The late 1960’s counterculture movement brought us bells and flared pants that were tighter at the knee and flared from there. The first flares were gentle, and would almost be considered boot cut by modern standards, but the tightness at the knee was a trademark giveaway that set them apart from the rest. By the mid 1970’s the flares reached their widest proportions. Hate them or love them, the bell bottomed pants were again revived and reintroduced as raver or skater pants in the 1990’s. These were styled more like the traditional loose and baggy sailor bell bottoms, much like the “elephant bells” of the mid 1970’s that were exaggerated versions of the naval issue bell. Everything old is new again – just as bellbottoms returned as flared pants in the 90’s as well and now we have the wideleg jeans and actual bellbottoms all over again!
Since fashion cycles, you can count on this trend reemerging and coming around again in a few decades. Save your bellbottom and wideleg pants!