Bell-bottoms & beyond: Crazy pants for women that were high fashion in the 60s and 70s

Womens 70s pants styles

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While skinny jeans have ruled fashion trends for the past decade, younger generations of the 2020s have brought bell-bottoms back in force (with updated flair, of course).

Here we have some retro bell-bottoms inspo from the decades that started it all. You might not even believe this fashion era really happened if it weren’t for the photo receipts!

Have a scroll through these photos of some of the wildest pants of all time.

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

1973: The height of fashion still is pants.

Make sure when you try on pants to get them long enough. The tips of your pants should meet your shoes, and your ankles shouldn’t show at all.

The newest way to update pants is to wear any jacket that focuses on the waistline. Battle jackets, longer safari jackets with elasticized or drawstring waistlines, and updated blazers with inset waistlines are some of the styles to note. These jackets are perfect to wear for grocery shopping.

Retro bell-bottoms

Other looks to remember include the shirt jacket, which doubles as a shirt or jacket; the short smock slicker, which will be perfect for April showers; and the short-sleeved shirt with the rolled-top sleeves — a new look.

Top focus also is on the head. It’s shorter hair and super slouch hats for the total pants look. Pants look either totally feminine, when accessorized with a white gardenia and floppy brim hat; or, strictly tailored, when accessorized with a natural straw hat with a small structured brim.

– Adapted from an article published in The Chicago Tribune (Illinois) – March 11, 1973

ALSO SEE: 50+ cute vintage mini dresses & miniskirts from the 60s & 70s


Flash back to see these 70s women’s pants from the 1973 JC Penney catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Red, white and blue polyester knits – vests, flared knit pants, zip-front tops

Red, white and blue polyester knits - vests, flared knit pants, zip-front tops


Vintage polyester knits mix and match for outfits – tops, blazers, pants, skirts

Vintage polyester knits mix and match for outfits - tops, blazers, pants, skirts


Vintage polyester pantsets with flare-leg styling and elastic waists – plus tunic-length tops

Vintage polyester pantsets with flare-leg styling and elastic waists - plus tunic-length tops


Vintage 70s Dacron polyester women’s pants and long skirts

Vintage '70s women's pants and long skirts - fashion for her from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Chalk white blazer in textured embossed cotton & a red & white star-print halter top

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Retro 70s 3-piece suit outfits in white with red and black

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Pastel plaid pantsuit ensembles from the seventies – plus halter tops, flares and cardigans

Pastel plaid pantsuit ensembles from the seventies - plus halter tops, flares and cardigans

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Classic navy & white palazzo pants & halter tops

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Look great in 1973: Wide-legged polyester double-knit pants

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Wide-cuffed trousers, seersucker plaid blazer and corduroy flares from 1973

Wide-cuffed trousers, seersucker plaid blazer and corduroy flares from 1973


70s tailored looks: Casually classic knit tops and woven pants

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Turtleneck tops worn with striped or solid tank tops – paired with flare-leg pants

Turtleneck tops worn with striped or solid tank tops - paired with flare-leg pants

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Denim flares – perfectly paired with a red and white checked shirt and a short-sleeved cardigan sweater

Denim flares - perfectly paired with a red and white checked shirt and a short-sleeved cardigan sweater


Butter yellow flares with cuffs, plus above-the-knee skirts

Butter yellow flares with cuffs, plus above-the-knee skirts

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Retro textured nubby knit coordinates – tops, tunics, shells, shorts and pants

Turquoise ensembles with striped crew-neck tops, tunic tops, floral-print shells and straight-leg solid color pants with stitched front creases. Add a leather clutch bag in white or navy blue

Retro textured nubby knit coordinates - tops, tunics, shells, shorts and pants

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog


Big bell-bottom pants for ladies with garden-like long-sleeve floral shirts

Big bell-bottom pants for ladies with garden-like long-sleeve floral shirts

Retro pants - 70s fashion for women from the 1973 JC Penney Catalog

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