Originally a sailor’s trousers cut (as far back as the 19th century), flares or “bell-bottom” became synonymous with the late 60’s and then the whole of the 1970’s (“the decade style forgot”).
Probably in reaction to the above phenomenon, they became a near taboo in the 80’s. Only Cliff Burton of Metallica could pull them off like a true boss.
Since then however, every few years it is with trumpets and drums that their return is being announced.
In 2016 they’re back again, as we can see from the below item of the Dsquared2 women’s collection. Why not after all? It shows personality to wear them, and it requires natural class to rock them.
It is a different matter for men. Full fledged flares never really came back into fashion. All attempts to bring them back from the dead so far have ended up in a total fiasco, or at best went ignored by the general population. Hard to say why really, as there is no logical reason for a lasting curse on a particular cut, and only for one of the two sexes it appears. Regardless, the two dudes on the photo above would actually be laughed at in most cities today, unless at a themed party.
However a modernised and tamer version of the old bell-bottoms became known as the boot-cut, which more or less dominated the jeans market in the 90’s.
In recent years, D2 issued a few models that were slightly flared, mostly as part of the American Gigolo collection (the “Richard” cut). The jeans probably did not sell too well as some could be seen years after still on sale on some websites.
And what about today? Well, women’s 70’s style flares can be seen again in various designers’ collections, and as for men, Dsquared introduced the bootcut as part of the mainstream jeans collection last year, as well as issuing a “rolled up flares” model for A/W 2015-2016. You just have to unroll them to travel back in time…
And finally of course, Dean and Dan look great whether in skinny jeans or inbell-bottoms. They’d probably look good wearing bin-liners anyways.