This 1970's retro style is back in the form of some very sexy pants. Bellbottom pants are trousers flared or "belled out" at the ankles...styled after the traditional sailor's trousers. Bell-bottoms are trousers that become wider from the knees downward. Related styles include flare, loon pants and boot-cut/leg trousers. Hip-huggers are bell-bottomed, flare, or boot-cut pants that are fitted tightly around the hips and thighs. Wear these and even Austin Powers will be under your spell...yah, baby!
Naval origins Bell-bottoms' precise origins are uncertain. In the early 19th century, very wide pants ending in a bell began to be worn in the U.S. Navy. Clothing varied between ships, however, in the early days of the U.S. In one of the first recorded descriptions of sailors' uniforms, Commodore Stephen Decatur wrote in 1813 that the men on the frigates United States and Macedonia were wearing "glazed canvas hats with stiff brims, decked with streamers of ribbon, blue jackets buttoned loosely over waistcoats and blue trousers with bell bottoms." Though the British Royal Navy usually was the leader in nautical fashion, bell-bottoms did not become regulation wear for the Royal Navy until the mid-19th century. These "bell-bottoms" were often just very wide-legged trousers, unlike modern versions cut with a distinct bell. While many reasons to explain sailors' wearing of this style have been cited over the years, most theories have little credibility because reliable documentation is lacking.
Bell-bottoms in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s Bell-bottoms became very fashionable for women in the mid 1960s in Europe and in North America by the late 1960s, much of the 1970s, and early 1980s for both for men and women. By 1967, they went from high-fashion to become part of the hippie counter-culture movement in the late 1960s, together with love beads, granny glasses, and tie-dye shirts, even getting mentioned in popular music, such as "Bell Bottom Blues" by Blues-Rock super-group Derek and the Dominos in the 1970s, they moved into the mainstream. Sonny and Cher helped popularize bell-bottoms in the USA by wearing them on their popular television show. However, they can be seen as early as 1964, in the concert film The T.A.M.I. Show, worn (white "flares" with a baby-doll top) by a young Toni Basil, who at the time was a go-go dancer.
Summary: Difference between Bell Bottoms, Flares and Boot-cut. 60's Bell Bottoms (which came into fashion in 1964 to the end of the decade) flared out back and front from the bottom of the calf down and the hems are slightly curved. Usually worn by lads and girls wearing Cuban heeled shoes and Chelsea Boots. The bottoms usually flared to around 18 inches. By the end of the decade the new fashion were parallels which had the same wide leg width from top to bottom. The fashion didn't take off though. 70's Flares flared out massively from the knee down. The bottoms could be up to 26 inches. Modern Boot-cut flare just slightly at the front. Today, the original men's bell bottom pants and flares from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are collectible vintage clothing items. Worn by men to attend retro theme disco parties, worn in retro revival bands, and to wear clubbing - men's bell bottom pants are a popular fashion item from the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s.
Loon pants- (shortened from "balloon pants") were one type of bell-bottomed trousers. They flared more from the knee than typical bell-bottoms, in which more of the entire leg was flared.They could be seen worn occasionally by the go-go dancers on the British TV music variety show Ready Steady Go! in 1966. They were a popular fashion, and could initially only be bought via catalog from a company in Britain which advertised in the back of the New Musical Express. They were usually worn with a Led Zeppelin T-shirt and sandals. They became associated with disco music. When the disco backlash started in 1979, bell bottoms started to go out of fashion along with leisure suits and other clothes that had become associated with disco. They were still popular in the early 1980s, even in 1983. In 1984 through 1986, bell bottoms were considered by many as outlandish. In the spring of 2011, bell-bottoms grew in popularity and in style among celebrities, as well as the middle-section drop-like pleated pants, which is a variant of bell-bottoms. Production in boot-cuts has been slow, much more so than in the 70's. Elephant bells, popular in the mid-to-late 1970s, were similar to loon pants but typically made of denim. Elephant bells had a marked flare below the knee, often covering the wearer's shoes.