Bell Bottoms – Retro Style
Bell bottoms were originally created to be a cool new way to wear jeans, but they quickly turned into an important piece of fashion that has lasted for years.
Bell bottoms are loose fitting jeans that flare out from the knee…. These flared jeans go down to the ankles and have a wide waistband…. They are often worn with platform shoes but can be worn with boots as well.
Describing bell bottom jeans isn’t easy because there are so many different designs and variations of them…. However, there are some basics to keep in mind when you’re looking for bell bottom pants.
First of all, all bell bottoms have flares at the bottom that extend out like a bell shape…. Some are wide and some are thin, but they will always flare out at the bottom in an arch shape…. The flare is what gives the pants their name.
Let’s dive in and take a look at some interesting things about bell bottoms…
What Are Bell Bottoms?
Bell Bottoms are pants that flare out at the bottom…. Named for their resemblance to bells, they were popular in the 1960s and 1970s…. They have a slightly flared cut from the natural waist down to the ankle.
Conceivably, bell bottoms could be any color, but they are typically found in vibrant colors such as yellow, blue or pink…. A mix of colors is often seen on one garment.
Patterns such as polka dots or stripes are also common…. Unlike flares and peg-leg jeans, which are close-fitting at the ankle, bell bottoms flare out from mid-calf to the ankle…. Most bell bottoms for women have elasticized waists for comfort and ease of movement.
They were worn by hippie subculture members, along with other items such as tie-dye shirts and peasant blouses…. Later in their heyday, they were popular among ravers and clubgoers because of their bright colors and unique style.
The jeans were worn by men and women alike during this period…. Women’s bell bottoms were often worn with a cropped top with spaghetti straps or a halter top that showed midriff when worn with a blouse underneath.
What Do Bell-Bottoms Mean?
Bells are small hand bells that are rung in churches, synagogues and temples as a form of summoning worshipers to the service…. Bell bottoms, on the other hand, were popular fashion in North America during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Tight-fitting trousers that tapered at the bottom resembled this instrument…. The term “bell bottoms” is frequently used as a catch-all phrase to describe any wide-legged trousers that were popular during these decades…. Fashion enthusiasts also refer to bell bottoms as “flares” or “flying bells.”
The original bell bottom pants were made from denim or leather and featured either an elastic or drawstring waistband for added comfort…. Women typically paired their bell bottoms with calf-length boots or flat shoes, while men wore them with suede or leather jackets and cowboy boots.
Flared trousers have been around for several centuries, but they did not reach their peak in popularity until the 1950s…. Many flappers preferred to wear pants that billowed out over their hips and down to their ankles.
In the 1960s, flared jeans became popular among hippies as a form of rebellion against mainstream fashion trends…. Hippies also wore bell bottoms because they believed that they were more comfortable
What Was the Purpose of Bell Bottoms?
Trousers were worn by the Victorians and earlier and during the 19th century, they were loose and straight and some men wore them with a long coat that trailed on the ground…. These trousers were worn by all classes of people and were referred to as “Oxford Bags”, “Oxford Flares” or just “Bag Trousers”.
These baggy trousers are not very comfortable but they had their uses, for example when riding horses…. Bell Bottoms History
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that trousers took on a distinctive shape and featured a flare…. This was due to the many musical icons of the time wearing flared trousers.
The most influential of these was Elvis Presley who wore flared trousers in his 1968 Comeback Special…. Other celebrities followed suit and it wasn’t long before flared trousers became a fashion statement.
The reason for wearing flare pants was comfort but there were other advantages as well…. Wearing flared pants allowed men to move around easily and because they required less effort to wear than regular slim fit ones, they soon became popular with men who wanted to look stylish while at the same time being comfortable while doing so.
What Style Are Bell Bottoms?
The popularity of bell bottoms skyrocketed when celebrities like David Cassidy and Cher started wearing them…. The style was later adopted by disco fans before fading away in the early 1980s.
This fashion trend almost singlehandedly revived denim from its status as a workwear staple to one of casual dress (and eventually even as formal wear).
The style bell bottoms was predominantly worn by members of the Woodstock generation and was a statement against the formal style of clothing that was popular before this time. They became popular with young people who rejected the dress sense of their parents and preferred more casual clothing instead.
Types of bell bottom pants include:
- Straight-legged bell bottoms: These have a straight fit through the leg, but flare slightly at the bottom…. They are somewhat popular among men today.
- Bootleg bell bottoms: These have a tight fit through the thigh and a loose fit around the calf…. They may be straight or boot cut at the bottom.
- Wide-leg bell bottoms: These have a waist that is similar in size to standard trousers, with much larger legs and seat.
You can wear these to a disco, on a casual day at the beach, or even to a formal affair…. They look great with any type of shoe and can be paired with almost any type of top or shirt…. There are many different variations of bell bottoms, ranging from form fitting to baggy.
What Are Bell Bottom Jeans?
The purpose of bell bottom jeans is to make you look taller…. They also make your legs look longer…. Many celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and Britney Spears, are known for wearing these types of pants.
Other celebrities that wear the bell bottoms are Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, and Nicki Minaj…. The fact that these celebrities wear them makes them a more popular choice for people who want to be stylish.
The bell bottom jeans style is also a very unique look and can be used to attract attention when you go out in public…. If you like being noticed when you go out in public, then you may want to consider wearing these cool pants.
