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The Return of Bell-Bottoms ~ by Riley Johnson

You may have heard the saying that history tends to repeat itself, but does the same apply for trends? We saw many iconic 90’s and Y2K fashion styles make a grand comeback over the past few years, and now we are seeing bell-bottoms return in full swing. As a result of the resurgence of vintage and retro fashions in the new decade, flare jeans started popping up in stores everywhere.


A Brief History

The origin of flared pants dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, when sailors lacking proper uniforms wore them in the U.S Navy. Since they were practical and provided comfort, they were adopted by the British Royal Navy years later. By definition, flared pants are close fitting on the thighs but become wider at the knee and calf regions. Bell-bottoms first arrived on the fashion scene when both men and women in London began wearing them in the 1960’s. The trend of wearing flares expanded into the rest of Europe and North America and reached its epitome in the disco music and platform shoes era.

The musical duo Sonny & Cher, best known for their 1965 hit I Got You Babe, are believed to be the cause of bell-bottoms becoming more mainstream after they wore the pants on their television show. In the mid-90’s, flares were rebranded as bootcut trousers, which go for more of a slim fit look. By the early 2010’s, flared trousers had almost completely disappeared off of the radar of fashion trends. Bell-bottoms had been switched out for bootcut and skinny jeans, but would fully return in style 10 years later.


Flares in Modern Fashion

A reason why bell-bottom jeans and flared pants have been so popular lately could be that there are endless ways to style them. They can be worn with a patterned top, vintage tee, or oversized sweater and still look stylish. Flares also create an eye-catching look that shines without accessories. Bell-bottoms are back in full swing over 50 years after their fashion peak, and they don’t seem to be fading away anytime soon.

Source: Vintage Industrial Style



Riley Johnson is a 13-year-old 8th grader from New Jersey, USA 🇺🇸. She loves to play piano and collect vinyl records, Funko Pops, and VHS tapes of her favorite films. She also likes going to concerts and reading. You can stay updated with Riley's work by following her Instagram @hs1rry.4evr & Tiktok @mrs.riley_styles.

Photo Cover Credit: Luiza Danco



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