Doting Upon the Return of Dhoti Pants

This past year, people have started to become more socially inclusive at last, embracing a wide variety of international cultures. As a result, traditional trends from all areas of the world are being reintroduced--especially the Indian culture's dhoti pants. Recently, dhoti pants--which used to be a traditional Indian garment for men--has made a comeback in the form of high-end women’s attire.

The design is loosely draped at the upper leg area and gradually becomes more tapered toward the ankle. Multiple variations are made of this type of pant: it can either contain a zipper on the sides or in the front, feature a drop crotch, and be made at any length. They are typically constructed in soft fabrics--such as muslin, soft cotton, silk, crepes, and Georgette--because of their ability to drape easily.

Although this staple piece of Indian style can be traced back to 5th Century BC, it was especially popular throughout the 20th Century. Ironically, in Harper’s Bazaar’s December 1945 issue, dhoti pants were highlighted as a seaside trend of the moment. On the other hand, McCall’s March 1991 Pattern Book called the style “party pants,” showing the design on both female children and adult models.

This fun, flirty style made a return to the fashion industry after many years on Delpozo’s Spring ‘17 Runway at New York Fashion Week. The dhoti pants he constructed were paired with three-dimensional, sculptural tops that models wore down the catwalk.

Ralph Lauren took a different approach in paying homage to traditional Indian design in his Spring ‘17 Ready-to-Wear Collection at NYFW. For his look, he placed a model in camel-colored dhoti pants and paired them with a snakeskin blazer in the matching hue.

For his Fall ‘18 Ready-to-Wear Collection for NYFW, Marc Jacobs did a different take on dhoti pants by sending a version of them down the runway in a grassy green and black print.

Today, dhoti pants are not only being manufactured by the fashion industry’s high-end designers, but retail stores and websites are selling the design at a more reasonable price. Revolve carries brands--including A Mere Co., Three Graces, and Free People--that do a modern, street style spin on classic dhoti pants. H&M retails dhoti pants as well, producing them in three different color/pattern options. Forever 21 decided to take the traditional Indian statement piece to the next level: they sell a cutout cami jumpsuit with a dhoti-style bottom!

Ready to walk the streets like they’re your catwalk? Here’s your head start: purchase a pair of dhoti pants stat.

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