Bell Bottom Blues: You Make Me Cry

Sunday, January 17, 2010

(Yes, you really are pronouncing their name that way.)

A very good friend of mine who passed away several years ago entered his 20s in the late 60s, but admitted to never caving in to men's popular fashion at the time. Of bell bottoms, he said he "foresaw no ocean voyages in the near future" and that was the perfect excuse not to wear them.

(Illustration of mid 19th century sailors, from Wikipedia.)

That was definitely a smart move on his part because I've determined that unless you were a. female or b. a famous pop star like Tom Jones, bell bottom pants for the average Joe just weren't a good idea. The proof is in these funny ads spread throughout the web, the best ones coming from the site Something Awful.

How do you make something bad something even worse? You put them in hideous prints, like the ones here.

Poor dude on the right is trying to look cool - but there's just no way to in these duds:

I'm trying to figure out what a swordfish is doing in the photo. Doesn't help distract from the awful plaid.

This one is particularly cringe-worthy, because it's a pants pattern not for girls, but for *boys*. I pity the boy who had to wear the flower print number to school, and hope he his fists were strong enough to endure the recess bullying:

Rappers man? I don't know of any rappers who would be caught dead wearing these:

The following images come from the 1970 JC Penney catalog and of course, the matching clothing craze that I posted about a few weeks ago did not exclude flared pants. There's something sinisterly sexist about having the woman sitting beneath the man with his hand on her head. Reminds me of the Rolling Stones' hit "Under My Thumb."

Robin Hood and Peter Pan live on through the couple on the left. I will admit the floppy hats on the other pair are kind of cute.

Did I say that pop stars looked good in flares? Not always - ABBA was the worst culprit. But I must admit, the girls look much better here than the guys:

The bell bottom fashion craze of the 70s died along with disco, since bells had become associated with that musical genre. A good thing for men everywhere!


  1. Freaky clothes man!

    I can't imagine a man ever wearing those flowered ones from the sewing pattern!

  2. I would welcome back bell bottom pants on men if it meant an end to the crotch-at-the-knees-exposed-underwear look that is so prevalent today. They sure were dorky though.

  3. Awesome! I can't quite get over a band named The Schytts, though!!

  4. @My Little Corner - perhaps only Austin Powers!

    @Midcenturymadam - totally agree on the low-cut pants...I wish the waists would get just a little higher on women's pants, too. They're so uncomfortable when they're falling off your butt.

    @Richard - I may just have to do some research into the Schytts because their name is so intriguing!

  5. My Swedish is a little rusty (!), but I found this:

    They're still going!

  6. wooooooooooow. we used to really dress like that back in the day! And yes... I wouldn't be surprised if the look eventually came back in style. LOL!!


Powered by Blogger.