These were trousers where the bottoms flared out from the knee downwards. They were similar in fashion to loon pants or flares, and you usually wore them with a matching tank-top. They were worn by men and women in the 70s, despite the incredible tightness around the thighs and bottom region. Hippies especially adopted bell-bottoms as part of their uniform, along with crocheted vests, tie-dye and love beads. Some believe bell-bottoms originate from the wide trousers worn by the us Navy in the early 19th Century. More recently, though, Sonny and Cher played a part in bringing bell-bottoms to the mainstream when they wore them on their TV programme.