The most common material that is used to make bell bottoms is denim…. Other materials include leather, cotton, suede, silk and other fabrics…. The most common colors for this type of pants include black, blue, brown and white…. There are also bell bottom jeans that have decorations on it such as embroidery or rhinestones.
Are Flare Jeans and Bell Bottoms the Same?
When you think of flare jeans, you probably imagine the bell bottoms that were popular in the 1970s…. Bell bottoms and flare jeans are actually two different types of pants.
- Flare jeans are very similar to straight-legged jeans, but they taper out at the bottom to create a flare effect in the leg opening. Tapered pants gradually narrow down from the knee to the ankle, creating a slenderizing look…. The flare at the bottom balances out tapered pants so they don’t make your legs look stumpy…. Tapered pants also work well with shoes because they create a smooth transition between your lower leg and your shoe.
- Bell bottoms, on the other hand, do not taper down at the ankle…. They continue to widen until the hemline can be as much as 5 inches wide or more…. This wide hemline creates an exaggerated bell-like shape at the bottom of the pant leg.
Flare jeans have a wider leg, while bell bottom jeans have a tighter fit…. Additionally, flare jeans are mostly made from denim, while bell bottom jeans can also be made from other materials such as suede.
Tightness also differs between flares and bell bottoms…. Bell bottoms were designed to fit loosely around the legs, while flares are a little more fitted through the thighs and calves…. Bell bottoms often feature belt loops that allow an extra pair of suspenders to be attached to them.
By contrast, flares usually have belt loops that are too small for suspenders, although you may be able to wrap a belt around them several times for extra support.
Flares typically hit at or below the knee, but some narrower versions come down closer to the ankle…. Bell bottoms can go as high as mid-calf, although that style isn’t as popular today as it was in the ’70s.
By contrast, flared jeans haven’t been popular for decades; bell bottoms have seen a resurgence thanks to popular culture references in TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and movies like “The Wedding Singer.”
Are Bell Bottoms Country?
There aren’t many recent country singers who have worn bell bottoms…. However, some country singers did wear them during the 1970’s and the 80’s…. Merle Haggard was one country singer who wore bell bottoms during this time period.
However, he wasn’t the only country singer to wear this fashion trend…. Charley Pride, Bill Anderson, and Jim Reeves also wore bell bottoms at some point in their careers…. At least for these few singers, it seems that they were more about making a fashion statement rather than being a part of a specific subculture or lifestyle.
However, they are not country specifically…. The style became so popular it made an impact upon all genres.
When Were Bell Bottoms Popular?
The late 1960s and early 1970s were decades of great changes in fashion and culture…. The hippie movement was in full swing, gender roles were being questioned and the Vietnam War was raging on….
Style in the 1960s was very different than it had been before — fashion became more functional and relaxed…. Pants became longer and looser; skirts became shorter and tighter.
Bell bottom jeans were inspired by the loose styles of India’s sari dresses…. They may also have been influenced by hippie culture…. Hippies believed that “free love” meant that men and women should have as much sexual freedom as possible.
To do this, they rejected traditional Western ideas of morality that said women shouldn’t dress provocatively…. Bell bottoms allowed them to do just that while still being covered up — because only their feet showed!
The pants became so popular that they were worn in movies and television shows as well.
Are Bell Bottoms Out of Style?
Why did they go out of style? Well, as many fashion trends do, they simply became overused…. They also didn’t fit in well with the more formal clothing that was popular during this time period.
Are Bell Bottoms Coming Back?
In the past, bell bottoms were very popular among celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley…. Today, they have made a comeback…. According to several designers, they are here to stay for a long time.
One of the reasons why fashion experts believe that bell bottoms are here to stay is because they are versatile and can be worn with different garments like booties and sneakers or with heels and even boots…. It is also easy to find an original pair of bell bottoms.
Do Guys Wear Bell Bottoms?
If you want to avoid looking like you’re from the 1970s, you’d better stay away from bell bottoms…. But in case you need a bit of a refresher, here’s what this style looked like:
As for why men stopped wearing bell bottoms, there are a few theories…. One is that they just plain went out of style…. Another is that wearers didn’t take care of them properly (the pants were notorious for getting caught up on things) and wore them out.
Still another is that their popularity was cyclical — they worked fine when straight-legged jeans were cool but once jeans became more tapered in the ’70s, there wasn’t as much of a need for these kinds of pants.
Whatever the reason, it’s easy to see why guys don’t wear these anymore — they were unflattering, especially if you were thin or athletic.
In summary, Bell bottoms were popular from the 1960s to 1979 almost every year…. In 1971 bell bottom jeans accounted for 45% of all blue jeans sold , and by 1977 that number had risen to 65%…. They remained popular until about 1979 when skinny jeans became fashionable.
They were worn by men and women alike, often with platform shoes and brightly colored shirts…. The pants were considered fashionable because they were comfortable and made one’s legs appear longer.
You can still find these pants today, but they’re mainly popular among guys who like to wear vintage clothing…. If you’re wearing vintage-inspired clothing or looking for a unique piece of clothing, you may want to consider buying some bell bottoms.
You may also be interested in… Do Wide Leg Pants Make You Look Fatter and Shorter? and Can You Do French Tips with Shellac?