When wearing shorts become acceptable for grown men?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by FedoraFan112390, Aug 14, 2013.

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  1. FedoraFan112390

    FedoraFan112390 Practically Family

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    I know at the beginning of the last century, shorts were considered attire only little bots wore. To have long pants was sort of a rite of passage; a mark of maturity. But it wasnt acceptable for grown men...Around when did it become acceptable for men to wear shorts?
     
  2. tonypaj

    tonypaj Practically Family

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    Well, never. Apart from the beach.
     
  3. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Hey there...
    I'm in California, and shorts most of the year...
     
  4. esteban68

    esteban68 Call Me a Cab

    Work permitting shorts from May to October during the day at least, I 've no problem with them at all, it helps if you have the legs for them too!
     
  5. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

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    My guess is that, in the UK, certain folks stationed overseas during WW2 kept their 'Bombay bloomers' or other regulation 'short trousers' after being demobbed and occasionally wore them while hiking, etc, but never 'around the house' and certainly not anywhere 'out'...

    I'll wager that the 'package holiday' explosion, which saw folks going to Spain and 'parts foreign' (as my late Father used to put it) during the 1970s necessitated the adoption of short trousers to cover bathing trunks and because the weather on the Costas was probably the hottest that most Brits had ever encountered... cue such non-classics as 'cut offs', sateen shorts with hideous piping around the edges and so on...

    Myself, I have inherited shins that bruise easily from my late Grandfather, and being pretty accident prone, I really don't wish to 'get my pins out' in public as my lower legs look like a toddler has spent six months kicking them continually. Earlier this Summer, when the weather hit the early 30Cs in the UK, I did purchase a pair of flat front chino shorts from a charity / thrift store and wore them for a couple of days. Really not a pleasant experience, for anyone, least of all myself.

    Unless I am engaged in a legitimate sporting activity (v. slim chance, going forward), I do not plan to wear short trousers again. Personally, I can see no place for short trousers or modern-style gym shoes in the wardrobe of a male over the age of 12, if they want to take themselves remotely seriously as an adult, or be considered as such by the world at large. :p

    Rolling up your trousers or denims is a suitable alternative, methinks:

    [​IMG]

    I did have swimming shorts (the plainest I could find), underneath these LVC jeans, in order to go swimming in the sea at an appropriate point. But the legs on the jeans were rolled down as soon as my legs and feet dried off after having a wade in the shallows...
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013
  6. esteban68

    esteban68 Call Me a Cab

    As a cyclist, hill walker and ex rugby union player who spends most holidays in southern France and Spain shorts are natural for me having said that I do like it when October comes around so the tweed and denim can come out and the linen and lightweight cotton goes away!
     
  7. p51

    p51 One Too Many

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    I'm no fashion expert but I know that shorts were worn by the British army as early as the Boer war era with some uniforms, and also in WW1 in warmer climates.
    I have photos of my adult Grandfather (born 1897) and uncles (all but once served in WW2) wearing (non-swim trunk) shorts in Virginia and TN as early as the 1930s.
    As a kid growing up in Florida in the early to mid 1970s, I don't recall seeing many adults wearing them when not on the beach, but I have in-laws who live in Hawaii and they say adults have been wearing shorts there for several generations.
     
  8. VintageBee

    VintageBee One of the Regulars

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    I'll admit it:
    I have a problem with men wearing shorts and flip flops to church.
    I'm not judging their reasons for being there, I just don't get that level of casualness.
     
  9. Mike K.

    Mike K. One Too Many

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    I was under the impression that is was acceptable for men to wear shorts at the beginning of the last century and right on up through the Golden Era. As others have mentioned, shorts were worn as military uniforms. They were also commonly worn by explorers and hunters, particularly in tropical and desert environments.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Men's Dress Reform Party (1930)


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  11. Metatron

    Metatron One Too Many

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    Cool pic, got a larger version?
     
  12. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Yep but my phone seems to want to downsize it.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I will never wear shorts. And when I'm dead, and laid out in the morgue, come and offer me a pair then.... and I still won't be seen in them.

    I think they held the lingering association with little boys' school uniforms here a lot longer. Sadly, as the manchild wardrobe born of a broader cultural fetishisation of youth extends, we're seeing this dying out, and them become more common.

