Bermuda shorts: a short-lived trend?

Bermuda shorts. Who can forget the loud, casual knee-length shorts of the 90’s? Emblazoned with crazy patterns, polka-dots or just ridiculously dazzling neon colours, the Bermuda short was a fashion to behold.

Many men (and occasionally even women) arrived at a local bar or club – yes, these were worn as evening wear, not just on the beach, where they would have been bad enough – dressed in a pair of these shorts. Skimming the knee, they completely hid the thighs from view (perhaps a point in their favour) and were usually teamed with some kind of T-shirt with a slogan, or else a Global Hypercolor T, which ‘magically’ changed colour with body temperature. (Way to go – let everyone know when you’re really, really sweaty.)

Intriguingly, Bermuda shorts originated with the military and were worn by both men and women serving overseas in particularly hot climates. They were regarded as smart, but were a far cooler option than long trousers, and were made from a flannel material which wasn’t too comfortable by all accounts. Particularly popular in Bermuda, it is not difficult to see how this item of clothing got its name. Later on, newer versions of the shorts were made in suit-like material. It is considered an appropriate option for business dress in hotter climates to include a bermuda-style short instead of long suit pants. These are worn with (wait for it) long socks up to the knee, a shirt, tie and jacket. Sexy.

Bermuda Shorts in the 90s

A far cry from the neon monstrosities worn by the trendsetters of the 90s though. How this very functional military creation was adapted for the trend followers of the 90s is a complete mystery. But it was, and people stepped out in their thousands, thinking they looked good in such attire. Not to be confused with Capri pants, which are longer and far more feminine, and Cargo shorts, which are a much baggier style and contain lots of side pockets, Bermuda shorts had a style all of their own and made a very distinctive statement. Not a particularly positive one in most people’s eyes, but a statement all the same.

And the modern trendsetters among us will know that Bermuda shorts have actually made a recent comeback, with many a celebrity attempting to step out in the ‘shorts and heels’ look. They are no longer made in screaming neon shades or loud patterns, but the length and cut are the same. Who would have believed it?

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