Crime of Fashion: Harem Pants from La Redoute


Stop! Hammer time!

La Redoute say: “You’ll love the pretty loose fit created by a deep elasticated waistband accentuated by little gathers at the waist front and back.”

The Fashion Police say: “Are you shitting us? These are HAMMER PANTS. HA.MMER. PANTS. And if Hammer looked like a baby with a full nappy in them, hey, guess what? We would too! We don’t want to have to speak to you about this again, La Redoute. Wait a minute, though – what’s this?

Grey Harem Hammer pants

My eyes! My eyes! Please, someone – show me the figure that would be flattered by these. Show me the person that wouldn’t look like a giant toddler in them, and I will show you a fortunate woman indeed.

And the real kicker? They’re expecting us to pay £69 to look like this

More Harem Pants!

floral Harem pants
OK, so the La Redoute episode could just have been a random aberration, but finding this pair of Harem pants in Topshop makes me worry that this could be a “trend” – or that the retailers are trying to make it a trend, anyway. We will not let them win, though, my Fashion-Crime-Fighting friends! We will fight them on the beaches! We will fight them in the malls! We will fight them on the … blogs.

This particular pair of pants is by Steve Yoni for Topshop, who clearly thinks that not only do we need to feel like we’re wearing nappies, but that most of us would quite like a bit of extra padding around the hips, thanks very much. Witness:

Brown harem pants
Yup, there are those big, wrinkly pockets again, looking like weid flesh sacks. Lovely. Or not, as the case may be.


You don’t have to tell us: we know. We know there’s very little on the subject of harem pants that hasn’t already been said by us, but we’re going to repeat the message one more time, just for the benefit of La Redoute, who are becoming repeat offenders on this subject.

La Redoute, we just want you to know that the images seen above? Are NOT OK. We repeat: NOT OK. What you’ve essentially done here is taken a pair of ordinary khakis, and a pair of ordinary camouflage pants, and committed a “drop-crotch” crime so terrible it hardly bears looking at. One last time, La Redoute: IT’S NOT OK.

Now, we don’t want to have to speak to you about this again, understand?


  • February 27, 2007


    looks really awful!!!

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  • February 27, 2007


    If anyone reallllly likes the look of that second pair…you can get them cheaper from any good Tribal-style bellydance costume supplier. (I have a few pairs. I wear them…for dance. Not out in public for no reason at all.)

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  • March 14, 2007

    The Tailored Woman

    Hilarious! I thought La Redoute had more sense than this. By the way, the New York Times Style Magazine’s spring fashion issue had a great little feature on the (attempted) revival of harem pants.

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  • June 11, 2007


    omg! i’m from argentina and lots of girls use the ones in the first photo… even in winter… they’re horrible!! and most of the girls use them with sporty trainers…

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  • July 10, 2007


    Oh, my God! I don’t even know what the hell that is. It looks like a body could fit in them! When I saw the green sparkly ones, they kinda reminded me of a geenie.

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  • January 28, 2008


    The pants shown are vile, but I have a pair I picked up on holiday that *are* flattering, though I am a size 8 (us 6/4). I don’t think you need to be that thin for them, just choose a pair that look more like a skirt than a pair of weird-ass pants!

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  • April 7, 2009


    Harem pants look awesome, especially if you diet ;]

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  • January 13, 2010


    omg. i am egyptian girl from cairo , and the arabs are used to wear thes pants from about 1000 year ,so thes is an arab’s fashion style and we are here in egypt starting to use these pants again , it’s so nice and we loved it

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