Cutoffs: A Visual History
As soon as the temperature hits 70, they start popping up everywhere. At the beach, in the park, maybe in the office (if someone's feeling particularly bold that day). On everyone from high school girls to supermodels, music-festival-goers and downtown cool girls (and boys), from New York City to Kansas City. They are the most democratic of all warm-weather fashion statements. Denim cutoffs have become an American closet icon, the ultimate DIY, don't-care-but-secretly-do-care declaration of summer. They can be at turns grungy or gauche, sexy or silly. So-called jorts transcend trends and decades and can be sported by, well, anyone with scissors. Although we can't say for certain who the original genius with an old pair of jeans was, or on what sweltering hot summer day it occurred, the cutoff was born and we're thankful for all its eyebrow-raising, eyeball-rolling style. Here's a visual history of the famously fraying short shorts and the moments that make us most proud.