Outfits, Style

The perfect bell bottom jeans

Deerfield Beach, Florida

Outfit Details:

vintage top

vintage hair scarf

Miu Miu round sunglasses

Nannacay crochet daisy bag

old platform sandals

DL1961 bell bottom jeans via Shopbop

cheap barrettes from a local hair supply store

woman wearing bell bottom jeans and shirt
woman wearing bell bottom jeans and shirt with coconut tress on the background
woman wearing bell bottom jeans and shirt and sitting on a rock near the beach
woman wearing at the beach wearing bell bottom jeans and shirt
woman wearing shirt and pants
woman smiling and wearing shirt and pants

The perfect bell bottom jeans

I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of bell bottom jeans. It arguably started in middle school, although I called them “flares” back then and I’m not sure I could tell you the difference. Back then, I liked them best with a racing stripe down the side, paired with a chunky pair of lug sole shoes and a baby tee. Ooh, she had style.

I’ve already told you about my beloved lavender corduroy flares — of which I don’t have a single photo (mom? maybe you do?) — but the love of corduroy flares / bell bottoms persisted through high school and well into college. The number one favorites were a light tan that had grommets and laces on the side, as one did in the early aughts. Britney Spears, eat your heart out.

Styling My Bell Bottom Jeans

Of course, I didn’t pair those iconic, low slung y2k bell bottoms with a belly baring crop top, having neither a six pack nor belly button piercing to speak of. Instead, I went for button down shirts and mens ties, topping it off with the occasional velvet blazer. You know, perfectly appropriate clothing for the sweltering heat of South Florida. Born and raised here, I heard whispers of “seasons” but never experienced them myself — but I didn’t let that stop me from dressing for them anyway. Knee high boots in Autumn, despite it being 85 degrees with 60% humidity? Don’t mind if I do.

Those 3 — the racing stripe flares, lavender bells, and their more adorned tan counterpart — were my most memorable pairs of flares. Bell bottoms. Whatever. You get what I’m saying. Anything that wasn’t skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans, you know? I searched high and low in my 20s and 30s for the perfect bell bottoms and found myself settling for the J Brand Babe jeans that were great but not high waisted enough for my tastes, or the Hudson pair that were high waisted but not fitted enough through the thigh.

Buying Jeans

I hate trying on jeans in stores — truly, worse than bathing suit shopping to me — so I just kinda gave up for a long time until I came across this pair of DL1961 high rise flare jeans (okay I guess we’re calling them flares again) and decided to give them a shot because Shopbop has free shipping and such a great return policy. And my friends, they did not disappoint.

They are my perfect rise, have a good amount of stretch while still retaining structure, flare at the exact spot I want them to, and I just love them. Good job, DL1961. I think you may have breached the top 3 of my most loved flares. Farewell, tan cords. You did me well, but I could never go back to low rise. I may still dress entirely inappropriately for the weather and the setting — bell bottoms on the beach? you betcha! — but a low rise is where I personally draw the line.

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  1. Hannah Rupp says:

    Flared jeans are on my wishlist too! These are quite a contender. Thanks for sharing them + your thoughts on the fit!

    Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

  2. Jasmine Harris says:

    I am obsessed with this outfit! I’m always looking for cute bellbottoms too but never take the plunge and purchase b/c I’m always terrified they wont fit right. The way to describe the DL1961 ones sounds amazing though <3

    • Keiko Lynn says:

      They’re so tricky because it really depends on so many little details to get the exact right fit for each body type! I feel like I got really lucky because usually there is something off about the fit when I try on other brands.