The history of Bermuda shorts

With spring fast approaching, it’s a good time to stock up on warm-weather essentials such as Bermuda shorts. But do you know the story behind these tailored shorts that men have been wearing for decades? Like a lot of sartorial items, the shorts have military origins. The British army needed a uniform more suited for the tropical weather in their hottest colonies and came up with a solution that included a pair of short trousers that ended above the knee. Bankers and businessmen in Bermuda adopted the look in the 1920s, and when British and mostly East Coast American tourists visited the island, they brought back the trend, wearing tailored “Bermuda” shorts often with high socks like the British army and Bermuda businessmen did. In the U.S., these shorts were strictly for leisure time, and in the 1950s, some towns and universities actually enacted bans on wearing shorts! By the 1980s, though, taboos around shorts had become a thing of the past.

Nowadays most of us forgo the high socks (although they still wear them in Bermuda!) in favor of no socks at all (or no-show socks), but Bermuda shorts are still a popular way to stay cool while looking stylish in warmer weather. Visit The Met to see our wide selection by Peter Millar. The popular American sportswear brand was founded in 2001 by Chris Knott and features an array of cool colors in several fabrics and styles. We’ll help you find the pair that’s perfect for you. It’s the next best thing to booking a flight to Bermuda.