During this hot quarantine summer, consumers are rediscovering the effortless cool vibe jean shorts add to any outfit.
Though shorts have a permanent place in spring and summer assortments, they’re proving to be a reliable sellout for retailers this season. The number of women’s shorts selling out, according to retail data analytics company Edited, increased by 52 percent compared to last year.
While it may be more socially acceptable nowadays to wear jean shorts during the work week as people continue to clock in from home, the fashion staple has been part of celebrities’ on- and off-duty looks for decades.
The short shorts worn by actresses like Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlize Theron in film roles were a part of the personas of the characters they portrayed. Madonna’s cutoff shorts (worn with fishnet tights) were among the more subdued costumes during her infamously provocative The Girlie Show World Tour in the ’90s.
And like their longer counterparts, jean shorts have shape shifted and evolved with the times.
Low-rise shorts were part of the pop star uniform of the 2000s. Celebrities like Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan and Jessica Simpson frequently stepped out in jean shorts—dressing them up with heels or down with flip-flops and a bare midriff.
By the 2010s, jean shorts and thigh-high boots became a go-to look for L.A.-based stars like Miley Cyrus and Khloe Kardashian. Meanwhile, in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, locals like Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss made jean shorts part of their summer in the city look—adding pork pie hats and ankle boots for a downtown vibe.
Longer styles worn recently by Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid reflect where the trend is going next.
In the beginning of June global fashion search platform Lyst saw demand for knee-length denim shorts increase 28 percent, with white denim and light blue wash styles among the most coveted.