Men's shorts have evolved over the years. The '60s, '70s, and '80s all marked a significant period of change in men's shorts. From a time of tight-fitting khaki shorts to more loose-fitting cargo shorts, the era of longer shorts was shaped by social change.
Men's shorts in the 1960s got longer in two ways. One is called cut-offs and the other is called drawstrings. The first of these is a shorts that is pulled on and can either have a drawstring on the outside or the inside of the waistband. In the late 1960s, a similar style was used for pajama pants.
The '70s were a time of freedom and a free spirit. It was the age of Woodstock, disco, and anything goes. Men were free to express themselves and questioned authority. Men were not shy about showing off their bodies, and the most revealing area for men to show off was their leg. Men wore short shorts in various materials and lengths, from denim to cotton.
During the 1970s, men wore short shorts. This was the era of sexual freedom and gender equality. Short shorts were popular for men, but the lengths increased as time went on. Today, men wear longer shorts in many styles and fabrics.
In the 1980s and 1990s, men's shorts became longer, and their styles became more modest. This change was spurred on by the emergence of men's basketball. The 1991 "best recruiting class in the history of the sport" created a major cultural shift. This group of players began to make a statement through their fashion and personalities. These players changed the look of the NBA by adopting their own style.
In the '90s, shorts got longer. By 1990, the inseam length was over eight inches. These shorts were no longer tight, and they allowed for a more comfortable and airy fit. Many trends in men's shorts in this decade are attributed to Michael Jordan, who helped shape the trends.
The '20s were a time of change for men's fashion. While trousers were short and thigh-high, shorts were now longer and wider. Men also wore belts instead of suspenders, which were most common in Europe. The style of the early '20s was heavily influenced by the "drainpipe" fashion from the Edwardian era. These styles had a slim bottom and few pleats.
The '30s saw a dramatic change in men's fashion. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 drastically changed the way people dressed. Although Hollywood stars had the money to dress up, most men could not afford to do so. As a result, men began wearing more casual outfits and sportswear. They also wore fewer starched collars and stiff hats.
Shorts for men went through several changes from the 1930s to the '40s. During World War II, troops serving in hot climates started wearing shorts. The British Eighth Army in North Africa, the German Afrikakorps, and the Italian army and Free French forces all adopted shorts. Afterward, shorts became more common and became acceptable for everyday wear. The new fashion trend lent itself to masculine iconography.
The '50s were a turning point in the history of men's shorts. Shorts were not worn by grown men before the war. They were primarily worn by young boys until they became mature enough to wear long trousers. The shorts were not viewed as a fashion item, but rather were considered a necessity for recreation and sports. While men often preferred skirts or dresses, shorts were not common among men outside hot climates until the 1950s.