It was at the end of XIXth century that men began wearing light trousers with fabric roughly covering thighs to practice some outdoor sports. In the 1920s, this garment took the name of “shorts”, to indicate short pants. The first woman to ever wear shorts was tenniswoman Alice Marble, who wore them for the first time in public on a tennis court in 1932. What a scandal! It was, however, the same length as the then regulatory skirt.
Shorts in movies
Once again, it is the image and the cinema that came to democratize this fashion, with the adoption by the pin-up Betty Grable of very short shorts that looked more like panties. The shorts then become one of those chameleon clothing pieces that change in connotation depending on who wears them and how. The best example of this duality is embodied by Marylin Monroe and Audrey Hepburn in the 50s. Marylin’s shorts, worn with heels, are a symbol of sexy’vamp, while the second’s shorts, worn with ballerina plates, are the epitome of wise chic. Mary Quant, creator of the mini-skirt, adopted this wave and launched mini-shorts in the 60s. Success was guaranteed.
Always on trend
Catherine Bach launched, thanks to the TV show “The Dukes of Hazzard”, the fashion of jeans cut into shorts. Rappers, surfers and basketballers democratized Bermuda shorts, soldiers, camouflage shorts… And for women, they kept evolving. Their greatest success dates back to 2008, when Kate Moss walked in ripped jeans shorts in chic environments. The biggest flop came in 1989, when Demi Moore dared to wear cycling shorts on the red carpet for the Academy Awards. And in the fashion shows, it is almost always present, in both day and evening versions.