The Factory legacy #2 – long shorts

August 6, 2011

The second, and maybe most important legacy Factory left the world is shorts. Long shorts. On men. Look around – every summer every bugger wears knee length baggy shorts,usually khaki. Rewind thirty years and the only men seen wearing shorts outdoors were footballers, who sported ultra tight, ultra short ball huggers, and scout masters. Until a bunch of skinny white boys from Hulme stopped off at an army surplus shop before catching the train back to Manchester.

Their next live shows saw them ditch the long macs for a British 8th Army look – with whistles.  The long shorts slowly caught on with art students and trendies (to much ridicule). Then ever so slowly, long shorts crept into high street chains like Next and Top Shop. Until everyone was wearing them. They still are.  All thanks to some obscure northern funksters.

I could go on about how Simon Topping single handedly changed British men’s haircuts, but that’s another story. The whistles,though, never caught on – shame that.


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