At the beginning of the 20th century in Britain, shorts they were designed exclusively for young boys. The first pair of elegant long trousers was the symbol of the transition from boyhood to maturity and membership of the world of adult men. Today, shorts for men are equally popular among boys and adults around the globe, and have become an important element of men's fashion presented on the world's catwalks.
Despite the famous words of Tom Ford, who claimed that a man should never wear shorts, every fashion season proves that men's shorts can be stylish and elegant elements of male dress. The popularisation of men's shorts was helped greatly by street fashion, which defies conventions to present remarkable and inspiring ways of combining different wardrobe elements.
A few seasons ago the combination of jacket and shorts hit the streets, drawing inspiration from men's fashion of the 50s. The only difference was the final styling, with elegant shoes being replaced by more modern men's sports shoes. Despite the considerable popularity of such fashion statements, this trend was not immediately picked up by modern men. However, thanks to male fashion icons such as David Beckham or Nick Wooster, the combination of men's shorts and jacket became fashionable and worn widely.
The road to the modern interpretation of men’s shorts was, however, long, and evolved through various stages. Shorts first gained popularity in the 50s, a time when fashion was changing rapidly after the war. Casual, non-conformist styles of dress revolutionised fashion and freed it from restrictions, so that both men and women could wear shorts, not only on the beach but also in the city. In combination with a jacket, a shirt or a plain vest, men's shorts have become a common part of the male wardrobe.
In the 70s, men’s sport shorts became fashionable, and were designed to suit contemporary athletes. Very short, usually cotton (although sometimes designed as sweat shorts), and in a variety of colours, they dominated contemporary male fashion. Shirts and jackets were buried deep in the wardrobe, to be replace by rather childlike comfortable cotton men’s t-shirts or vests. From today's perspective, this style may seem funny and unmasculine, but in the decade of the moral revolution, everything was allowed and accepted.
After the fairly rigid styles of the 80s and 90s, in which the star of the wardrobe was the men’s suit with well-tailored trousers, the new century brought a return to a more informal, relaxed way of dressing. Designers began to show various interpretations of shorts on the catwalk, and today such garments – even men’s denim shorts – are present in the collections of the biggest fashion houses.