Flared Jeans Are Back!

Did you know that the wide-legged style was first worn by sailors for safety reasons?

Flared jeans were in their highest style in the late 1960s and ’70s. Image courtesy: Pinterest

Put on some disco, because flared jeans are back in full swing. This ’70s classic has found its way back into mainstream fashion, and we couldn’t be happier (goodbye, skinny jeans!). They’re groovy, roomy, and a delightful nod to the free spirit of its high-days.

Back in the 1960s and ’70s, the style came into its own, both as an symbol of self-expression and rebellion against existing social and political mores. From Cher to Michael Jackson, Boney M, and John Travolta, the style acquired pop status, globally.

(From left) Artist Cher, John Travolta in 'Saturday Night Fever' [1977], and Michael Jackson
wore flared lowers and made them into a global sensation.

Centuries ago, wide-cuffed trousers began their journey on ships, where sailors wore them as actual life savers. In the 1800s, American and British sailors began to favour flared pants because the wide cuff could be rolled up easily while working on deck.

But they were also a matter of life or death, for the bell-bottoms could be used to pull a man out of the waters if he slipped in.

American and British sailors wore bell-bottoms while on ship because the wide flare could be used to pull out a man who might have fallen into sea. Image courtesy: Google Arts and Culture

In the 1920s, with women’s clothing being liberated from the confines of the corset, Mademoiselle Coco Chanel introduced her version of sailor pants, with her “Yacht Pants” and “Beach Pajamas”.

Cut to the 1960s, when college students began rebelling and exiting social and political codes. To express their protest, they began changing the way they dressed. Rather than wearing the traditional styles, they now thronged army surplus stores to buy Navy pants. And on them, they embroidered flowers and peace signs, as well as patches, to make their point.

The Beatles were major trendsetters, as seen in flared lowers on the cover of their album, Abbey Road in 1969.

By the next decade, the flared jeans were seen on every leading artist across the world, and with the rise of Disco, this garment became a symbol of autonomy, modernity, and sheer fun.

This season, the flared jeans are back. And the best part is, there’s something for everyone with Levi’s’ four variants:

1. Noughties Boot: Inspired by the 2000s waistline, this bootcut style has a low-rise waist.

2. Ribcage Cropped Boot: Inspired by a pair of ’90s-era vintage 501® originals, these extra-high jeans accentuate the silhouette.

Levi's Ribcage Wide Leg and Flare Jeans.

3. Ribcage Bell: How high can a high waist go? These jeans—with a 12 inch rise—make the legs look longer than ever.

4. Ribcage Wide Leg: The classic Ribcage jeans get a wide-leg cut, a super high rise, fitted seat, and slim leg from thigh to knee, while maintaining utmost comfort.

Flared jeans are back, and Levi’s knows what’s up…

Levi's Ribcage Wide Leg Jeans.