What Are Jorts? Gen Z May Be Going Too Far Bringing This Fashion Trend Back

In 2024, we thought we would have flying cars. Turns out, we'll just have jorts coming back into style.

Alizabeth Swain - Author

Mar. 12 2024, Updated 10:29 a.m. ET

Fashion model in jorts.
Source: Getty Images

In the ever-evolving carousel of fashion trends, one garment has made an unexpected yet undeniable comeback, catching the eye of style icons and street fashion enthusiasts alike: jorts.

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Once relegated to the back of the wardrobe, dismissed as a sartorial misstep from a bygone era, jean shorts are now strutting down the runway and the streets with renewed vigor. But, what are jorts and why have they become the garment du jour?

What are jorts?

Alexandra Pereira wearing styling jorts with bright pink button up.
Source: Getty Images

Jorts, a portmanteau of 'jeans' and 'shorts,' refer to shorts made entirely out of denim fabric. They can range from tightly fitted to relaxed and baggy, with lengths varying from thigh-high to just above the knee. This versatility, combined with the durable nature of denim, makes jorts a practical and stylish choice for the warmer months.

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Beyond their functional appeal, jorts embody a sense of nostalgia and rebellion, transforming the classic jeans silhouette into something more playful and provocative. From their historical roots in the '90s hip-hop scene to their adoption by today's Gen Z fashionistas, jorts epitomized the '90s relaxed yet daring approach to fashion.

Jorts epitomized the '90s relaxed yet daring approach to fashion. This period, known for its grunge influence and casual wear, saw jorts as a versatile piece that could be styled in numerous ways. Icons like Mariah Carey, Halle Berry, and Britney Spears were often spotted flaunting their jorts, signaling the garment's ubiquity and appeal during this time.

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Are jorts in style?

Yes, jorts are very much in style. The revival of jorts marks a significant moment in the fashion industry, as observed in recent trends and runway showcases. Influenced by the resurgence of Y2K culture and a growing appreciation for functional workwear, jorts have emerged as a dominant force in shorts-wear, blending the durability and appeal of jeans with the comfort and casual flair of shorts.

The trend has been notably supported by celebrities like Harry Styles, who has been seen sporting tiny Gucci Daisy Dukes, and Paul Mescal, who opts for micro rugby shorts in his casual outings. This alternative iteration of denim shorts, often featuring large cargo-like pockets and a wider leg, has gained popularity for its unique blend of style and functionality.

The appeal of jorts can be attributed to two main factors: the Gen-Z-led revival of Y2K culture, which has influenced both social media and high fashion, and the demand for functional workwear, with brands like Carhartt leading the way with their baggy shorts and pocket-heavy designs. Denim, with its roots in workwear, naturally fits into this trend, making jorts a comfortable and stylish choice for a wide range of occasions.

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