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The Origins of Ali Baba Pants

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The origins of the term 'Ali Baba Pants' are pretty easy to sum up: the one and only (fictional) Mr Ali Baba (from the novel 'One Thousand and One Nights') wore them, as was the custom for men living in Persia in the late 16th century.

We had been told that originally, these pants were only worn by men in the Middle East, and that they were always black. While I'm sure that men did wear black versions of Ali Baba Pants, the photograph below is depicting a woman wearing them and they are white!

Whatever the truth regarding the origins, the fact is that Ali Baba Pants were worn (but probably not 'invented') in the mid - late 1700's, and were worn by both men and women in at least two colours; black and white.

It is most definitely a Middle East form of dress, and has been spotted in Turkey (Turkish pants), Afghanistan (Afghani pants), Pakistan (salwar kameez), and a host of other countries, all calling the pants a similar name. 

Their official description is 'extremely large and baggy, with a very wide and full fit, with elastic in waist and at ankles, and with the crotch below the knee almost to the ground.' And isn't that why we love them!

They have many different names today, one of the most common being harem pants. This is because they were traditionally worn while performing belly dancing in Egypt and Turkey. As well as Ali Baba pants, Harem pants, Turkish pants and Afghani pants, other modern names are Genie pants, Gypsy pants, MC hammer pants (which I loathe) and a couple of others I don't wish to put into print!

We love our ali baba/harem pants, and have been living in them for about 5 years now! We love them so much, that we also stock ali baba overalls :))

If you love Ali Baba Pants as much as we do, then please 
check out our range:

Until next time,
Mel Xx

Surya Ethical Trade with Nepal


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