October 13, 2010

Pantsless and Perfect: Why Going Out With Less Is Cool

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I love clothes. Nothing makes me feel better after a tough day than wearing some tight ripped-up jeans and the most ridiculous, yet classy plaid shirt from my clothing repertoire.  But for someone so overly obsessed with what to wear, I love to be naked.  If it was socially acceptable (or even legal), I’d never put on anything more than a pair of boxers.  Fortunately for everyone, I’m prevented from displaying my whiter-than-snow body to the world.  But that doesn’t mean a man (or man-child in my case) can’t incorporate a solid amount of skin into his dressing line-up.  Now I’m not talking about wife beaters or sleeveless shirts; unless you’re Italian and hanging anywhere that rhymes with Shmersey Shmore you can’t pull that one off.  But there are plenty of classy ways to show off your beautiful man body that afford fashion elegance, while demonstrating to the ladies that you just do not give a damn.

Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, it was unspeakable to go out on a Saturday night wearing anything less than some fresh pants, some nice kicks and a crisp button-down.  But I’m saying it right now: the rules have changed my people, it is time to spice things up.  One of my all time favorite fashion game-changers is the unzipped hoodie with nothing underneath.  It may seem creepy and you will get plenty of smack from your friends, but I swear the look is golden.  Recently, my friends and I held a party to which I wore this avant-garde attire.  At first, my guy friends were appalled.  “You look absurd” they said, “You’re going to scare away the girls” they said, “Your white chest is blinding my eyes” they said.  Twenty-five minutes in, that all had changed.  I kid you not, I would actually walk into a room and before I knew it I would be surrounded by three or four girls (freshmen of course, but still).  I have less than nothing to show off, but girls I had never even seen before kept coming up and touching my stomach.  It was enough to make that smug bastard Rod Sterling, host of The Twilight Zone, speechless.   Needless to say, at our next party I was not the only guy rocking the shirtless hoodie.

If you really want to stir things up, another personal favorite is decking out with a nice shirt, maybe a jacket, and nothing on your legs except some sweet boxers.  As long as they’re not too revealing and you can keep your flap closed, it’s gusty but the slickest of moves.  Not only does it offer natural freedom, but if you can pull it off with confidence and not think about the fact that you’re not actually wearing pants it is an extreme amount of fun.  In fact, it’s not even that rare.  If you go down to the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn or the Village on a Saturday morning, you will see guys getting their coffee and going for a stroll looking really neat and clean and doing it all unrestrained by the tyranny of pants.  If Biz Markie can go on a date with a girl and then start awkwardly dancing with just a t-shirt and bright boxers decorated with hearts (check out the video for “Just a Friend” if you’re confused) , then anyone can safely refrain from the pants obsession.

It simply comes down to confidence.  If you think you look cool wearing something and you show that you are not self-conscious about showing some skin people will respond positively.  Additionally, every one knows that sticking out in a party is the key to getting noticed by girls and swimming full stroke against the endless tides of completely clothed individuals obviously accomplishes this.  In his now legendary pick-up artist handbook, The Game, Neil Strauss coined the popular term “peacock theory”, the idea that it is incredibly important to always stand out in a flashy and colorful way in order to attract females.  I’m not about to start defending The Game, there are a lot of really weird things in that true bible of the hopeless, but Neil definitely got this correct.  Not wearing an expected piece of clothing causes girls to simply look at you and provides conversation starters for even the most shy of boys-on-the-prowl.  It also affords the added benefit of providing the opportunity to have hilarious reconstructed answers as to why you are half naked.  Maybe your mink pants were stolen by PETA terrorists, maybe you offered your shirt to a naked Ethiopian child, the possibilities are absolutely without end.

It may be necessary for me to note once again that this is not about showing off your body.  If that rule applied, I would be obligated to dress in a minimum of four layers at all times. Maybe it’s just because I’m an envious skinny kid, but I think it is the epitome of obnoxiousness when guys with bulging muscles take off their shirts “spontaneously”, with the obvious intent of allowing free screenings of the gun show.  That is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about doing your own thing, dressing how you want to dress, making the traditional guys scratch their heads and saying to hell with what other people think.  Not wearing clothes is fun and I pity the fool who has not made the attempt in a real social situation.  Take the infamous “Cornell Gangster” who recently recorded himself running around campus completely nude as part of the Ivy Man charity event.  That guy looked like he was having an incredible time and I’m sure he’s just rolling in the ladies.  All it takes is a little more confidence and a little less fabric.  Now, without being coy you must excuse me, I need get undressed for the night

Original Author: Noah Plaue