Bell bottom pants are often worn by sailors because their form makes sailors' work easier and safer. Although the style has long been synonymous with sailors, the look has been chosen more for its functionality than its appearance.
If a sailor is swept overboard, bell bottoms can be easily slipped off in the water, and by filling the legs with air, they can even act as a flotation device in an emergency. Also, while wading through water, bell bottoms can be rolled up on the legs to stay dry. Lastly, the longer length of bell bottom pants helps protect boots from damaging sea spray.