How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans: 10 Ways to Wear Denim Style

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Clothes always tell a story. When I open my closet, my sequin dress takes me back to margaritas and laughter at my birthday party a few years ago, my favorite sweatshirt reminds me of my boyfriend, and my favorite trench coat looks like a piece of Paris. I usually think of my personal affiliation with every item I own and love, and that’s part of the reason why I love them. The nostalgic movie The Sisterhood of Travel Pants told a similar story of personal experience giving meaning to clothing and how a piece can live multiple lives. But something we often don’t consider is the journey behind the initial creation of the garment. When did a certain piece become fashionable and why? Whether the jeans in your closet are new with tags or vintage, there’s a story behind bell bottoms. Before we consider how to style bell bottom jeans, we have to ask ourselves Why bell bottom jeans.

Bell bottom jeans are often associated with their wild popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. The Beatles helped start the bell bottom craze in the UK and Europe and in the 1970s the style wide-legged was sweeping the United States. Once everyone was done grooving, bell bottoms went out of style for about a decade (they were what we would now call cheugy). Not everyone who thought bell bottoms were over didn’t consider jeans to be on their second trend cycle already. They first gained popularity in the early 1800s as part of sailors’ naval uniforms.

Bell bottoms were worn by sailors because of their functionality. They’re easy to roll up, fit over sturdy boots, and can even be strapped down and air-inflated as a flotation device. With so many benefits and a flattering silhouette, bell bottoms will come in and go out of style forever. Like all great fashion items, flared bottoms saw a revival in the 90s. The fit was tighter around the thigh, had a more subtle flare at the bottom and, like all 90s clothing, was low rise. .

Now that we’ve hit a ’90s revival and ousted skinny jeans, the bell bottom is ready to be a star in your wardrobe again. Bell bottoms are one of the most versatile styles of jeans because they go with so many different types of shoes. You’ll love bell bottoms if you’re a heel girl or can’t get your feet out of a good pair of boots.

Read on for street style inspiration to help style your bell bottoms.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

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With a bra top

Good style is a matter of proportion. A small bra top balances the wide flare of the pant leg and gives a Once upon a time in Hollywood subtle glamorous feeling. Add a jacket with a strong shoulder structure to complete the look.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

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With happy accessories

Cheerful accessories don’t have to be as literal as a smiley face bag, but leaning into the playful shape of bell bottoms is a great style direction. Adding a bright bag or a cool cowboy boot makes the bell bottoms more casual.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

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With an open button down

An open button-up shirt is a great layering piece—it is suitable for a day at the office or a night out and pairs perfectly with bell bottom jeans. Keep the shirt under the single button and play up the look with layered jewelry.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With matching sweater and heels

If Laura Brown, editor of In the style, wear an outfit combo, you know it’s good. The simple coordination of stripes and magenta heels makes this outfit. Paying attention to small details and creating a color story helps elevate a pair of bell bottom jeans.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With blouse and boots

I guarantee your favorite blouse and your favorite boots will look great with bell bottoms. While bell bottoms and boots are must-haves, a blouse is your chance to add some personality to your look. Whether it has interesting cutouts or a cheerful floral pattern, it will go well with bell bottoms.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

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With Subtle Tie-Dye

Listen to me, you can wear tie-dye with bell bottoms and still not look like you’re attending a 70s-themed party. A little tie-dye can go hand in hand! The example above is perfect because the color blocking of the shirt tones it down. A platform shoe completes the look.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With chunky sneakers and a blazer

When in doubt, a pair of white trainers and a blazer go with everything. The combo is often paired with baggy jeans, but wearing them with flared bottoms makes the outfit more dressy and structured.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With a scarf

Consider this your first dose of Coachella outfit inspo. A bell bottom and scarf top are an easy and comfortable outfit combination. Moreover, it will make your waist ripped off.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With a leather jacket

A soft leather jacket will look groovy in a good way! This example with matching brown leather boots is perfect.

STYLECASTER |  How to Style Bell Bottom Jeans

iMaxTree.

With oversized sunglasses and a crop top

Back to proportions– Oversized sunglasses usually look mysterious, but they take on a fun twist when paired with flared jeans. The crop top balances the large proportions of sunglasses and jeans and creates a perfectly flattering silhouette.

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