A sartorial guide to the No Pants Subway Ride

Thinking of joining the annual stunt, or planning to take the train on Sunday afternoon? Here are some of the bare-legged passengers you may meet

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Each year, hundreds of New Yorkers drop trou on public transit in the name of good-humored silliness. This writer can vouch for how fun it is to take part in the prank, but if you've innocently shared a train car with a straight-faced participant, you know firsthand how hard it is to keep a smile off your mug.


Curious? The 2014 No Pants Subway Ride takes place this January 12 at 3pm, and you can find out about the various starting locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens on improveverywhere.com. Before you set out, here’s contributor Geraldine Campbell's guide to the goosefleshed fellow riders you could be disrobing next to, or playing trouserless minigolf with at the Greenwich Village Country Club after-party.


  • The Brooklynite

    Usually displaying borough allegiance on the head or chest, this pantless participant can’t resist the chance to show his or her Kings County pride on an even more prominent body part—and you can’t resist looking. Don’t even think about approaching unless you live in Brooklyn too.
    Chance of media attention: High

  • The Chelsea Boy

    A green-juice devotee, this gym rat spends the warmer months showing off his perfect biceps and six-pack abs. Is it any wonder he wants you to know his lower half is equally chiseled? His snug-fitting briefs leave little to the imagination and are only slightly skimpier than his summertime short-shorts.
    Chance of media attention: Medium

  • The Urban Lumberjack

    This Williamsburg resident is out to prove waffle knits aren’t just for layering underneath buffalo plaids. He’s also savvy enough to realize that the untrousered look isn’t a good one for his typically skinny-jeans–clad legs.
    Chance of media attention: Low

  • The Exhibitionist

    Thongs are technically verboten for No Pants riders, but this flaunter won’t let an indecent-exposure rule get in the way of showing off her yoga-toned rear, and has come up with this cheeky solution.
    Chance of media attention: High

  • The Slacker

    This rider’s friends have had their carefully selected drawers laid out for days, but this first-timer completely blanked—and then didn’t want to seem like a spoilsport. Unfortunately it’s laundry day, and these shabby tighty-whities have seen better days.
    Chance of media attention: Low

  • The E-gal-itarian

    This Lean In–toting gal reveals her League of Ladies (theleagueofladies.tumblr.com) underwear with pride. The empowering boyshorts are printed with images of Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie and other notable dames. What she’s listening to on her iPod: “I’m Every Woman” and “Run the World (Girls).”
    Chance of media attention: Medium

  • The Wall Street Exec

    This guy’s hero is Gordon Gekko; yes, that’s a copy of The Wolf of Wall Street in his Italian-leather briefcase and he’s fanatical about pinstripes from his double-breasted suit down to his weekday boxers. Today this power broker is out to prove that he’s not all starched button-downs and no fun, but woe betide anyone foolish enough to tag him on Instagram.
    Chance of media attention: Medium

The Brooklynite

Usually displaying borough allegiance on the head or chest, this pantless participant can’t resist the chance to show his or her Kings County pride on an even more prominent body part—and you can’t resist looking. Don’t even think about approaching unless you live in Brooklyn too.
Chance of media attention: High

The No Pants Subway Ride starts in various locations (improveverywhere.com). Sunday January 12 at 3pm; free.


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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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