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Friday, May 18, 2012

You can't blame the 60s for flares


Earlier today somebody sent me a picture taken in the street in 1967 and demanded to know why nobody was wearing flares.

Despite what most contemporary art directors might think, flares hadn't really arrived in 1967. They were around - generally known as bell bottoms - but they didn't become the uniform of youth until a few years later. The costumes The Beatles wore on the covers of Sg Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour in 1967 were adventurous in most respects but their trousers were narrow and straight.

If you look at this picture of young men climbing the lighting towers at Woodstock, which was two whole years later in 1969, they appear to be wearing straight-legged Levi's.

The first pair of flares I remember owning were grey herringbone jobs bought at Harry Fenton. That would have been in the winter of 1969-70. Not long after that they became the only acceptable shape. Things stayed that way until 1977.

If you want to blame one decade for flares, blame the 70s, not the 60s.