The history of the Harem pants: from Eastern tradition to Western Yoga studios

De geschiedenis van de harembroek

The history of the Harem pants: from Eastern tradition to Western Yoga studios

Harem pants are a comfortable garment that have been worn for centuries in different parts of the world. It has a rich history dating back to ancient Persia, all the way to yogis and yoginis who started wearing harem pants in the 1970s during their practices. In this blog, we dive into the history of harems and discover how they have become a favorite garment for yoga practitioners around the world

Origin of the harem pants

The origin of the pants go back to ancient Persia. Here, men and women wore it as part of their traditional clothing. Later, the pants became more popular in the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was an Islamic Empire that existed from 1299 to 1922. It occupied a huge area of North Africa, Asia and Europe. The empire had a great influence on fashion in the region over the centuries, including harem pants.

The introduction of the harem pants in Europe

Not until the 19th century, the harem pants became more popular in Europe. French fashion designer Paul Poiret introduced the pants to the West in 1910, inspired by the Middle East. At that time, trousers without a skirt above them were ‘not done’ for women, but Poiret wanted to liberate women with the harem trousers. It was worn by women in ‘high society’ and later by dancers and artists. In the 1960s the pants became popular again as part of hippie culture.

The Harem pants in the yoga world

Harem pants became popular among Western yogis and yoginis in the 1970s. They were looking for comfortable and flexible clothing to practise their asanas. The comfortable fit and wide legs make the garment ideal for various exercises. In addition, the harem pants offer great freedom of movement and provide ventilation, which is especially nice during warmer yoga sessions. So many benefits you can enjoy during your yoga practice!

Harem pants in the modern age

In the 1980s, famous rapper MC Hammer released a music video in which he wore harem pants, making the pants more widely worn. These kinds of pants were then called MC Hammer pants. Then wide pants made their re-entry in the 2000s as part of the “boho” style and as casual streetwear. The pants are made in a variety of styles, colors and materials, making it a versatile garment suitable for any occasion. Whether you are looking for a comfy outfit for your yoga practice, a casual outfit for at home or a chic evening look, harems are always a good pick!

Different types of Harems

There are various types of harem pants, all of which have their own unique characteristics. For example, there are harem pants with a tighter fit around the thighs and hips with flared legs. But there are also yoga harems that have a high waistband and offer extra support. These are very suitable for more intense yoga practices, such as Vinyasa yoga or Ashtanga yoga. Another common fit is harem pants with a low waistband. These are perfect for somewhat slower yoga forms, such as Yin yoga or Restorative yoga. Choosing the right yoga harem, depends on your personal preference. Besides all the nice yoga practices, harems are also perfect for lounging!


In short, the history of the pants is quite special and it is fascinating to see how it has evolved from traditional clothing to a beloved garment for yogis and fashionistas all over the world! For us, it is especially a very nice addition to the yoga practice.

Our model Tanisha wears our Dakini with an Asana, both in Urban Black