If anyone were to doubt the cyclical nature of fashion look no further than the resurgent bell bottom pants as a harbinger of déjà vu nature of fashion. The bell bottom pant slash sailor trousers (Britain) are back in a major way. They were absent in the 80s as they took a hiatus from their long worn out welcome in the 60s and 70s.
Back then bell bottoms were relegated to hippies and youth counterculture of the 60s. Sure they were around before that (worn by sailors), but hippies “owned” the style in the 60s. The fashions were paired with tie-dye shirts, love beads and long hairdos. Bell bottoms were easy to wear, fit comfortably at the top and were a marked departure from the baggy trend of the 20s and 30s.
The bell bottoms even branched off into loon pants territory. Loon pants are an abbreviation for the term “balloon pants” but the two were cousins of each other if not closer relatives. By the time the 80s came the bell bottom pants had disappeared for what some though would be forever. The fashion forward chucked their bell bottoms for tighter pants, pro-keds and ripped t-shirts. The age of electronic rock and synthesizers brought crazy colors and lacy frilly feminine gloves.
Bell Bottoms would not see a resurgence again until the early 2000s when bootcut jeans became all the rage. The bootcut phenomena led the fashion industry to creating even more flared out jeans, but what was known all along was that these jeans were bell bottoms. There was no hiding that fact and the flared out jeans have once again made a return.
From the styling’s of Just Cavalli down to the Gap, Bell Bottoms are back in a big way, but while memories may be short, the source of these jeans are lie in the past. The cyclical nature of fashion has shown it’s true face with the return of these stalwarts.