Who wears short shorts – in 1937?

I would love to know the back story on this photo! It was taken in front of the Simpsons department store in Toronto in 1937. I am assuming the two women in the short shorts are chorus girls on a quick break from their work in a theatre across the street (there were several opposite Simpsons in the 1930s, although most had been converted to cinemas by the late 1930s.) Otherwise, I can not think who would wear these outfits on the street in 1937 without worry of being arrested. The next time any hem that short appeared on the street in Toronto was thirty years later!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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1 Response to Who wears short shorts – in 1937?

  1. Jessamyn says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Those are dance or evening shoes they’re wearing, not street shoes, and notice too that they are hatless. They’re also obviously an ordinary enough sight that most of the people around them are ignoring them. Cool picture!

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