Pleat-front baggy trousers with turn-ups, usually woollen, checked material. No comment necessary. How awful do they sound? (Mid 70’s). Oh, these were SO bad and it is not surprising that these trousers originated from the 1920s and were popular up to the 1950s. Then the Oxford bag made a surprising comeback in the 1970s and suddenly everyone was wearing them!
Unlike the other trousers of the 70s, Oxford bags were not flared but rather straight wide cut trousers that were baggy from the top of the leg down. It suited the look of platform soles because the ankle width of the trousers was often as wide as any pair of flares so you got the effect of the shoe peeping out in the way that was fashionable. The only difference was that the leg was generally wider and this made them comfortable and easy to wear. Quite a relief after some of the tight fashions of the 70s.
One reason they may have came back with a bang is because they looked a little like the tartan invasion of the Bay City Rollers. They fitted the colours, and most of them had a tartan patter, or at least a checked pattern. Rod Stewart was also popular and he had a tartan thing going on too. Whatever the real reason, these trousers stayed the course throughout the 70s.
Even the Dire Straits hit “Sultans of Swing” released in 1978 mentions the style in the lyrics, albeit a bit unfavourably “a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner, Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles”
As the decade moved on, the trousers did calm down a little, and they were less patterned and more stylish. The cinched in waist band was flattering and it was a look that worked if you were slim, otherwise these trousers just made you look fat and lumpy.
The guys loved them as they were a great fit to show off their asses, and the ladies liked that too. The women love them because they showed off the perfect wasp waist of the wearer. Those who were unable to get the wasp effect were left alone at the disco dance. Back to the maxi skirt for them.