Togarepi’s unfading love for ‘bell-bottoms’

BELL-BOTTOM trousers, which were trendy in the 1960s, that most citizens now view as outdated fashion, are still the best fashion by a Bulawayo man, Tayisireva Togarepi (74) who got the outfit from his former employer back then.

BY SHARON SIBINDI

Belly-bottoms or flares are a fashion of trousers that have a wider opening as from the knee level downward, forming a belly-like shape.

During the 1960s, bell-bottoms were fashionable for both men and women in Europe and North America. They were made of denim and they flared out from the bottom of the calf. They had slightly curved hems and usually worn with Cuban-heeled shoes, clogs, or Chelsea boots.

Togarepi is seen on the streets of Bulawayo donning the sharp-ironed trousers, with his 1970s shirt and blazer and spices it up with a cowboy hat.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Togarepi said he has been wearing these type of trousers since 1973 and the fashion style became his everyday life thing.

“I started dressing like this in 1973 and I have been dressing like this since I started working here at Monte Carlo. I got used to the kind of dressing during my heyday and till now and I had to keep a lot of these clothes as I liked them during that time and I am still wearing the clothes up to now, ” he said.

Togarepi said he did not know that they are some people who admire his style of dressing, as during their heyday that was the trademark style.

“I didn’t know that they are people who actually admire my fashion. They actually ask me where I get my fashion (Sense) from. I didn’t know that one day this type of dressing will get people’s attention as I saw it normal,” he said.

“We didn’t have the actual name for the fashion. We just wore it. But the trousers have different names — the bell-bottoms, which are wide open — part of them are turn-ups then the flares which have a smaller opening,” he said.

Togarepi said he felt comfortable, while clad in the old style fashion.


“I have other different types of clothing, but I feel like dressing in the 1970s and I am more comfortable. This place (Mont Carlo Investment) had a clothing factory called Ascot Clothing. So, I was working here, where they sell clothes and we would buy as many as we can and during Christmas time, we were also given as presents,” he said.

Togarepi, who is a family man, said he did not mind if people thought him weird as he was comfortable with his dress sense.

“So, people love my dressing and some don’t, but I don’t mind at all. I don’t even realise the public is looking at me as I will be minding my business. At times I give others and they cut the bell-bottom part,” he said.

He claimed that he used to give music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi some of his trendy trousers whenever he staged shows in Bulawayo.

“Oliver Mtukudzi also came to do his shows at Carpeles Club when he was still young and at times he would come and record his music at Gallo Records. I would give him some of the bell bottoms,” he said.

1 Comment

  1. Comment…they are called belly not bell because of their belly like shape at the bottom. They were not only fashionable in the 60s but going into the 70s up to the early 80s together with what was known as the Revolution which covers the whole shoe.

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