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Posted in Short shorts on men on 2010-02-07 08:02:59

Actually, as I recall, longer knee-length shorts started becoming popular as early as the mid-80's and became universal around 1992. This was well before the gang style became popular in the early 90's. In fact, before baggy long shorts came out, you would be hard pressed to find gangsters wearing shorts at all. Shorts were more of a suburban thing in the 70's and 80's, even somewhat preppy. City kids almost never wore them. I typically dressed conservatively and thus I actually continued to wear short shorts until the early 90's because I thought the short shorts look was more conservative than the longer shorts look (my how times have changed). Even after the longer shorts became popular in the late 80's and early 90's, they were still mostly a suburban thing. It was only after they became baggier and even longer (below the knee), that they became popular with hip-hop culture and you started seeing city kids wear them. So now shorts are pretty universal as opposed to back in the 80's when they were much shorter but more frequently worn only by suburbanites. So one good thing about longer shorts is that they made shorts wearing acceptable to all.

Posted in Short shorts on men on 2010-02-07 07:54:23

This is why I liked the short tennis shorts of the 80's. Back then, you could wear them anywhere and it would be ok. Of course nowadays people would make fun of me if I wore them on the streets. It's funny to remember that in the 80's people made fun of people who wore longer shorts and people who only wore long pants. The same people poking fun back them would be the ones being made fun of today.

Posted in Short shorts on men on 2010-02-07 07:51:10

I agree that it is hard not to get aroused in short shorts. It's not just that they are revealing and it is not just that the brevity of the shorts often causes wind to go up your shorts to the genitals, but it is also because the inner thigh is a major erogenous zone. Simply walking around in short shorts and having the wind brush up against your inner thighs and also simply sitting down and having whatever you're sitting down on brush on the back of your thighs is enough to cause arousal. As an adolescent and teenager in the 80's and early 90's, it is quite amazing to me today that schools back then allowed us to wear such short shorts to school given how horny kids of that age were. Looking back, it's no wonder why so many kids opted to wear short shorts even when the weather did not call for it.

As for running shorts, I could never bring myself to wear them outside of an exercise setting. That was the main downfall of running shorts. There were shorts in the early and mid-80's that were almost as short but made of heavier material. They had a split on the side but the split was rounded off. The shorts came in primary colors (the way only shorts could since people would not wear primary colors on long pants) and came with a different color trim on the sides (usually white). I have no idea what these shorts were called but they were extremely popular in the early 80's and, as a kid back then, they seemed to be the in-style as everyone wore them. Looking back, these were probably my favorite shorts since they were very short and yet, unlike running shorts, were seen as normal for ordinary wear. Plus, the color scheme was great. The use of primary color and white trim made it clear that you were wearing what could only be shorts. This is unlike the shorts of today which are made of the same material and have the same color scheme as long pants. Thus, if one were to look at a person today from the waist up, you couldn't tell if he was wearing shorts whereas, with the primary colored/white trimmed shorts, it was obvious without even having to look down to the legs. Also, the rounded off nature of the split allowed for more leg to show on the sides and allowed for an even greater amount of breeze that squared off splits. Further, because the splits were rounded, when standing up straight the splits would still be open whereas, with squared off splits, the splits would only open when bending. The white trim also highlighted the brevity of the shorts but drawing attention to the hem line.

Anyway, I guess those shorts became too embarrassing to wear and lost popularity by the mid-80's. I kept hoping that they would make a come back but they never did - although some people continued wearing them until the early 90's. Thus my second favorite types of shorts - and the ones which I wore from the late 80's into the early 90's - were tennis-style shorts. These were also very short (usually only 2 inch inseam) and thus had many of the benefits of the shorts I mentioned above. Unfortunately, the splits were squared off and thus did not allow for as much leg to show and the splits did not open when standing up. This gave the impression of the shorts as being longer. Nevertheless, these were still shorts of decent brevity and allowed for fully bare thighs which - as mentioned above - provided many benefits. My favorite pair were white tennis shorts made by Polo. Why white? Because it had that "primary color" effect. People normally do not wear bright white long pants but you could wear bright white shorts. Thus, this was a color that could only be used for shorts and thus it would be obvious for anyone to know that I was wearing shorts even without having to look down to my legs. The white also matched well with white socks and shoes and thus allowed for a great pairing. Plus, white seems to highlight and draw attention to the legs because it is so bright. The Polo shorts were my favorite because they were shorter than most other tennis shorts (I think less than 2 inches inseam) and they placed a Polo "riding horse" logo right by the hem which drew attention to the hem. The one downfall, however, was the lack of splits on the side. The benefit of tennis shorts was that they could be worn just about anywhere with impunity. Because they were associated with what often is considered a high class sport, one could wear those shorts into fancier settings than you could wear them in otherwise. I did not feel out of place wearing them into nice hotels or stores. Also, you could pair any shirt with them and they would not be mismatched. I dressed conservatively back then and so I often wore a collared pull-over short sleeved shirt with tennis shorts. It was kid of nice in that, from the waist on up, I was pretty nicely dressed and then, from there on down, I was basically naked. Quite a contrast.

