Celebrities Wearing Shorts in the ’80s: The Photos

Shorts can be a divisive topic. Some people wear them from the moment the temperature climbs above 50 until the first snow. Others wouldn’t be caught dead in shorts, even when the mercury climbs into the hundreds. In the ’80s, celebs embraced shorts—mostly short shorts. Here are some of the finest looks. (The list includes a couple looks from the ’90s because we just had to include them.) And if you’re looking for a guide on how to wear shorts now, We have you covered.

Harrison Ford, 1982

Where can we get Ford’s all-blue outfit—and Adidas sneakers—that he wore in Cannes, France? The actor clearly mastered the summer off-duty look as he traipsed around the South of France.

Eddie Murphy, 1983

How to dress for the summer heat in 1983: Throw on a pair of short Adidas shorts, lose the shirt, add matching painter’s cap. Murphy pulls it off with ease.

Prince William, 1985

Prince William was a prolific shorts wearer in the ’80s. Here’s the young royal strutting around the grounds of Kensington Palace.

AC/DC, 1982

The members of AC/DC skipped their schoolboy outfits as they hit the beaches of Brazil.

Elton John, 1984

Elton John took his shorts game very seriously. The singer even wore these beauties on his wedding day (after the ceremony, of course).

JFK Jr., 1980

A young John Kennedy Jr. smolders on the beach in Hyannis, Mass. It’s important to note that the young Kennedy was also wearing a shell necklace, for which we give him a 10/10.

Michelle Pfeifer, 1980

Pfeifer slipped into a pair of Daisy Duke jean shorts as she posed on the set of the TV show Bad Cats.

Alec Baldwin, 1992

Baldwin at a charity softball game in the Hamptons is every dad—then, now, and forever—playing softball in the middle of the summer. No matter who won the game, this look is a home run from us.

Dick Cavett, 1984

Television host Dick Cavett takes his short-shorts out for a jog in the Hamptons.

Tom Cruise, 1987

This is impressive. Cruise (with his then wife, Mimi Rogers) makes pleated shorts look stylish. Also, cool Nike shirt.

Debbie Harry, 1982

Blondie’s Debbie Harry makes jean shorts look very downtown chic. The singer styled her cut-offs with an usual choice of footwear, thigh high leather boots.

David Letterman, 1984

Sweatpants under shorts were definitely a thing in the ’80s, as Letterman demonstrates. Granted, we have no idea how this trend came about—or why?

Tom Selleck, 1981

Technically a speedo, but Selleck was the Summer King of the ’80s. As always, his ‘stache game is strong as well.

Goldie Hawn, 1992

Goldie Hawn is timeless. Wearing jean shorts and a striped t-shirt, the actress casually reads her morning paper.

Mr. T, 1984

Look: Mr. T can wear whatever the hell he wants—including cut-off carpenter jeans—while reading his own autobiography, Mr. T.

Ted Danson, 1983

Danson, in an episode of Cheers, shows off how to wear shorts as underpants while making a memorable (and borderline creepy) entrance.

Kenny G, 1987

The singer sets up shop on a street in New York City with nothing but his saxophone and a pair of red hot short-shorts.

Rod Stewart, 1986

With outfits like this—a vest and shorts—it’s easy to forget Rod Stewart was one of the coolest people alive in the ’60s and ’70s. Thankfully, the singer’s outfit is hidden as he squats down to showcase his car.

Stewart Copeland, 1981

Copeland, the drummer for The Police, is too cool for pants or sleeves. Enough said.

Andre Agassi, 1991

It’s easy to forget that Agassi was a bad-boy in the ’80s and early ’90s. He had a mullet; he wore spandex. Canon even named a camera after him: the Rebel. What a stud.

Demi Moore, 1989

Bicycle shorts, but make it fashion. In 1989, Demi Moore decided to wear the ’80s trend to the Academy Awards.

Elton John, 1981

If you ever wondered what Elton John wore on vacation, this is it. The singer was still clearly on island time as he traveled to London from Antigua wearing white shorts, a blazer, and a straw hat, naturally.

Madonna, 1988

Madonna opted for a pair of denim Bermuda shorts as she left the theater during her performance in Broadway’s Speed-the-Plow. The outfit was considerably toned down for the singer.

Stephanie Seymour, 1987

Stephanie Seymour just causally rocking bike shorts during a magazine photoshoot. The model was at her peak fame in the late ’80s.

Boyz II Men, 1988

Boyz II Men took the stage for one of their concerts wearing matching white tuxedo jackets and black knee high shorts.

Brooke Shields, 1983

Brooke Shields wears white jean shorts and a matching safari shirt as she poses among farm animals for her TV movie, Animals are the Funniest People, as one does.

Tina Turner, 1984

Tina Turner took black, high waisted shorts and turned them up a notch with a belt and fishnet stockings.

Prince Harry, 1987

Prince Harry followed in the footsteps of his brother and sported his own pair of baggy shorts on his way to nursery school in 1987. Please note his Thomas the Tank Engine backpack.

Julia Roberts, 1988

Julia Roberts poses for a photoshoot in a pair of pinstripe dress shorts and a matching oversized blazer. Her older brother, Eric Roberts, is seen on the right, but he didn’t get the shorts memo.

Carl Lewis, 1984

Carl Lewis throws his hands up in victory as he crosses the finish line and wins a gold medal in the men’s 100m sprint. The athlete wore a tank top and thigh-grazing athletic shorts for his big win.

Jerry Hall, 1980

Jerry Hall walks the runway in a pair of high waisted shorts in 1980. The model was dressed in a Boy Scouts-inspired outfit for an Oscar de la Renta fashion show.

Keanu Reeves, 1989

There’s so much to say about this portrait of Keanu Reeves, but we’ll stick to his outfit. Although they’re hard to see, Reeves wore boxy jean shorts and a crewcut sweatshirt for this rather perplexing photoshoot.

Catherine Bach, 1982

Catherine Bach rose to fame playing Daisy Duke in the 1988 TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. Her acting was eclipsed by her jean shorts, which became known as Daisy Dukes.

Andre Agassi, 1988

As mentioned, tennis star Andre Agassi was known for his laid-back tournament wear in the ’80s. Here, he wore a pair of acid wash jean shorts with his tennis whites at the U.S. Open.

Jamie Lee Curtis, 1988

Jamie Lee Curtis poses in a pair of turquoise athletic shirts and a white tank top. The actress, who rose to fame in the horror film Halloween, had just starred in A Fish Called Wanda.

Scott Baio, 1981

Scott Baio reached the height of his fame in the ’80s. Here, he’s wearing some of the shortest shorts we’ve ever seen during an episode of Battle of the Network Stars in 1981.

Cheryl Tiegs, 1989

Model Cheryl Tiegs puts on a pair of billowing shorts as she hits the trails. Tiegs rose to fame as a ’70s supermodel.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1988

Arnie showed off his Mr. Universe muscles in a tight t-shirt and bright tropical shorts. At this time, the Austrian-born bodybuilder had already transitioned into acting.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen, 1989

Tiffani Amber Thiessen wears red bicycle shorts, while filming Saved By the Bell. Thiessen played the show’s leading lady, Kelly Kapowski.

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