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Who wears short shorts?

April 28, 2010


Today: everything you always wanted to know about pants (or trousers if you’re this side of the Pond) but were afraid to ask. This “portfolio with all the facts” is brought to you by Modern Miss, “the magazine for domestic science pupils, fashion and grooming edition”. A veritable trove of well-meant wisdom from Spring 1961 which was published by the Simplicity pattern company. (Clicking on a pic will give you a larger version of each image).

Now, first, if you were labouring under the misapprehension that trousers were an easy, wearable clothing option, guess again. Of course, you’ll never wear them “in planes, trains, big city streets, in hotel lobbies, at adult parties”. Second, if you’re slender you’re laughing, and if you’re not, well, you’re not. For the three pants options given are short shorts “if you have pretty knees, slender legs”, fitted slim pants to the ankle “the domain of the slender and leggy”. And, for those of us who don’t have pretty knees or slender legs there is one option: “Hips and/or thighs not narrow enough? Bermuda shorts will flatter…” Hmmm.

What was a bit of shock was turning the page to find that even the slenderest and prettiest-kneed teen should be wearing “a girdle with a flattening front panel, long enough to keep your hips and thighs neat” under her trousers. Seriously?! And the recommended girdle for bermuda shorts has removable suspenders (what on earth would one need suspenders for on shorts?)

I’m infinitely grateful to be typing this from the comfort of 2010. (Wow, had to think hard about what year it was for a moment there- happens when you read too many old magazines!) I’ll certainly never take my (non-skinny) jeans clad ungirdled state for granted again…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2010 9:02 pm

    This is really funny! Thanks for posting.

  2. April 29, 2010 7:55 pm

    Cripes! I have a sudden urge to put my pyjamas on…

  3. May 1, 2010 7:55 am

    I’m too old to wear short shorts, but I’m not putting corsets on!

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