As the summer weather continues to get hotter on the planet and more and more people start wearing less and less, it’s high time we learned more about one of the most comfortable inventions that the humankind had ever made – let’s delve into the history and fun facts about SHORTS!
1. In Europe and America during the 19th and the early 20th century ‘short pants’ were worn only by little boys. Mature men would never wear shorts because they wanted to avoid looking childish. Only after World War II, when millions of men served in tropical environments, the perception of shorts as being something immature had changed.
2. Before the World War I ladies could be arrested for driving automobiles without men beside them, as well as for wearing shorts. In the first half of the 20th century, many American cities were cracking down on shorts. For example, the city of Honesdale, Pa., prohibited wearing them in 1938 because “it is a modest town, not a bathing beach”. This is why girls appearing in shorts could easily cause a car crash back then!
3. It wasn’t until 1932 that tennis star Alice Marble began wearing shorts instead of a skirt on the court. It shocked the tennis world, yet turned shorts into a fashion moment. However, her knee-length bottoms don’t seem too risqué by modern standards.
4. During the 1940s and the early 1950s, pin-up queens, most notably Betty Garble, were responsible for making shorts really short. After becoming a household name, Marilyn Monroe also made a contribution to the popularization of really vampy shorts.
5. One of the loveliest actresses of all times, Audrey Hepburn showed the world that shorts could be an element of a really stylish look. On the set of the classic 1954 movie ‘Sabrina’, she was seen wearing high-waist shorts that left the audience in awe.
6. A British fashion designer Mary Quant is immortalized by the fashion industry as the woman who turned ‘short pants’ into ‘hot pants’. Her super short shorts, along with mini skirts, became a symbol of the Swinging London scene in the mid-1960s and the sexual revolution.
7. The 1970s was the decade that gave the world cut-offs – typically denim shorts, homemade by cutting the trouser legs off. The extreme version of cut-offs were also known as “Daisy Dukes”. It is a reference to a sizzling character from the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ TV show, played by fabulous Catherine Bach. About ten years ago Jessica Simpson wore her iconic pair of barely-there denim shorts in the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ remake.
8. In the 1980s, so-called “dolphin shorts” gained huge popularity. This name refers to their side-view that resembles the tail of a dolphin. The gym scene of that era went crazy over this type of shorts.
9. Bright shorts became a sartorial symbol of Bermuda where men wear them as a formal outfit with knee-length socks and a blazer. The origin of this tradition dates back to the early 20th century, when the British military officers found it unbearable to wear long trousers in the hot climate of Bermuda where they were stationed.
10. Many modern types of shorts owe a lot to different athletic activities. Teenagers wear football and basketball shorts all over the globe. Board shorts were originally intended as beachwear and refer to surfboards. Workout or gym shorts offered the maximum level of freedom. That’s why they became popular as casual garments. After Adidas sponsored the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, their track shorts turned into a real fashion item for a couple of years.