The bell bottoms, like other fashion trends such as skinny jeans and others that have slipped into our wardrobes over time, have both divided and united fashion lovers. They were first worn by the US Navy at the beginning of 19th century by sailors without proper uniforms. The British Royal Navy officially adopted them mid-century. They were a practical and easy option for bottom rollups.
The popularity of bell bottoms grew in the twentieth century due to hippie culture. They were worn with a variety of heels, from Cuban-heeled boots to clogs. These pants are sometimes called flare trousers. Their shape is very close fitting at the thighs, and then becomes more wide at the knees. Many variations were made over the years. The most notable being the loon trousers, which are even wider at their hems, and the elephant bells, which completely covers the shoes. The bell bottoms were replaced by the bootcut in the mid-1990s. This is a shorter and more fitted version.
Bell bottoms gradually disappeared from collections in 2000s. They were almost non-existent by the 2010s. However, they made a remarkable comeback in the last few seasons. There are many styles of flare, including leggings, jeans, and suit trousers, that have been showcased at Runway Shows. We’ve seen a retro-styled, striped version of the 2022 collection at Moshino, one at Gabriela Hearst, and one at Versace. Versace has a sleek, embellished version. The bell bottoms of Bogdar were designed with modern slits in the front, while 16Arlington had them extra long to cover the shoes.
Flare is back
Flare style is back in fashion thanks to many designers who have reinterpreted the trend over the past few seasons. The trend was popularized by them to a level that rivals its fame in the 1960s or early 1970s.
Bell bottoms are becoming more popular because of their retro-inspired look, but also because they offer many benefits for modern wardrobes. Flares create a slimmer, more attractive silhouette that is easy to see. While they have a vintage feel that is very relevant right now, their appeal lies in the charm it gives to your body. A blue denim pair can be worn with a classic white shirt and loafers, while a black cotton version looks great with a fitted jacket and chunky sweater. Bell bottoms are versatile and can be worn alone, making them a popular choice for all ages.
Flare has been reinterpreted in a wide range of styles and prices. FreePeople introduced an oversized version of their denim this season in a variety of vibrant colours, from neon orange to bubble pink. Pull & Bear, a high-street brand, opts for classic black style.
Bell bottoms have been around for decades, in many styles, from extravagantly embellished to timeless paired-back options. One thing is certain? They are a good bet for the coming season, so they will get plenty of mileage.