When the Times' Grant Stoddard saw short-shorts on the spring menswear runways last June, he was overjoyed. A self-proclaimed "shorts traditionalist," he supports "a common-sense inseam" that allows for upper-leg airflow rather than flapping awkwardly around one's shin. But personal comfort aside, how well do a man's bare thighs go over in public? Men may be open to grooming their eyebrows and borrowing their girlfriend's jeans these days, but are they really ready to let their quadriceps breathe in front of total strangers?
Stoddard was curious about this, too, and took a pair of pinkish ("terra cotta") Yves Saint Laurent shorts out for a spin in L.A. this past week to see for himself. The results were mixed: "A couple of motorists cared enough to slow down and holler, 'Nice shorts!' with seeming sincerity, though the guy who yelled 'Sexy legs!' didn’t sound all that convincing." When he moved to Rodeo Drive, however, things started looking up.
I’d barely stepped out of the car when Rodeo Drive’s overzealous, overdressed ‘‘walking concierge’’ incorporated me into his standard patter as an open-air sightseeing bus rolled by. ‘‘You want to see stars, ladies and gentlemen,’’ he said, pointing at my bare legs. ‘‘Here comes one now!’’ Several tourists stood to attention and captured my image, conferred among themselves about who I might be, then hastily deleted their snapshots.
But if that brush with stardom isn't impressive enough, this one should have you convinced:
A peroxide-addled pod of identical male triplets from Stockholm were intrigued enough to swagger over and make inquiries about my eccentric look. ‘‘Why are you wearing these little trousers?’’ asked one with a practiced Billy Idol sneer. ‘‘Oh, I’m just trying to revive shorter men’s shorts,’’ I said. ‘‘Do you like them?’’ The Scandinavian womb-mates shrugged in unison. ‘‘We made out with Lady Gaga in a music video,’’ said one, apropos of absolutely nothing.
There it is, gentlemen: the ultimate endorsement. Just don't forget to moisturize.