Harem Pants – Modesty and Fashion in India
Before traveling to India, I took my daughter shopping for appropriately modest clothing. Or so I thought. Even though Kayla packed longer shorts – much longer than anything she would willingly wear in the US – it turned out that anything above the knee is a no-no. As are tops that display shoulders. We remedied the shoulder situation with cleverly placed silk scarfs, purchased in Jaipur. And Kayla found that harem pants – the fashion article of choice among Bohemian travelers – were an attractive and comfortable solution for the knee issue.
Harem pants are easily found at most markets in India and Nepal (or so it seemed everywhere we went.) Prices can start as low as 300 Indian Rupees (approximately $6.00) but even the best quality, made-to-order silk harem pants sell for about $20.00 – a bargain.
Entering Satguru’s Textile World, we were treated to a demonstration of hand block printing, one of Jaipur’s best loved arts.
Inside the shop, there was an overwhelming selection of clothes, linens, scarves, and textiles for making anything we desired.
It wasn’t easy selecting a cloth amongst so many choices, but within a few minutes we had the fabric and the fitting. The harem pants were finished and delivered to our hotel that night. And by the next day, Kayla was striking a pose in her favorite pants.