1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan,
wearing sporty red Bermudas did the world
really sit up and take notice. Broadcasters
and millions of viewers thought that Patrick
looked fantastic! The International Olympic
Committee asked for the shorts to be given
to the Olympic Museum where they are still
on display. This fashionable event even made
it to US national syndicated TV as a question
on the hit television game show Jeopardy!
Modern media had made the Bermuda short
a household name once again. Patrick did it
again in 2002 and 2006, as did subsequent
Bermudian winter Olympian Tucker Murphy
in 2010 and 2014.
International acclaim and the recognition
of this on a European fashion runway started
a renewed interest in the Bermuda short
around 2012, primarily in the ladies’ market.
Positive trend reports from the fashion intel-
ligentsia and media made it official. Men’s
clothing manufacturers recently retooled
their short offerings, offering longer, more
tapered models in various brightly coloured
fabrics, reminiscent of our traditional short.
You might want to use the familiar expres-
sion “what is old is new again” but today
there is a difference. Nobody has recognised
this better that Rebecca Hanson, founder
and designer of TABS (an acronym for The
Authentic Bermuda Short). Rebecca has put
a modern twist on her shorts, offering a very
high-quality short in fantastic bright colours.
Her cotton twill shorts have a slightly more
casual look than a traditional dress short due
to the fabric, but that’s part of the fun and
also is what gives them versatility. They are
designed to take you from the golf course to
the board room. Each TABS short features a
Bermuda Triangle motif (the other icon!) and
a triangular belt loop. Hanson told the Royal
Gazette earlier this year: “The triangle runs
throughout. There’s a whole lot of Bermuda
inside every pair.”
Man is the “bricks and mortar” supplier of
this short and I can tell you that the reac-
tion has been unprecedented. Demand has
outstripped supply to the point where there
was a shortage of sizes and colours for a short
period this summer as Rebecca scrambled
to have more of her shorts made. Without
knowing it, Rebecca has created another
quintessential Bermudian brand that could be
as strong as Goslings Black Seal Rum, Outer-
bridge’s Sherry Pepper Sauce or Lili Bermuda
perfumes. Bill Hanbury, head of the Bermuda
Tourism Authority, sports bright, beautiful
TABS shorts almost daily. If that isn’t the seal
of approval I don’t know what is.
The Bermuda short is alive and well in
2014 and the future looks bright. The glory
days may be upon us again!
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