Bell bottoms? Really?


Kat Sin (9th), Editor

As fashion continues to recycle decades, the 70s are making their way around just as the 90s did. Bell bottoms are officially back.


Even though bell bottoms started to become popular in the 1960s – 1970s, they first came around much earlier than that. According to the European Fashion Heritage Association, “[Bell-bottoms] originated in the early 19th century, when some sailors serving in the US Navy started wearing these kinds of trousers, since no uniform was set for them yet.” 


However, after the 19th century these pants continued to grow in popularity and were popularized in the 60s by rockstars and hippies. Some rock stars that popularized these pants include Jimi Hendrix, Queen, and David Bowie. These stars incorporated flare jeans into most of their flamboyant stage looks. Although the 60s and 70s were once the highlight of bell bottoms, they soon fizzled out just to make a comeback in the 90s.


In the mid-90s, bell bottoms made their comeback with the new name of boot cuts. The difference between these pants and bell bottoms was that the ends weren’t as flared. Even though the original bell bottoms of the 70s faded with time, that didn’t stop the 90s look making its way into the 2000s.


The new and popular boot cut pants turned into the iconic early 2000s look we now know. This specific early 2000s look consists of low waisted boot cuts, tight shirts, and are usually worn with converse. Sometimes these pants are styled with lace tank tops and sweaters or cardigans. I would say shows such as Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill are what really gave this style it’s reputation in today’s fashion.


Even though TV had a large influence on the styling of bell bottoms in today’s day and age, so did musical artists. Some musical artists that helped popularize these pants include Beabadoobee and Billie Eilish. They both have very unique styles, and they’ve both incorporated flare jeans into some of their outfits. Their use of them definitely helped increase their popularity.


Although popular, they’re not everyone’s favorite style of pants. When asking my friend, freshman Jade Xiong, her opinion on them, she said, “Not my style. I prefer skinny jeans.”


I asked her again how she felt about the comeback, “I don’t care about the comeback of [bell bottoms]. They haven’t affected my style and I don’t really care if they stick around or not,” she remarked.


I asked another one of my friends, sophomore Jacob Liles, how he feels about them and he stated, “I like them on others but not on me. I think for others it could look good, it just depends on what you style them with.”


Sure it’s arguable whether these pants should stick around, but I definitely think they should, and big fashion lines might agree with me. In the spring and summer of 2015 bell bottoms made their way onto runways. They were included on designer lines such as Chanel and Coach. So even if you think these pants are overdue, the professionals think otherwise.  


Even though over 50 years old, these pants have definitely marked their place in today’s fashion. From the Navy, to the hippies, to the edgy kids of the 90s, I’m glad these pants have made their way back to my generation. I think these pants definitely paved the way for most of the fashion trends we know nowadays.