The History of Vintage Denim Cutoff Shorts

vintage levi cutt-offs

Whether they are distressed, baggy, stonewashed or tight, everybody loves their cutoff denim shorts. Pair  them with a tank-top and sneakers and it is a easy way to look cute and sexy for just about any casual occasion.

Denim Shorts Through History

Denim shorts became popular in the late 1960’s when fashion, style  and art all began to take on a new life of its own. People were fed up with war and politics as usual, the counterculture movement began to take full swing and people began to find ways to express themselves through their style and resourced fashion.

denim-shortsThe Daisy Duke Denim Shorts.
In the 70’s the Daisy Duke denim short became popular because of the famous family TV show – the Dukes of Hazzard, where actress Catherin Bach playing the character Daisy Duke wore a pair of jean shorts every episode. At the time she was playing the role of a sweet resourceful southern girl trying to find an outfit that would work in the hot southern heat. The boys liked the long leg’s and the girls liked the style.

Into the 80’s denim shorts became a fashion icon that was a must have for almost every wardrobe. It wasn’t long before men began wearing cutoff denim shorts as well, some as short as the girls cuts but some were longer.

In the 1990’s the denim shorts took on a new look during the end of the heavy metal era and beginning of the grunge scene. It was no longer popular to wear the short-shorts like the Daisy Dukes, but one could wear longer shorts, almost knee-length and either role them up or worn them torn.

At the turn of the millennium denim shorts took a short hiatus from the fashion scene, but not for long, in 2005 they slowly started to make their way back into hipster and fashion forward girls wardrobes.

Today everyone from the mom and daughter at the park to the supermodel and rockstar on the stage is wearing some form of denim shorts or another.

denim cuttoff shorts

Historically men were in the forefront when it came to promoting denim fashion, the denim shorts however was primarily promoted by women.

Vintage Jean Shorts

Denim shorts continue to be a hot item among celebrities and fashionistas alike. Regardless of who’s wearing them, the components always remain the same. When searching for blue jean shorts, understand that there are three major components that can make or break a pair of blue jean shorts: denim wash, style/fit, and the minor details. You can also look at history and the most notable blue jean shorts for inspiration.

vintage jeans

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5 Responses to “The History of Vintage Denim Cutoff Shorts”
  1. Eva Martin says:

    Jean Shorts continue to be a hot item among celebrities and fashionistas alike and I just want to say that it was a nice reading material. I hope you come out with more interesting posts.

  2. Bobbi says:

    Almost right. Longer jean shorts were popular in the mid 60’s . I remember my sister wearing them. Then by the late 60’s, early 70’s we wore them short.

  3. Remembering back further than “Daisy Duke” and I worked that show in the business, Daisy was slated for a Mini Skirt and Boots look as wardrobe for being a server for Boss Hogg in the Boars Nest. Catherine showing for work one day in jean shorty shorty and the producer(s) were convinced this iconic “REBEL” looking jeans instantly had a spot on the “DUKES” in lieu of the Mini (which was all over the place in fashion by then)

    The first Jean Shorts, recognized was way back with Peter Palmer on “Little Abner” of Dog Patch and his Gal Pal, Daisy Mae (hot blonde bomb-shell) who was always wishing for Little Abner to plant a smooch on her. She sold the world on these jeans. In 1966 Peter Palmer did a USO Vietnam Tour (of which I helped do set-up on board the aircraft carrier USS Hancock, which was home for 3,500 Sailors) Peter introduced Miss World on that tour in a micro mini skirt and Miss World on board paraded around in her Jean Shorty Shorts (however with a neat little cuff, rather than the Daisy Mae ragged sawed off’s) and you can bet the Sailors loved them. So much so that Daisy took over much space inside the lockers on board the ship.

    Today the Jean Shorty Shorts (mostly rolled into a boy cuff, however very short) are worn in most every high school in California year around. In summer most every girl wears them most of the time. Toss on a pair of boots and you are stylin’ for most anyplace on the West Coast. So popular that the Miss Country Western Pageant has made them the outfit of choice to win a $5,000 CASH Trophy.. Next go round for the shorts and the $5/Grand is Summer of 2017. email for details, of when and where for 3/days of this iconic Jean Shorts and Cowgirl Boots in droves to hit the West Coast.

    This is the best history of this fashion from the 50’s forward, and every actress in the business has been spotted on Rodeo Drive wearing these shorts, mostly casually, but many time with Cowgirl Boots and a Western Flare.

    Jimm Western

  4. Bobbi says:

    Catherine Bach never wore cut offs during the show.she wore them for promotion photos.


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  1. […] Denim shorts, also know as jorts, are making a comeback? Jorts,”shorts made of denim fabric,” came into popularity quickly a long time ago. Wearing short jorts started as a trend in the late 1960s, according to the vintage clothing site […]

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