Bell Bottom Jeans – The Iconic 70s Jean Style and Heritage

Bell Bottom denim jeans

‘Bell bottom blues, don’t say goodbye, I am sure we’re gonna meet again…’  When this classic 70s rock song starts with a catchy melody, you will certainly remember the classic look back in the 70s denim world. Just like the lyric says, till now no one can say goodbye to the bell bottom jeans.

And sometimes people may wonder where and when these swell and weird, but groovy and super comfortable jeans started to become a trendy item.

In this article, I will take you on the journey of knowing more about this typical 70s jean style, in the following topics:

  • The origin of bell bottom
  • Why do bell-bottom denim jeans represent an icon of the 70s?
  • Differences between Bell bottom jeans and flare jeans


The Origin of Bell Bottom


Bell Bottom jeans is a design for workers in Europe or America
Bell Bottom jeans is a design for workers in Europe or America

For centuries European carpenters wear Bell-bottom pants to prevent sawdust from falling onto their feet or shoes.

In the early 19th century, when the standardized uniform had not been introduced in the US Navy, some sailors wear a style of wide trousers ending in a bell-shaped cuff. The wearer’s thigh fills the upper trouser leg, making the bottom of the pants leg appear flared. The reason is that flared bottom can easily roll up to the knee when the sailors need to walk on the muddy and sandy sea shore bear foot.

Bell Bottom is a design for workers in Europe or America, this is all about providing convenience during the working process. But when it comes to the 70s, its original function creates a huge impact in fashion.



Why Bell Bottom Denim Jeans Represent an Icon of the 70s?


With the hippie counterculture movement beginning in the mid-1960s, Peace, Freedom, and love, became the counterculture theme, and the impact remains to the 1970s. Hippies brought this bell bottom jeans from a second-hand store (maybe sold by sailors) and reform these jeans into the fitted waist, tight thighs, and flared from-the-knee-down jeans, some more also self-decorated with flower patterns, hand-embroidery, colorful patches to protest against the war.

Further, this youthful, free-love movement embraced the casual blue jean (bell bottoms and low-rise hip-huggers, especially), which represented freedom from more structured clothing while also serving as a form of creative self-expression. Bell Bottom denim jeans became a sartorial route to individuality.

The lyrics mention bell bottom blues by the blue rock band Derek and the Dominos also accelerate the popularity of bell bottom jeans. Bell bottom jeans also become an iconic outfit of the disco night in the 70s, when the dancer wear together with super high heel shoes. And also thanks to the television program named  “The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour” in which the couple wear flared jeans.

Behind every trendy item, there are always a story or thoughts and spirits that can represent the young generations. Bell bottom jeans now have also transformed into different styles and cuts to suit people’s needs. And flare jeans no doubt that is the first fashion item you will surely need.


Differences Between Flare Jeans and Bell Bottom Jeans


We can see from the picture that flared jeans can have anywhere from a moderate flare instead of an exaggerated flare. And bell-bottom jeans should have a dramatic wide at the bottom to look like a bell as the name implied.

flared jeans
picture from: https://www.pinkvilla.com/fashion/celebrity-style/alia-bhatt-deepika-padukone-ananya-panday-celebrity-approved-ways-wear-flared-jeans-style-609358
  • Comfort

Flare jeans and bell-bottom jeans do share the same feature of wide bottoms. Which should be friendly to people who love to walk around. The Flare Jean is more moderate, not too much, and not too small which makes it just perfect. But Bell Bottom Jean is chunkier in the sense that the material or rather allowance that is below which makes the Bell shape can sometimes be too much which will leave you uncomfortable.

  • Style

Most people love flare jeans because this is the latest fashion style. But more importantly, flare jeans can fit with any style of shoes to suit your daily purposes. A pair of sandals or sneakers with flare jeans can bring you back to a casual summer holiday time, on the other hand, a pair of short boots and heels can boost you back to the seven having coffee on a weekday office.

Bell bottom jeans still won fans today all because of the curvy and fancy style it creates. People should have no body anxiety as when you look back to the history of denim, we have a time when uses denim fabric to create the curvy look. Don’t forget this is a rich and diverse world.

  • Durability

Most of flare jeans and bell-bottom jeans are made from a high percentage of cotton, so they do shrink. But to keep your favorite fashion item to stay in style with you a little bit longer, then do not wash them constantly with hot water. With good maintenance, cotton is known to last long up to the specified years of 2 to 3 years.


People Also Ask


  • Why were bell-bottom jeans popular in the 70s?

Bell-bottom jeans were popular in the 70s due to the influence of the counterculture movement. They represented a break from traditional fashion and were embraced by youth as a symbol of freedom and rebellion. Their association with popular music icons and celebrities also boosted their popularity.

  • What style is bell-bottom jeans?

Bell-bottom jeans are characterized by a distinctive style where the pant legs become wider from the knee downwards, forming a bell-like shape. This style was particularly fashionable during the 1970s.

  • What style of jeans were popular in the 70s?

In the 1970s, popular styles of jeans included bell-bottoms, which flared out from the knee, and high-waisted designs. These styles were often worn in a more fitted manner compared to today’s jeans.

  • What is the difference between baggy jeans and bell-bottom jeans?

The main difference is in the fit and shape. Baggy jeans are loose throughout, offering a relaxed fit from the waist to the ankles. Bell-bottom jeans, on the other hand, are tighter at the waist and thigh, and flare out from the knee to the hem, creating a bell-like shape.


At the End


In ZEVA DENIM, We also have High Stretch Denim for flare jeans and bell-bottom jeans!

Last but not least, that will be all for my sharing today, to learn more about denim fabric and jeans style please continue to follow our blog.

And share some ideas of yours.



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