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FM’s Fashion History Class: The Bermuda Shorts

“The short-pant is a terrible fashion choice. Unless it is from Bermuda.”
-Winston Churchill

British Navy

When the British officers arrive in 1816 to the Bermuda Islands on the Atlantic Ocean, because this was a strategic spot for the Navy Inteligence, they soon realized that their permanence in there would be less than pleasant thanks to a factor which English people are not used to: unbearable heat.

For the British Empire outside Great Brittain, it was necessary to adapt to the conditions and weather of their colony. While in India, they  leaned towards the light Madras, in Burma they prefered linen. But in the North Atlantic, on the Bermuda island, the story was different. The Royal Navy found that the Island had no natural resources for clothing, and all textiles were made out of cotton.

To the change of fabrics, it was added another one that would set the difference on the male fashion history. Officers cut their pants on bottom half, expecting that this would relief the effect of high temperatures on their european bodies. Quickly, this trend extended to  local civilians, even local tailors started to sell suits with short-pants instead of long ones.

Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt

By time, tourists and visitors of the Bermuda Islands adopted the local style. Today we can find that this is a very popular piece of clothign between the male population, and also females, because of its practical style and versatility, besides being very popular in the hottest seasons.

By FM Team

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