Capturing the Short Shorts Phenomenon in a Photo Journey Through the 70s and 80s

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Short shorts, as the name suggests, are a style of shorts that are shorter than the average length. This fashion trend has a history that dates back to the 1930s, when they were donned by Hollywood starlets for publicity photos. Interestingly, their popularity led to a by-law in New York City, which was eventually repealed in 1942, prohibiting women from wearing them.


Initially, short shorts were primarily sported for active pursuits such as cycling. However, as the decades rolled on, they began to gain traction as a popular choice for informal leisurewear and sporting attire. By the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, shorts that ended at the upper thigh had become a common sight on both men and women.

The early 1970s saw a significant shift in the fabric used for short shorts. They began to be crafted from fashion fabrics, leading to a new name for this style – hotpants. This term was popularized by Women’s Wear Daily and has since become interchangeable with short shorts.

The 1980s, however, took the trend of short shorts to a whole new level. Men and women alike wore shorts that, by today’s standards, might seem uncomfortably short. While women continue to wear short shorts today, it was the men of the 1980s who truly embraced this trend, making it a distinctive ’80s fashion style. However, this is a fashion trend that many would prefer to leave in the past.


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