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Men's shorts- How short?

Wearing short-shorts

Posted by sierramadrejeff on 2004-07-28 06:20:09

I too like wearing short-shorts, but use to be afraid to wear them in public. My girlfriend was a little bit shocked when she first saw me wear my denim 1 1/2" 5 pocket shorts, but now she likes me to wear them. Last month, I wore them on a hike, but chickened out when it came to wearing them to a local Mexican restaurant. She was disapointed. She doesn't think I should succumb to social pressure. So, since then, I've worn them to the movies, grocery stores, casual restaurants. The surprise to me, no one seems to care! Now I don't worry, I just wear them. It's kind of liberating.

Posted by prestige on 2004-08-14 19:56:53

========== In Reply To ========== I too like wearing short-shorts, but use to be afraid to wear them in public. My girlfriend was a little bit shocked when she first saw me wear my denim 1 1/2" 5 pocket shorts, but now she likes me to wear them. Last month, I wore them on a hike, but chickened out when it came to wearing them to a local Mexican restaurant. She was disapointed. She doesn't think I should succumb to social pressure. So, since then, I've worn them to the movies, grocery stores, casual restaurants. The surprise to me, no one seems to care! Now I don't worry, I just wear them. It's kind of liberating.

I am glad to read about someone who has the courage of his convictions and does not succumb to silly conventions of fashion. Well I for one also like to wear similar denim short shorts. These I keep on quite regularly in the summer. I find them very comfortable.

Posted by prestige on 2007-12-30 14:05:53

p.s I think we need to get away from calling them short shorts, just call them shorts.

Posted by espoir66 on 2008-07-06 22:29:37

I don't know if I had at the end of the 60's the courage or the guts of my convictions but I enjoyed dressing up in denim cut-offs and burgundy corduroy short shorts, like most of the college students of this area, particularly during summertime. I remember that it was so exciting and arousing to go bare-legged in the wind and to show off so much of my legs and thighs for everybody to stare at. It was a real buzz for me. Unhappily, at the beginning of the 90's, short shorts (real shorts) started being equated or associated with gayness. What a pity! However, I kept on till now and still wear them occasionally around the house and so I won't succumb to fleetings trends.

Posted by jbijcc on 2008-07-07 18:59:08

Prestige,

While I agree that, for me, the only true shorts are short shorts, the fact is that, for much of history, the knee-length shorts were dominant. Basically, you wore short shorts for athletic purposes but, for daily casual wear, you wore knee-length. The period during which short shorts became dominant as average casual wear has turned out, unfortunately, to be more of an aberration since it only lasted from the late 70's until the late 80's - a period of maybe 10 years.

I believe society was on its way to trending towards shorter and shorter shorts in the 70's and much of the 80's. That was just part of the larger trend of society becoming more casual in general. Then, in the late 80's, longer shorts came back as a short-lived trend based on nostalgia for 60's-style longer board shorts. That trend was actually dying out by the end of the 80's but the school boards, seeing as there was now an alternative to short shorts and never liking short shorts to begin with, started banning short shorts. As a result, what was to have been a short-lived trend for longer shorts became permanent.

Don't underestimate the power of school boards to determine shorts fashions. I think shorts fashions are more beholden to the whims of school boards than anything else since school aged kids/teens make up, by far, the largest demographic of daily shorts wearers as adults often can't get away with shorts on their jobs. Once schools banned short shorts, manufacturers stopped making them for kids/teens. This also affected adults since most manufacturers prefer a one-sized fits all approach and designing longer shorts for kids and short shorts for adults was duplicative. Plus, adults with school aged kids were being told by the schools that junior could no logner wear short shorts because they were "indecent". This had the effect of shaming many adults from wearing them as well, not to metnion that it was hard to justify wearing short shorts and telling your son or daughter to not wear them because short shorts are "indecent". I think this is what lead to the rapid switch to longer shorts in the early 90's.

The above mirrors my experience. My school banned short shorts in 1990 and almost all the kids/teens were wearing long shorts exclusively from then on (I personally continued to wear short shorts outside of school for another year). By 1991, almost no kids/teens were wearing short shorts. It seemed that only older adults with kids who have long since left the house (and thus affected by the anti-short shorts campaign of the schools) were wearing short shorts. I personally continued to wear short shorts because I preferred them to the longer shorts but I was rapidly aware that it was becoming an "old man's fashion". When it came time to go to college, I decided to strike a new tone and packed only longer shorts and left my short shorts behind. My dad asked why I had forgotten to pack my short shorts and my mom responded "he doesn't wear those types of shorts anymore." Well, that proved short-term since the next spring I packed my short shorts up and took them to college as well so I could wear them in the dorm and while studying in the library (by the spring of 92, though, short shorts had become so "taboo" that I wasn't bold enough to wear them out on the streets or throughout campus). I did notice that, in92, some of the grad students and older college students still wore short shorts. I attribute that to the fact that they gradauted from high school before schools started banning short shorts around 1990 and they didn't have school aged kids and thus weren't being rpeached too by the schools about bare thighs being a form of indecent exposure. Thus they just cotinued wearing what, to them, was still normal fashion. However, by 1992, it became next to impossible to buy short shorts for the reasons I mentioned above and so the number of people wearing them rapidly went down soon thereafter. I did notice that some of my college friends, like me, continued to wear short shorts in the privacy of their dorms in `92 and beyond because they preferred short shorts to long but weren't brave enough to wear them outside. However, this too declined since they were never able to replace those shorts after they wore out (fortunately, I had enough pairs left over from pre-1991 that I still have several today).

Anyway, long story short, you can blame the makers of "Jams" (those 60's style board shorts that became briefly popular in the late 80's) for the reason why people aren't wearing short shorts today. Because of what was supposed to be only a RETRO fad for the longer-shorts of the past directed to kids and teens, school boards started banning short shorts and taht eventually lead to having everyone wear long shorts.