What Are Tailored Shorts?

Judith Smith Sullivan

Tailored shorts typically refer to men and women's shorts which have a similar design to slacks but are cut at a short length. They are often made of suiting fabric, cotton, linen, denim, or seersucker. The term can also refer to any style of shorts, whether men's, women's or children's, which are custom made or altered to fit.

Tailored shorts often are made of twill.
Tailored shorts often are made of twill.

Women's tailored shorts come in a variety of inseams, from just below the knee to as little as 1 inch (2.5 cm). They may be lined or unlined and usually have a cuff. The fit is wide at the hem and skims the hips and buttocks to keep the shorts from being snug. They also have a fitted waistband with button and zipper. Some styles are also pleated.

Depending on the trend of the season, women's tailored shorts may come in muted menswear tones or bright hues. They may also have other embellishments such as pockets, drawstrings, and exposed zippers. In some cases, women wear these shorts in the winter with thick stockings or leggings. They are often paired with a loose fitting blazer in cooler climates or with a loose, feminine shirt in warmer places.

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Men's shorts often have the same cut and style as a pair of pants. They are generally considered casual and not worn in business or work situations. They are dressier than gym shorts, which are very loose fitting and often made of flexible material. Like women's shorts, they also have a fitted waistband, but the cuff is optional. Common fabrics are denim, cotton, twill, and linen.

Some occupations require a lot of movement and physical activity. If this is the case, a company will often allow their employees to wear tailored shorts for comfort while maintaining appropriate and uniform attire. Delivery truck drivers, postal workers, fitness teachers, and waiters or waitresses that work in outdoor cafes often wear tailored shorts.

An alternate type of tailored shorts are simply any pair of shorts which have been altered to fit. These are not exclusive to women. Custom tailored shorts can be made by a tailor or seamstress and then adjusted to fit. Another option is to purchase shorts ready made and have them altered. In both cases, the shorts can be any style, fabric, or color.

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