THE BOULEVARDIER: Leg up

 

This spring 2010 Philip Sparks look provides sartorial inspiration. Story by Marq Frerichs.

I’ve known the time was coming for a couple of weeks now. I’ve even gone out and bought myself some. Didn’t do it last year, I thought I could get away with it. I was wrong. I mean really, we all have to do it at some point, what with the weather and all.

Yes, you know what I’m talking about: Shorts.

Short pants, Bermudas, knickerbockers, cut-offs, whatever you might call them. They come in all shapes and sizes, drawstring, belted, Velcro, snapped and elastic, high waisted, low-rise, cuffed and frayed. You wore them as a kid and laughed at your granddaddies – they’re as much a part of spring as fireworks on Victoria Day weekend.

(Oh, we don’t do that anymore, thanks again to our politicians. Now its “May 2-4″, another reason to drink and go to the mall.)

There was a time when I lived for shorts. The Beastie Boys had just come out with Licensed to Ill, and Queen Street cool could only be found at the Rivoli and the Cameron House. I strapped on my Walkman and laced up my silver roller-skates. At 6’2”, I was all legs, cross cutting and spinning. I was roller boy without the porn.

Needless to say it has been a few years and vanity has its ugly claws into me. Not that I don’t think my legs are not displayable but I keep hearing the old adage that gentlemen don’t wear short pants. Period.

So here’s my take on shorts this year: Don’t make the shorts the central focus of your look. Build around them, balance them. Try to wear the right pair for the moment not just ‘cause. That’s a not so subtle word to those of you at college and university: frat boy isn’t a good look.

I know we’re going to see a return of the ’70s gym short - you know the ones with the stripe up the side, which if you must, wear them with a polo shirt, knee-high tube socks and a head band. I know a bartender who sports this and I so respect the commitment. From the runways, it’s all about the tailored Bermuda. With a crisp short-sleeved shirt, slouchy sock and oxfords, you could even sport this to your office.

As for the cut-off, I’m hoping for a return to the original, cut an inch or two below the pocket with lots of fray, worn with beat-up parade boots. Not the rolled above the knee, worn with Keds look of last summer. I don’t know about you but for me jeans should either be long or short.

As for my two new pairs, I’ll sport them on the golf course and most likely pull out my sarong. You’ll see my legs but not how white they are.

Below, John McEnroe rocking a pair of very short shorts.

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