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Bell-bottoms

Sunday, 12 April 2009

bell-bottoms Well, our moms practiced wearing these bell-bottomed trousers, we wore these flares when young, and now these trousers are in again, and accordingly we have them on. It is rare when people resist they are tempted to experiment with bell-bottoms. The tissue, flare size, the height - all is experimented with! And who cares what to experiment with, the key thing is that everything is allowed! Though the history says that the width of the flare leg was always directed by the fashion designers. And this is let alone the U.S. Navy uniform with flares first appeared.

The military uniform always inspired the designers: it was kind of manly, whilst the uniform worn by a woman underlined the elegance and true womanhood in contrast with rather rough forms and texture of fabric. Yet, the most attractive was the uniform worn by the representatives of the most dangerous but adventurous professions like pilots and sailors. And though it was quite a problem to get a flight outfit, it was not like the sailor's striped vest. Well, if striped vests were possible to acquire, the true navy bell-bottomed trousers were just like an unachievable dream.

Derived from the style of naval uniform, bell-bottoms were often just very wide-legged trousers from the thighs, unlike modern versions cut with a distinct bell. That outfit was assigned for the comfort of sailors who were taught to use their bellbottoms as life preservers by slipping them off, then tying the legs open and capturing air in them.

When at the shore, sailors make their trousers rough putting pieces of lead into the hems. Thus, when walking the trousers flared at the bottom as during the storm. Though, such smart sailors were punished by their supervisors for the damage of outfit.

These trousers became quite popular among its admirers but not penetrated into the fashion world. And far later the bells became the part of the hippie counterculture movement who propagated free love. These trousers were «unisex» styled and both men and women wore them. Both men and women wearing long hair and bell-bottoms, colorful shirts looked quite the same. During ‘hippies' times the bell bottoms endured sea changes, now the trousers flared from the knee, and the width of trousers at the bell line was strictly adjusted: of 21 cm in the bottom and 23 cm at the ankle. Later on more new and trended models appeared. Starting from 23 to 25, and a few crazy men wore trousers with 27 to 32 cm and they did not tailor trousers in their studios saying firm No, not allowed!

Bell-bottoms were picked up by the youth from the hippies and then sea changes were practiced by anyone who was not so lazy. First of all, bell-bottoms were made from various fabric: those in fashion could enjoy flares from cotton to tarpaulin ones. Later on the flare legs were widened by inserting additional gussets. Trouser legs, you know, always get worn out so the designers introduced bell bottoms with fringe or metal zipper sewn at the bottom that protected the pants leg from wearing out and was the fashion thing as well.

The bell-bottoms significantly differed from other kinds of trousers. While ordinary pants had pockets at the sides, the bell-bottoms had theirs at the external side of thighs which allowed the fashionmongers to change walking manner as they wanted.  Hands in pockets, well bent back, narrow steps and slight swings to right and left were the signs of a true clothes horse. Soon after flaps appeared above the pockets. Another accessory of that time was a metal shoe horn bent as scoop that was hanging from the pocket.  Some criminals would sharpen it, thus having a weapon legally. Apart from such attractive pockets the belt was quite interesting, of 6 cm width (shortly after belts were widened for 2 and more centimeters), which was a pride of even schoolchildren. They used to count number of bottom wearers and measure their belt width.

Current design of bell-bottoms is not lampoon unlike the previous ones, in spite of the fact that designers experiment with fabric, color, mixing different accessories, trouser leg insets, and height of the flare. Though, fashion develops and every time comes back, back to bell-bottoms, adding novelties and pressing unnecessary details. Therefore, the future is unpredictable in regards to fashion trends. And we are not sure what to expect, elegant bell-bottoms flaring from the thighs with laced insets either a light silky bell-bottoms with a very wide flare from the knee.

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