It’s Summer; what better way to enjoy the weather than to dress freely. Shorts are summer clothes that are totally inevitable. Here are different styles to choose from . . .
Loose-fitting shorts which reach the knees.
Approximately knee-length short trousers. Usually has pockets and waist loops for an optional belt.
Swimming trunks that reach the knee or below. They are often used as ordinary shorts, but were originally intended as beachwear; the ‘board’ refers to surfers’ surfboards.
Typically khaki shorts with cargo pockets. Similar to cargo pants, but a little below knee-length. Cargo shorts consist of a garment with more than four pockets; and or pockets that are stitched to the outside of the fabric. Placement of pockets can vary, but They’re most often seen on the lower or side part of the short. Cargo shorts are distinctive because the pockets are accompanied by an over lying flap. They have a casual appearance.
A divided skirt resembling a pair of loose-cut shorts, originally popularised as a practical horse and bicycle-riding garment by dress reform feminists.
CUT-OFF shorts or DAISY DUKES
These can be home-made by cutting the legs off trousers, typically jeans (known as ‘denim cut-offs’). These were particularly popular in the early 1970s. The cut is usually not finished or hemmed, and the fabric is left to fray. Originally a practical use for trousers with worn-through knees, they are now a type of shorts in their own right. The ultra-short version of denim cut-offs are also known as Daisy Dukes, in reference to Catherine Bach’s character from the American television show ‘The Dukes of Hazzard.’ They are a form of hot-pants or short shorts.
From ‘jean shorts’, another name for denim shorts but typically cut longer than Daisy Dukes (mid-thigh for women, and at the knee for men).
Traditional German leather shorts.
Shorts made from leather.
Usually made of Madras, fabricated woven of differently colored yarns in a crossbarred pattern. Popularized by ‘skater’ stores, but now becoming more ‘preppy’.
Short shorts also refer to the older style of tight basketball shorts worn by players until the 1990s, when looser shorts that went down to the knee became the norm. Many clothing vendors refer to ‘short shorts’ as having an inseam of four inches or less.
Short trousers (British English) or school shorts
These are fully tailored and usually lined shorts with full zip fly and belt loops. Formerly made of flannel, now of a cotton/synthetic mixture, they’re typically in grey, and worn by males. They mostly reach the knee or even slightly further; they are sometimes misleadingly called ‘knickers’. Use of the word ‘knickers’ reminds us that ‘shorts’ for boys descended from ‘knickerbockers.’
Knickerbockers fell below the knee and were attached by buttons to stockings. Knickerbockers gradually became shorter and lost their attachment to the stockings, leaving the knee bare. Eventually, in effect, the knickerbockers turned into shorts and the stockings turned into turn-over knee stockings with coloured tops.
These shorts have a piece of fabric in front, creating the illusion of being a skirt from the front. The term is a portmanteau of ‘skirt’ and ‘shorts’
THREE QUARTER PANTS (or FLOOD PANTS)
A name used to refer to pants that go down to the calf and are arguably not long shorts, but short trousers. Also known as shants (from ‘shorts’ + ‘pants’) or shankles (‘shorts’ + ‘ankles’).
ZIP-OFF shorts (CONVERTIBLE shorts)
A pair of long pants that zip off at the knee, allowing the wearer to change from pants to shorts as the weather changes. Originally a hiking garment, these have become a more casual fashion item since the late 1990s.
Short men’s shorts designed to have a vintage, mid-century look. Yimps is an American brand, but the word has begun to generally represent the category of modern short shorts for men.
Sexy shorts. Normally casually worn.
- SPANDEX CYCLING shorts
Skin-tight long shorts originally worn by cyclists to reduce chafing while cycling, but which have also been adapted and adopted as street wear and active wear. They are also often worn under skirts and dresses (mostly under school uniforms) for modesty reasons. Also known as ‘bike shorts’.
- DOLPHIN shorts
An athletic style of shorts, usually with visible binding of an often contrasting colour. The name may refer to a side-view of the binding of each leg’s lower hem, resembling the shape of a dolphin tail. Like gym shorts, they often feature a cord tied around the waist at the front. These were a popular trend in the 1980s gym scene.
- GYM shorts
Gym shorts are often worn in gym class or for participation in sports, hence the name, but they are worn as casual wear almost as much, especially by adolescents. They are usually not form-fitting when worn by men or female athletes, but are often form-fitting when worn by women as casual dress. Gym shorts are generally made of cotton, spandex, polyester, or another synthetic fibre with a cord sewn in that can be tied at the front to tighten the waist.
- RUNNING shorts
Reach only the upper thigh; intended to provide maximum freedom of movement in sports activities. These are often made from Nylon, which has the advantage of being very hard wearing. They were a fashion item for some years.
Have fun in your selection and creating your own trend this summer. Feel free to experiment with a pair you’ve never worn before.
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