Know before you buy
Interested in Bermuda shorts? Well, before you decide to buy one, won't you like to know why you call them Bermuda shorts in the first place? How they originated and became so popular world over?
Knowing this can make your buy far more exciting and appropriate.
Additionally, you will also find many useful information here about Bermuda shorts for women, men and juniors, as well as some recommendations of the top stores selling them in the island.
How did Bermuda shorts become so popular?
Bermuda shorts were actually created during the early 20th century by the British (and not Bermudians). The Royal Navy were the first to invent Bermuda shorts. They had their bases mainly in tropical and sub-tropical regions like in Bermuda and required comfort from the summer heat and humidity.
Bermuda had been a British colony and once had a large base of Royal Navy (1809 - 1995 at the Royal Naval Dockyard
in Sandys Parish). The British Military including the army and airforce also operated in Bermuda for a long time.
The officers of the British Navy and other forces started wearing such shorts when they founded the yacht clubs in Hamilton City (Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
) and also in the Town of St. George. These shorts were then made in London by office workers who had to ensure that the officers stationed in remote places like Bermuda followed a standard dress code. And therefore they were all made to specific lengths and style.
Bermuda Shorts used as formal wear in the island
It was during the World War-II when such shorts were first introduced in Bermuda's business circle. This need arose out of the acute shortage of male clothes during this period. The General Managers of The Bank of Bermuda
and Butterfield Bank
were quite concerned that their male employees may not have appropriate attire to wear. They appointed a tailor to make shorts similar to what the British Navy and Army were using. The shorts were made from gray flannel material and two pairs of such shorts were then given to each male employee.
By 1950s, the look caught on and the style got readily accepted as business wear in Bermuda. Bermuda shorts eventually got so named because of the huge popularity it gained in Bermuda.
British tourists helped to spread the style in the U.S.A and all over the world. However, it became more popular as casual wear instead of formal business attire in the other countries.
But in Bermuda it remained more as a formal wear which could not be shorter than a specific length. In fact in 1950s and 60s, the police used to measure skirts and shorts of women. If found to be inappropriately dressed, the police used to hand over something called a "Green Ticket" to the women.
Do you know that Bermuda is the only place in the world where Bermuda shorts is the national dress for men. The formal shorts are tailored as suit trousers and must be no more than 3 inches above the knee. They are worn with long socks (reaching just below the knee) and smart shoes. Topping the whole ensemble are a shirt, tie, and jacket or a blazer.
These days women in the island however wear the shorts as comfort casuals. There are some businesses in the West that have business casual policies allowing such clothing in summer time.
So, what are the different types of Bermuda shorts?
Well, when it comes to its use as elegant casuals, the shorts can be really versatile, cool and best of all, a symbol of a laid-back Caribbean style :-)
Local Bermudians wear the shorts mostly during the warm season (April to October). In America, Bermuda Shorts for women are also known as City Shorts. They are of knee-length cut.
In Bermuda, the shorts can be of many types depending on what you want to wear it for. You can accordingly go and ask for such type in a store.
For example, a type of Bermuda shorts for walking is known as walking Bermuda shorts or dress shorts. For swimming, it's known as Bermuda swim shorts and you get it with fun prints.
The shorts are also excellent for fishing, golf, and sailing. In the island, the formal Bermuda shorts are also worn in cocktail parties, weddings and so on.
The best quality Bermuda Shorts in the island should have a three inch hem, hand sewn to hang correctly and to prevent ripples. They usually have one pocket on each side and one on each side of the bottom.
These days, Bermudian men generally wear two types of shorts: Business and Sporty.
Business shorts are made of finer fabrics, traditionally linen or wool blends, usually in subtle shades such as gray, beige or navy blue. But you will find them also in tropical colors including pink, green and yellow. This variety is usually pleated and has belt loops.
Sporty Bermuda shorts are matched with T-shirts or sport shirts. They can be worn with anything from sneakers or sandals to golf shoes or boat shoes. You'll see these shorts everywhere.
Best stores in the island selling Bermuda Shorts
Even today, most of the Bermuda shorts that you get in the island are not made in Bermuda. They are mostly imported and mainly from the USA. Earlier, the place to go for Bermuda shorts was at the Triminghams. Almost every tourist coming to Bermuda by a cruise ship would visit this store. However, Triminghams had closed down after 163 years in business.
Now the best place to buy Bermuda Shorts is the English Sports Shop. It has branches at several places in the island. They also sell jackets and matching long socks including madras, capris, Hawaiian shirts and an array of other men's and women's clothing. Some fashions such as the cravat that have been lost to time are also available here. Address in Hamilton: English Sports Shop, 49 Front Street, Hamilton City. Phone: (441)295-2672.
There are many other shops around the island that also sell Bermuda shorts. Check out this link to know about the other good options: Bermuda Clothing Shops
These days the designers Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren Bermuda shorts are the summer fashion trend in Bermuda.
Price of Bermuda shorts vary widely depending on the quality and type. It can be anywhere between $10 to over $75.
Accompaniments with Bermuda Shorts
Well, when it comes to the formal wear as in case of business attire in Bermuda, the shorts would typically need to be accompanied by a pair of long socks, a pair of black or dark brown shoes, a buttoned down formal short sleeves shirt, a formal tie, a blazer or a linen jacket that contrasts with the shorts.
The best socks are Bermuda Hose that are of knee length and imported. The best shoes are loafers with tassels that are imported from the USA.
Review of Bermuda Shorts for women and men
One can buy the short from stores all over the world. However the authentic ones are sold only in few places and accordingly the quality and look can vary. I thought of gathering the comments and reviews from men and women all over the world who have purchased and used Bermuda shorts. This should help you understand what to expect, what should be a good choice, what they recommend and so on. Check out Bermuda Shorts for Women and Men
1) Check out Bermuda Shopping
to know all about shopping in Bermuda and the best stores.
Stories & Reviews by visitors
When I was a police officer in Bermuda during the 1950's, we carried a tape measure so that we could measure the length of ladies shorts ensuring that they were not shorter than three inches above the knee - Ed Goodall