in the 1950s were not a new invention but they certainly gained mass market appeal starting in 1949. Shorts for beach and sports playing was the prime reason men wore shorts prior to the 1950s. The most popular style of short was the almost knee length walk (walking) shorts also known as Bermuda shorts. They fit like men’s slacks, without pleats at the waistband and hung straight down to an inch or two above the kneecap. They came in plain colors as well as plaid, seersucker and stripes in cotton, linen, madras and even flannel. Some had back belts and most were worn with a contrasting fabric belt.
Shorts were hardly ever worn without a pair of usually in bold patterns such as the classic argyle. Plain colors were OK too. Paired with a slip-on pair of penny loafers or moccasins, a man was set for a round of golf, a walk to the park, a day at the shore or gardening in his own backyard. Some fashionable men wore flannel shorts to dinner paired with a sports coat, shirts and ties, especially in seaside resort towns.
Shorts lengths changed little for most of the decade but some specifically designed for athletic wear were even shorter ). They hit about mid-thigh, worn without a belt and made of a sturdier cotton twill. They provided maximum freedom to move and breath while playing games of baseball, tennis, or soccer.