Dolphin Shorts: Then and Now

by MasterDayton

Heard about the latest craze of dolphin shorts? Well these are actually a comeback of the old early 1980 style of athletic shorts.

The New Dolphin Shorts

Yeah, they're making a comeback!

Dolphin shorts are enjoying a major resurgence in popularity, which started in small gym circles around 2006 to 2007.  These shorts are known for being particularly short, and were even advertised when they first came out as allowing women to "show every inch of leg."  The original design came out in 1979 and was extremely popular for gym shorts and swimming.  They are almost always one solid color, and the modern versions are just like the original in that well over a dozen solid colors are available for each design.

Many Dolphin shorts feature draw strings on the front and some designs have a bright white trim around the edges that contrast nicely with whatever bulk color the actual short Dolphin shorts themselves are.  These shorts were extremely popular in 1979 and 1980 and even became very commonly used as part of a track uniform for both men and women because of the freedom of motion they allowed to the legs.  The most recent comeback may have started five years ago, but 2011 is seeing them really jump from local pockets to general fashion scene once again.

There's no reason you can't look good while working out!

Get the Newest Dolphin Shorts from Amazon!

Old school style in a new fashion trend
Dolphin Shorts with Drawstring

These trendy and cute shorts are available in a variety of colors. 100% cotton, low waist with drawstring, running a bit small and short. Junior sizes only. Group orders of 6 ...

Only $23.72
YogaColors Interlock Running Short Shorts 7301

A sexy, modern take on the classic 70's running shorts. Wear with high socks or to the beach with a bikini top.

MJ Soffe Juniors Beach Volleyball Short, Red, Medium

The soffe beach volleyball short is perfect for those that don't want a baggy mesh short for casual activities and great as a beach cover up

$9.99  $9.73
Raw Edge Shorts in French Terry

Raw edge shorts in french terry with drawstring at waist, fits low on waist.

Fast Facts About Dolphin Shorts

How much do you know about the always popular Dolphin outdoor shorts!

While many people think that Dolphin shorts are a relatively new fashion fad, they've actually been around longer than many of the people now wearing them at the gym!  What is more unusual is that this style of shorts had all but disappeared for over twenty years before making an unexpected comeback.  Here are a few quick facts about the new Dolphin shorts that you might find interesting:

  1. No one knows why they're called Dolphin shorts.  Two main stories exist: one says because the style was encouraged by the Dolfin Company and their swimwear, the other because the tapered sides created sort of a "dolphin fishtail" appearance from the right angle.
  2. Richard Simmons was one of the major reasons these shorts originally caught on and became very popular.
  3. Dolphin shorts are made for men and women and caught on big time as athletic shorts.
  4. Most are made from 100% cotton.

Dolfin Shorts or Dolphin Shorts?

A brief history timeline of these hot workout shorts

There is some discussion about the history of Dolphin Shorts, also sometimes referred to as Dolfin Shorts, that not everyone agrees upon.  Because of these uncertainties this is not mean to be a fully comprehensive list but simply a general timeline of how they came about as a major style the first time - and then how they came back into the picture yet again several decades later.

1970's: Precursor to the first specific Dolphin shorts design put out by the Dolfin company.  This company specialized in sportswear.

1979-1980: The first actual design of Dolphin shorts was released in California and caught on rapidly, soon appearing as a normal staple of high school and college sports.

1982: Many knock offs flooded the market, going away from the simple design of regular Dolphin shorts by introducing a variety of multi-colored designs.

1983-1984: The style started to fade on the national stage, but many high schools and colleges adopted them as a natural part of high school uniforms.

1985: By this time the Dolphin Shorts were all but done as many high schools passed dress codes not allowing them.  This pretty much guaranteed that these shorts would be going out the door.

2006-present day: The shorts made a comeback in limited gym circles and have since exploded in popularity once again in the mainstream - especially around 2010 and on.

More Classy Retro Dolphin Shorts

Little known fact: originally called Dolfin Shorts in the 1979-1980 times
Grey Ant - Women's Dolphin Shorts (Black)

Model is wearing size 2

Vigoss Girls 7-16 Love Notes Dolphin Short, Blue Grease, 7

FULL TILT Girls Dolphin Shorts

Full Tilt knit shorts. Drawstring waist. Curved front pockets. Approx rise: 7"(18cm). Approx inseam: 2"(5cm). 60% cotton/40% polyester. Machine wash. Imported.


Find Cheap Dolphin Shorts on eBay!

Always a good place to find a deal on the most popular short shorts!
Updated: 01/17/2012, MasterDayton
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