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Long Shorts to Play a Long-Term Game in Denim for Coming Seasons

Be it cuffed, rolled, customized or distressed, the classic denim short has earned a permanent place in women’s summer wardrobes. But a new silhouette is on the up and up, offering consumers new lengthier options and inspiring trips to the store.

The iconic Bermuda short returns this summer in denim. The casual short, which typically hits one-inch above the knee, is offered in a broad range of washes, colors and price points from brands like AG, Helmut Lang and American Eagle. The shorts are the classic companion to other summer staples like striped T-shirts and canvas sneakers.

While Google searches for jean shorts outpace searches for Bermuda shorts, searches for the longer and leaner silhouette reached a year high this month. In particular, people are searching for Bermuda shorts that are white, high waist or available in plus sizes.

The uptick in Bermuda shorts can be chalked up to several factors. Modesty fashion, a term originally used to describe fashion for women who dress modestly for religious and cultural reasons, has become common fashion vernacular to describe everything from long shorts to bridesmaid dresses with sleeves.

H&M even entered the modesty space this month with its LTD Collection comprised of wide-leg trousers, flowing tunics and long-sleeve frocks. While the shorts still show leg, the tomboy look is a far cry from the summer’s other denim trend, barely-there jeans.

Maki Oh runway
Fall ’18 Maki Oh Pixelformula/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Consumers may also be hungry for an alternative to vintage (or vintage-looking) Levi’s cut-offs, which have dominated the women’s denim market for several years now. Cut-offs have become synonymous with summer street style, particularly with festival fashion. As such, it may not bode well for cut-offs that Vogue declared Coachella street fashion “over” after a lackluster display of inspiring style at last month’s festival.

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Chioma Nnadi, fashion news director wrote: “We decided to cut the gallery of street style images from altogether for the first time in this website’s history. As my colleagues and I sifted through almost 100 images, it wasn’t so much the lack of taste that struck us, but rather, a depressing lack of imagination.”

Or perhaps long shorts are just another example of women’s designers borrowing from the boys. Like the boyfriend jean before it, the Bermuda silhouette brings a new level of comfort and freedom to women’s denim fashion—a potent combination for denim labels in competition with athleisure brands for consumers’ dollars and loyalty.

Expect to see Bermuda shorts carry into fall. Both Maki Oh and Y Project included shorts with longer lengths in their Fall/Winter 18-19 runways.