A few years ago, Hammer pants — also known as harem pants — became a truly disturbing fashion trend on the runways. Celebrities everywhere started wearing them, in all sorts of colors, patterns, and volumes. But while MC Hammer himself said in 2009 that he’s distancing himself from the pants, practically every celebrity in recent memory has worn them, in public, in front of cameras, gleaming with confidence (why?). In honor of Mr. Hammer’s 50th birthday today, I graded some celebrity attempts to do for the pants what the man did himself.
1. Naomi Campbell: B-
When you are Naomi Campbell and you pal around with “Vogue” editor André Leon Talley while he is wearing a blush-colored croc coat, magenta velvet slippers, and an embellished turban, you can pretty much be fabulous wearing anything.
2. Chris Brown: F
Even if he weren’t a bona fide horrible person, he’d get an F, because these may just be the dumbest-looking pants on this list, which says quite a lot.
3. Kim Kardashian: D
If she were in the dark you might not notice that these pant legs are pegged, which counts for something.
Kim Kardashian, Part II: D-
Well, now there’s no hiding that these are pirate pants. And to think, she’s the last person who needs more booty.
4. Gwen Stefani: C+
A high score, considering how insane these look. It’s only because the amount of volume crammed into one pair of pants is so impressive. It’s like she’s wearing an entire king-sized sheet.
6. Ciara: A-
Because if you’re going to wear a ridiculous style like this you may as well wear the most ridiculous kind you can find.
8. Khloe Kardashian: D-
Not an “F,” perhaps only because I love hot pink.
9. Elle Macpherson: C+
This is a stupid outfit, sure, but when you’re Elle “the Body” Macpherson, even some leather fabric bunching around your crotch and giving you swamp ass isn’t going to make you look that bad.
Elle Macpherson, Part II: F - - - - - - -
These, on the other hand, with that belt. Front and center in the Hall of Harem Infamy is where these belong.
11. Nicki Minaj: D-
One of her more mediocre attempts at getting attention.
13. J. Lo: D
I really would have expected more from her than something plain and black and just a little bulbous.
J. Lo, Part II: D+
Like this. This is awesome. Ugly, but awesome.
14. Whitney Port: C-
She may as well have worn her mint green non-harem sweatpants. You know she probably owns two pairs of those.
15. Rihanna: B-
She’s worn so much insane stuff these bottoms look natural for her.