What are jorts, and why wear them

What are jorts, and why wear them
Valerie Jayne Jamili

Summer brings shorter hemlines and shrinking knee cuts. Take a stroll in your favorite neighborhood park, and you’re likely to spot couples rocking matching jorts or some dude sporting a neon-colored beanie and oversized headphones, flaunting below-the-knee jorts. It’s a summer thing and it’s basically the season’s newest casual perfection.

Short history

It was in the ‘60s when jorts (a portmanteau of jeans and shorts) were popularized as a symbol of rebellion against societal norms in the United States. Born out of the counterculture movement, they became a fashion statement embraced by youth rejecting traditional attire, aligning themselves with broader social change.

The legacy of jorts continued through the grunge era, with icons like Courtney Love rocking a pair, further solidifying their status as a symbol of non-conformity and alternative style.

As jorts gained visibility in the media through pop stars and movie stars, they transitioned through various fashion trends. Mariah Carey and Britney Spears elevated them to chic status, making them a coveted item in every girl’s wardrobe. In the same ‘90s, hip-hop artists personalized jorts with baggy silhouettes, becoming a defining element of the rap age.

Now, the modern jorts has found its way through luxury brands like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and more.

Current fashion

Today, the skimpier, light-washed or high-waisted jorts are not the season’s gem. Instead, a nod to the ‘90s, inspired by the celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary in 2023, has anointed below-the-knee, baggy jorts as the must-have item of the moment.

Celebrities like A$AP Rocky and Justin Bieber effortlessly brought back the cool factor, while past summers saw IT girls like the Hadid sisters, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber elevate them to a fashion moment.

If you’re faced with countless variations of jorts, search for something with frayed edges or wide-legged. You can also opt for ones with raw hems, long lines, or cargo pockets. Make them as baggy as you can, and there you have it — a pair of jorts that not only matches your style but also suits the season.

Flexibility symbol

While some view jorts as a mutilation of decent clothing, deeming them abhorrent and a fashion tragedy, many see them as symbols of flexibility. They blur the lines between workwear and style, as evidenced by Carhartt’s popularity, or embody the influence of TikTok, perpetuating an endless Y2K vibe in modern fashion.

It wouldn’t be summer without someone donning a pair of jorts. Once a symbol of rebellious fashion, jorts have transcended their origins to become a cultural staple that persists summer after summer. Just like any fashion trend, jorts can be a hit or miss for someone; they might be your vibe, or they might not. It’s up to you. But one thing’s for sure: jorts are here to stay.

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