Bare thighs... considered somewhat relatively modest, and somewhat immodest at the same time. By definition bare thighs are not "modest", but in certain situations (ex: the pool, the beach, the gym, theme parks in the summer, anywhere super hot in general) bare thighs are perfectly appropriate, and more comfortable than anything else.
But bare thighs seem to be more acceptable for women than for men. Women's default shorts are thigh length, while men's default shorts are knee length. In slightly more formal but not super formal situations (parties and the such), women in mid-thigh length skirts and dresses are seen as perfectly appropriate, but men can only wear long pants and not shorts.
In general, people seem to think bare thighs on a man makes it look like "he forgot his pants." It's acceptable at the pool, but not much elsewhere.
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