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NYT: Men Now Going Shirtless in New York City

The NYT makes note of a new trend - shirtless men in New York City:

Shirtless“I was on my way to the bank and I saw not one, not two, but three guys” walking shirtless across Eighth Street, said Rob Morea, a personal trainer and an owner of Great Jones Fitness in NoHo. As might be expected of someone in his line of work, Mr. Morea’s own physique resembles that of a bendable action figure. Despite that, he would never go shirtless in New York, he said. “It doesn’t feel right. It’s like going to a business meeting in your underwear.”

It is all a predictable part of the dressing-down of America, said Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

“It’s great we live in a democratic society, but we’ve lost all sense of decorum and occasion,” Ms. Mears said. “To be on Fifth Avenue is now about the same as being on the Coney Island boardwalk.”

To display your unclad torso on Fifth Avenue is also, she added, to give proof of the proposition that in the evolutionary arc of masculinity, men are no longer the oglers; they are the object of the gaze.

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  1. thank god!

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 2, 2013 11:36:05 AM

  2. If you got it, flaunt it. And flaunt it WHILE you got it.

    A beautiful male torso trumps and transcends faux-couture anytime, every time.

    Posted by: Six Pack | Aug 2, 2013 11:57:22 AM

  3. Lighten up, lady! And since when is 5th Avenue an occasion to dress up?! It's all tourists with fanny packs and maps!

    Posted by: brian | