One summer afternoon at the end of the 20th century, I took my college girlfriend to meet my grandparents.
"She's lovely," my grandmother said when Beth left the room.
Grandpop said, "Where's the other half of her skirt?"
I majored in bong hits and frat-boy tattoos (the "Sigma Chi" on my ankle has since morphed into a lion I wish didn't look like Jerry Garcia) not fashion, but the hem of Beth's "mini" skirt, which hit just above her knee, didn't seem short to me.
For my grandparents, she might as well have been wearing a garter belt. Grandmom was aghast. They seemed like such prudes.
Now, I'm the prude.
From Downtown to Uptown and South Bay to North County, bitches be goin' craycray. Sorry to let my inner Kanye and the "B" word slip (Mom used to wear slips), but lady-folk seem to have lost their mother-lovin' minds when it comes to skirt lengths. I know, I know, I sound like a grandpa: I remember, back in the '90s, when a skirt would cover a women's entire tuchas. Butt... I mean "but," more than ever, women's backsides are top of mind because they're actually on display in public.
Looks that used to make sense for go-go girls have become de rigeur for professional women on the go. Perhaps the revelation of flesh is due to the glute, make that glut, of fitness fanatics. Crossfit, yoga and veganism are giving people sexier bodies, and the trend is to show them off.
Even guys' shorts are getting shorter. I wonder how high can I cut my jorts without people being able to tell I'm Jewish.
The real issue, I'll admit, is that I'm lost when it comes to fashion. I buy t-shirts at Target, shoes at DSW and jeans at Off Fifth. I'm so behind, I'm wearing last year's clothes... right off the (Nordstrom) rack.
My beautiful and stylin' wife has offered help; it's past time for me to accept.
But no matter what I'm wearing, I don't have the guts (or my girlish figure from college) to show that much skin while walking down the street. I certainly don't have the confidence of Caitlyn Jenner, who would attest - it takes balls to undress for success.
While I try to man up at the new John Varvatos store at Fashion Valley, please enjoy this fashion-forward issue of PacificSD. And take my advice: when it comes to fashion, don't take my advice - I was born when short skirts were long.
David Perloff, Editor-in-Chief