Posted in Men and Boys' Shorts Lengths and Activity on 2010-01-13 05:59:40

I find it strange how in the 1980's it was taken for granted that shorts were meant to be short and now most males would shy away from anything that exposed any part of the thigh. I include myself in this. Back in the 80's, I would wear short shorts and not really think anything odd of it. Sure, I did feel very exposed wearing such skimpy clothing and was a little embarrassed but that was kind of the point. Also, since everyone else wore short shorts, it was a tolerable embarrassment. Plus, the extreme comfort and sensual feeling of your bare thighs brushing against any material that you happen to sit on make it all worthwhile. Then suddenly attitudes changed and the male body was seen as something that was not to be sensualized and something meant to be hidden. Now, after 20 years of "conditioning", I don't think I can put on my old short shorts and feel comfortable walking around in public. While I don't think anyone will be pointing at me and laughing (at least not in front of me), 20 years of "conditioning" have made me feel that for a guy to be flaunting bare thighs in public is only slightly short of the guy walking around with only speedos on. That's not to say that I don't feel nostalgic for the good old days when one could walk around in short shorts with impunity. I still have many pairs of my old shorts and wear them indoors. I just can't bring myself to do it out of doors anymore.

I note that this is all different from the 1970's and early 80's when it seemed that shorts got progressively shorter and anyone wearing anything longer than the latest in short shorts was seen as a fuddy duddy. However, back then shorts as common casual wear (as opposed to simply as athletic wear or as garments for little kids) was just coming into style and so people had yet to attach stigma one way or another to them. I think we were all subconsciously embarrassed to be exposing so much and yet so happy to - hence why short shorts became popular to begin with. However, at some point, around 1985 or so, shorts became so short and so skimpy (I remember some kids wearing shorts that had a side vent that went almost all the way up to the waistline) that people couldn't help but attach stigma to them and, once that point was reached, there began the backlash.

Looking back, it does seem that, by the mid-80's, short had evolved to cover nothing more than the butt. It was as if the manufacturers were trying to push the limit in finding out how much material they could cut. It was kind of silly when you consider that you could have your entire legs bare and yet your arms would be bare from the elbow on down only. Walking around, it felt like you had nothing on below the waist - that's how skimpy the shorts were in comparison to any other clothing worn. I guess it was no wonder that enough people felt embarrassed enough that the backlash began.

Posted in Short shorts on men on 2010-01-13 05:31:47

As I recall boxers and longer shorts sort of became fashionable in tandem as part of the overall trend in the late 1980's towards baggier clothes and less exposure. If anything, longer shorts came first - starting around 1986 or so and boxers started to become popular a few years later around 1988. I guess that was logical since boxers coming in first would have required people to change two types of articles of clothing at once - first their underwear and then their shorts length to accommodate the longer underwear. My recollection was that, after longer shorts became more popular, guys still wore briefs but the coming transition to boxers was facilitated because they didn't have to make further change to what they wore on the outside.

Around the early 90's, when boxers became more and more of fashion, a popular question posed to most men was "boxers or briefs?" For some reason, people got a kick out of guessing what type of underwear random people wore. As I continued wearing short shorts until 1991, it was pretty obvious to anyone who saw me in the summer that I wore briefs. I recall thinking at that time that no one would ever have to bother asking me that question since the answer would have been all to obvious.

In fact, my shorts were so short (actually no shorter than typical shorts from the mid-80's but shorter than the usual style of the early 90's) that I had to take care whenever I wore swim trunks underneath (which I did sometimes whenever I was heading to the pool and didn't feel like bothering to fully change beforehand). My trunks would often peek out from under the hemline of my shorts. In fact, I often made sure to specifically wear shorts that didn't have the side vent since the vent would make the trunks all too visible.