion Challenge: Revisit Harem Pants

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Harem pants

Harem pants are not a new discussion topic here at CF. We were confused and skeptical when they first started hitting the runways, but grew to understand how to style them after a few months.

Although some view them as a little bit too trendy to pull off in a college atmosphere, I find slouchy pants to be a nice break from what we're used to seeing. They look extremely edgy and fashion-forward but are still really comfortable -- a combination that I find truly perfect. The best part about them is that they're easier to style than you would initially think.

Ready to take the challenge and learn how to style harem pants? Read on!

Tips and Tricks for Wearing Harem Pants

  • Think about the fabric. Thicker, more structured fabrics like cotton or linen will flatter your body more than a thin fabric like silk.
  • The cut is super important. Too much drape can look sloppy at times. The most flattering cuts are loose around the thighs and crotch, but not so loose that the fabric bunches when you're just standing.
  • Avoid drop-crotch pants unless you're fashion-fearless. Although they're popular on runways, in real life they can resemble a diaper.
  • Highlight your waist. This will help balance out the bulk that comes from your pants. Try wearing these pants with a tighter fitting top, belt, or cropped jacket. Also, tuck tops into your pants.
  • The length is important, too. Pants that stop too close to the knee can give you a bit of a Foghorn-Leghorn type aesthetic. I think they look best when they stop a few inches above your ankle, but it's all about your personal preference.
  • Wear them with heels for an extra flattering look. In general, heels make your legs look longer, helping to balance harem pants' tendency to make legs look short.
  • They can work with flats or sandals, too. In the photo above, Gwen Stefani wears harem pants casually and they look great.
  • Having a lazy day? Because they're comfy and don't restrict your movement, harem pants are a great alternative to your typical sweats. Pair them with a plain t-shirt, girly flats, and a ponytail for a comfy yet fashion-conscious outfit.
  • Play up their exotic aesthetic by wearing them with jeweled sandals, a snake bracelet, rich colors, or a stack of brightly-colored bangles.
  • Let them be the center of attention. These are easier to pull off if you pair them with something classic, as opposed to other uber-trendy pieces.
  • Wear with confidence. These are tricky to wear, and people will applaud you for having the guts to try them out. If you feel good in them, other people will think you look great too!

Outfit Inspiration

How to wear harem pants

Harem Pants, Tank, Heels, Bangles, Earrings, Ring

Tuck a colorful patterned tank into a slouchy pair of pants like these! I like this pair because they're basic -- they don't have too much draping and they're not too baggy -- but still have a cute tie embellishment. A pair of stilettos will make your legs look mile-long, while patterned bangles, a snake ring, and feather earrings finish off the look.

How to wear harem pants

Harem Pants, T-Shirt, Bracelet, Shoes, Headband

A basic v-neck tee will look great tucked in to a pair of harem pants, especially nautical-inspired ones like these! Finish this springtime outfit with pastel colored flats, a cute bracelet, and a flower headband.

Rocked the Challenge? Send Us Your Pictures!

Did you wear a pair of harem pants this week? If so, take a couple snapshots and send them to fashionchallenge AT along with your name, school, a description of what you're wearing, and the URL of your blog if you have one. We'll feature your photo here to inspire other CF readers!

We can make you a celebrity overnight. :)

CF Reader Looks

Abigail Tam-CUNY Brooklyn College


Does Abigail look chic or what? For more of her style, check out her blog here!


Have you warmed up to harem pants, or are you still on the fence about them? Do you own a pair? How do you like to style them? Do you think these can work on the street, or should they stay on the runway? What other pieces do you own that you find tricky to style? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

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