    On the military point, I'd be curious as to when exactly they abandoned them. Presumably around the time they realised the dangers of not covering up from the sun as much as possible if outside all day, but I wonder when exactly that was.
     
  14. Maj.Nick Danger

    Maj.Nick Danger I'll Lock Up

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    I'm with you on that. Shorts are for kids, or frat boys, along with the backwards baseball cap. The tragically eternally young crowd also,...older men in the shorts and tee shirt uniform just look rather silly.
    My dad was from the era of shorts for kids, and it came down to me too I think. My mom used to make me wear shorts when I was a little kid, and I hated them. Haven't worn the awful things since the third grade.
    As to the shorts worn by various military units in hot climates, they seem to be accompanied more often than not, by boots and high socks or gaiters to offer a bit of protection to the lower legs from sharp rocks, thorns, or nasty critters one would find in such places. Maybe that is the reason they are not regulation uniform now? [huh] If they have been abandoned by all military around the world that is.
     
  15. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    Sorry, guys, but that is just so silly. Not that I wear shorts out in the world that often, but I really don't think there's anything wrong with it.
    My mom, who was in the Marine Corps during WW II, and stationed in DC, told me that throughout WW II the British considered Washington DC a tropical station during the summer months (and God knows, it is), and permitted all their military personnel to wear shorts there during the hot months. Most of them didn't, but they were allowed.
     
  16. kiltie

    kiltie Practically Family

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    Ah, my favorite recurring thread.

    Yes, imagine how foolish my father must have looked in his shorts. The former Marine and Vietnam veteran. The Captain in the large metropolitan fire department. How foolish he must have looked in his shorts as he worked his second job to provide better Christmases and birthdays for my brother, my mother, and myself. How he must have cut the figure of the overgrown frat boy as he worked the steel in the arena, hundreds off feet off the ground. How absurd he must have appeared to so many, so much more cultured, as he climbed through those trusses with no safety in the 100+ degrees.
    It embarrasses me even now, as I type this... I shudder to think that, after twenty-four hours on shift he could even consider wearing shorts. It's almost too repugnant to contemplate. Surely you would think such a man, accustom as he was to all those years in uniform, and sometimes bunker pants and turnout boots, heavy coat in the heat of August... you would think that for just one second, at least, he would consider having the common decency not to wear something a horrible as shorts.
    But no; he was trapped in his eternal desire to be fourteen.
    Indeed. Imagine, as I hid my face in shame when, even after working two jobs, he would show up to coach my or my brother's baseball team - IN SHORTS! The horror. Such a man surely deserves the anonymous ridicule of his betters.
    Surely I should take the time to pass these nuggets along to him tomorrow.
    After such an empty and useless life spent trying to recapture his youth, I'm sure he would want to thank each of you, individually.
     
  17. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    While I'm in the pro-shorts camp I do wish people would excersize some discretion when choosing which type of shorts to wear to various places or events. For example: A garden party calls for tailored 'dress' shorts rather than board shorts or athletic shorts or cargo shorts. That said, I still don't like them being worn in a white collar workplace or in church.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  18. I don't understand how this mis-information has spread. Because a few people don't like to see men in shorts, they bandy around these notions that no man in the golden era wore shorts. People seem perfectly happy to make up "truth" to suit their own prejudices.

    This is, of course, completely false. Shorts were perfectly acceptable leisure wear. Hiking, cycling, walking, working in the garden, etc. etc.

    My thread displaying golden era examples is here. Below is some advertising from 1933. More in the thread.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Two Types

    Two Types I'll Lock Up

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    It's all about where and when you wear them, and how the shorts are cut.

    I'm rather keen on tailored shorts and wear them regularly in the summer (and even during the rest of the year if I'm on my bike). I actually think the styles as shown in the 'Dress Reform party' photos are good. I don't have the best legs in the world, but it's something i would consider wearing. I even think a suit in that style would look rather dashing if worn for a wedding (as long as it was somewhere really hot).
     
  20. PHIL1959

    PHIL1959 One of the Regulars

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    I stopped wearing shorts,which I sometimes wore whilst on holiday when I looked at the photograph my wife took of me. I looked like 'lofty' from the TV show I't aint half hot Mum.now i just wear lightweight linen pants.
     
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