Short Pants: Linings

Figure 1.-These short pnts were made in France during 1948-49. The botom hem is hand made in way to be invisible, but the rest is manufactured with a sewing machine.

Almost all of the better made shorts have traditionally been lined. The lined shirts seem especially common with shorts for younger boys. This included shorts made in corduroy, flannel, Terelyn, and other materials. HBC is not precisely sure why short pants were commonly lined. One English contributor reports that shorts were lined because many boys in the 19th century, especially poor boys did not commonly wear underpants. HBC is not positive that is the primary reason. Many shorts were sold to boys going to exclusive private schools. Their parents may have simply expected good quality trousers, short or long to be lined, much the lining in a suit jacket. Once the tradition was set, then manufacturers continued lining the shorts into our modern era. There are other reasons why trousers were lined. Lining avoids scratching from poor quality flannel or wool fabric from which some shorts were made. Some manufacturers tried to use inexpensive cloth to appeal to parents who wanted inexpensive clothes. Flannel in particular could be uncomfortable. The lining also gave the fabric of the shorts added firmness. The linings also gave added sophistication to the clothes. Shorts that are lined looked better as they are not as baggy as unlined shorts, appealing to the fashion conscious mother. The drawback of lining shorts, of course, is the added price. A French reader writes, "HBC is right about linings! Quality short pants were lined. This was the case for shorts made of flannel , wool, Tergal, and others materials. Poor families couldn't afford to buy expensive lined shorts. Clothing plants making quality lined shorts during the 1940-70s were called " culottière " even when concerning long trousers. We note that not only were good quality short pants lined, but school shorts were also lined.


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Created: October 1, 2003
Last updated: October 1, 2003