Remember Bell-Bottoms? History Of Flares Worn By Hippies And Disco Dancers

By Kellar Ellsworth
American soul group Chairmen of the Board, featuring (L-R) Eddie Custis, Harrison Kennedy and General Norman Johnson, circa early 1970s. From Insight Talent Inc. (Photo by Gems/Redferns/Getty Images)

Bell bottoms, also known as flares -- what was up with that? The pants, often jeans, that flare out below the knee are one of the less redeemable fashion trends of the late '60s and the '70s. Everybody wore them, particularly musicians and actors when they weren't in costume. But today, you couldn't get arrested in bell-bottoms. What is the story behind this strange style of legwear, the facts behind its sudden popularity and its downfall?