Celebrating Fashion With a Flair!

National Bell Bottoms Day is April 5th


(Image Credit: Getty Images)

Model wearing flares while crossing the street.

After years of collecting dust in the back of thrift stores, bell bottoms are making a resurgence in the fashion industry! Bell bottoms, also known as flares, are pants that are distinguished by their wideness that start at the knees and expand to the ankles of the pants. This unique shape led to its iconic name. After years of radio silence, these pants have been becoming increasingly popular amongst the newer generations. As such, it is not uncommon to see people in your everyday life wearing flared pants; whether the material be jeans or their more favored counterpart, spandex. Additionally, bell bottoms can be seen being worn by many celebrities and can be found in stores once again!

To celebrate the pants that have stood the test of time, April 5 has been deemed National Bell Bottoms Day! It is this day when many bell bottom fans can celebrate by wearing their flare pants, buying new ones, giving others bell bottom pants, while admiring the history behind these iconic pair of pants!



It all started in the war of 1812. Although it is not noted who first invented flare pants, many sources have started that these pants first appeared in during the war of 1812 when many sailors wore them due to the Navy not being assigned a uniform. To sailors, these jeans were more about functionality than fashion. Their form made it easy to roll up when the tides were high, and easy to let down when they needed to use them to cover their feet from waves and sharks.

1800s sailors posing for a picture. (Photo Credit: Collection PJ / Alamy Stock Photo)


In the early 1900s, bell bottom pants started to grow among civilians, thus quickly making them a popular fashion statement. Due to the abundant amount of sailors donating their clothes to thrift stores, obtaining bell bottom pants became very simple. To make up for the length of the pants, it was very common for people to pair them with heels, and boots.

It didn’t take very long for these styles of pants to go from simply fashionable, to a rebellious statement. During the 60s and 70s, many people began to feel resentment toward the previous generations. This disappointment was not only for older generations but for the politics at the time and society as a whole. These negative feelings were often expressed in the way the youth dressed. Taking the pants from the thrift store, the younger generations would embroider them with colorful patches and flowers. To them, this was a way to protest against the Vietnam War and what the older generations taught them.

As the 1980s started, bell bottoms lost their association with sailors and were now seen as a part of hippie and disco culture. Thanks to hit musical artists wearing them, bell bottoms were introduced again to the masses and grew to be loved by many! Due to their popularity, many fashion companies came out with their own versions of flares, making them available in various materials such as denim, satin polyester, corduroy, and bright cotton!

A hippie couple wearing bell bottoms! (Photo Credit: Ruth Orkin)
Trio happily posing for a picture while wearing bell bottoms! (Photo Credits: Tim Graham/Getty Images) 














Although bell bottoms seem to decrease in popularity every few years, they always come back to steal the show. National Bell Bottoms Day is an entertaining way to celebrate this fact. Whether you decide to buy a newer version of bell bottoms or stick to the retro look of the flares, you are contributing to fashion history and that is something to be proud of!