Shorts Through History: How this Wardrobe Staple has Evolved Over Time


Shorts have come a long way from the days of being just a clothing item for athletes or beach-goers. From its humble beginnings as a practical garment for men in the early 1900s to becoming an essential fashion staple today, shorts have evolved remarkably throughout history. They’ve been through many changes, adapting to various trends and cultural shifts over time. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready to take a journey through history with us as we explore how shorts have transformed over the years!

What is the History of Shorts?

The history of shorts is a long and varied one, dating back to the days of ancient Rome. In those days, they were little more than loincloths, designed to cover the essentials while allowing for maximum freedom of movement. As time went on, shorts became increasingly popular as a form of casual wear, particularly in hot weather.

In the early 20th century, shorts began to be more commonly seen as sportswear, worn by athletes and those taking part in outdoor activities. This trend continued throughout the century, with shorts becoming increasingly popular among both men and women. Today, they are a staple of many people’s wardrobes, whether for casual or sporty occasions.

The Evolution of Shorts Design and Materials

The modern short originated in the early 20th century when European designers began experimenting with shortened hemlines as a way to shock and titillate the public. This new style was initially met with resistance but eventually caught on, becoming a popular choice for women of all ages by the 1920s.

Over the next few decades, shorts continued to evolve, both in terms of design and materials. Hemlines crept higher and higher, eventually reaching the mid-thigh in the 1940s. Meanwhile, fabric choices expanded beyond traditional cotton to include synthetics like nylon and polyester. These new materials allowed for brighter colors and bolder prints, which became increasingly common in the fashion world.

Today, shorts come in an endless variety of styles, from denim cut-offs to athleisure-inspired bike shorts. But no matter what trends come and go, this wardrobe staple remains a timeless favorite for summertime dressing.

How Shorts Became a Fashion Staple

Shorts first entered the fashion realm in the early 20th century, when they were worn by tennis players and cyclists. It wasn’t until the 1930s though that shorts became a wardrobe staple for both men and women. During this time, Hollywood stars like Jean Harlow and Clark Gable popularized the look, wearing shorts onscreen and off.

Shorts continued to be popular in the 1940s, thanks in part to their utility during wartime. Women working in factories or doing other manual labor often wore shorts as it was more practical than a skirt. By the end of the decade, however, hemlines had risen and skirts once again became the norm.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that shorts made another comeback, this time as a fashion statement. Mini-skirts were all the rage and shorts provided a way to show off legs without being too revealing. This trend continued into the 1970s with hot pants becoming all the rage.

Today, shorts are once again a wardrobe staple for both men and women. They come in a variety of styles and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Whether you’re hitting the beach or running errands around town, there’s a pair of shorts out there that’s perfect for you.

Different Types of Shorts from Around the World

Different cultures have different takes on what constitutes a “short.” In the United States, shorts are typically considered to be any type of clothing that stops above the knee. However, in other parts of the world, such as Europe, shorts can also refer to any type of trousers that are cut off at the knee.

Here is a look at some of the different types of shorts from around the world:

  • Bermuda Short: These short get their name from the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. They are characterized by their long length, which typically falls just below the knee. Bermuda shorts are typically worn as casual attire and are often made from lightweight fabrics such as linen or cotton.
  • Chino Short: Chino short are a type of dressy short that is typically made from twill fabric. This fabric is usually khaki-colored, hence the name “chino.” Chino short are often seen as part of a uniform for peppier schools or summer camps.
  • Cargo Short: Cargo short are a type of utility short that gets its name from the large pockets that adorn each leg. These pockets were originally designed to hold maps and other items while soldiers were on duty. However, cargo shorts have now become popular among civilians as well and can be found in a variety of colors and materials.
  • Jean Short: Jean short, or “jennies” as they

How to Style Different Types of Shorts

Different short styles can be worn for different occasions. Sporty shorts are perfect for the beach or for playing tennis, while tailored shorts can be worn for a more sophisticated look, such as at a garden party.

For a casual day out, denim shorts are a great option. To dress them up, pair them with a blouse and heels. For a more relaxed look, wear them with a t-shirt and sandals.

Khaki short are ideal for summer days spent outdoors. They can be paired with a variety of tops, from button-downs to tank tops. If you’re going for a preppy look, add a blazer or cardigan on top.

Printed short are fun and flirty. They can be worn with solid-colored tops to create a balanced look. If you want to go bold, pair printed shorts with another printed piece, such as a scarf or top.

Celebrities Wearing Shorts

Over the years, celebrities have been photographed wearing short in all sorts of styles. Here are just a few examples:

In the 1920s, actress Joan Crawford was often photographed wearing short skirts and short. She was known for her ” boyish ” look and helped to popularize the trend of women wearing shorts.

In the 1930s, Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow was also frequently photographed wearing short. She often wore them with a button-down shirt or blouse, making for a very glamorous look.

In the 1940s, Rita Hayworth was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood and she was often seen wearing short. Her style was typically very feminine, with ruffles or lace trim on her short.

In the 1950s, Audrey Hepburn became a fashion icon thanks to her chic style. She frequently wore Capri pants (a type of cropped pant) but also wore shorter short as well. Her look was always polished and put-together.

In the 1960s, Twiggy became one of the most famous models in the world. She popularized the use of mini-skirts and also frequently wore shorter short as well. Her style was fun and youthful – perfect for the times!

In recent years, celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Gigi Hadid have been photographed wearing all sorts of different types of short. They’ve shown that there is no one way to wear this wardrobe staple –


Shorts have been an essential component of fashion for centuries and continue to be a wardrobe staple today. From their origins in Ancient Egypt, through the Victorian era and the modern age, they have evolved over time to reflect changing styles and fashions across many different cultures. Despite these changes, short have maintained their timeless appeal as a convenient and comfortable piece of clothing that can work well with any outfit or occasion. With so much history behind them, it’s no wonder why short are still fashionable even today!