They are called "shorts" because they are a shortened version of trousers , which cover the entire leg, but not the foot. Shorts are typically worn in warm weather or in an environment where comfort and air flow are more important than the protection of the legs. There are a variety of shorts, ranging from knee-length short trousers that can in some situations be worn as formal clothes to beachwear and athletic shorts. Some types of shorts are typically worn by women, such as culottes , which are a divided skirt resembling a pair of loose-cut shorts. In British English the term "short trousers" has been used, but only for shorts that are a short version of real [ clarification needed ] trousers pants , e.