Just when you thought Y2K was set for world fashion domination, another era has entered the chat: the swinging ‘60s. Yes, amidst the storm of sequins, fringe, and feathers at NYFW this season, bell bottoms have emerged as a micro trend. Delivering quintessential Cher and Jackson 5 vibes, these groovy pants have been spotted on multiple Spring/Summer 2023 runways thus far (and likely will pick up steam as the week progresses).
First, there was Christian Siriano, who sent legendary model Karen Elson down the runway in an all-black pant set, the bottoms of which flared out in a voluminous bell balanced by a stunning wide-brimmed, cartwheel hat. Then, perhaps in the same book, but on a different page, was Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Their high-energy, crochet- and lace-filled collection included all manner of bell-bottomed pants, ranging from the lime-green variety to the polka-dot clad.
Taking a more modern approach to a classically retro silhouette was Joseph Altuzarra. The designer’s free-spirited collection featured ultra-wide, bell-bottomed pants as elevated suiting, for a more work-appropriate, formal look that made everyone want to get back to the office life (maybe). Baggy dusty rose blazer and pant sets, and roomy khaki cargos paired with scarf-like crop tops offered unique and colorful options for spring dressing.
Now, like any trend, the tricky part comes with how one makes a polarizing look like bell bottoms their own. Perhaps you’re a maximalist who has no probably taking an exaggerated bottom into overdrive via a corseted or cut-out printed top and equally dramatic headpiece. Please, by all means, go forth and wear to your heart’s content.
But for those on the more subtle end of the style spectrum, perhaps the best course of action is to go the suited route. Try your bell bottoms as a matching set for an of-the-moment work look. Or maybe simply pair some denim bottoms with a basic white tee or button-down and sleek jewelry and footwear. The options are truly endless here.
But, if the runways are any indication, bell bottoms are positioning themselves to be the next mini skirt revival ... so plan accordingly.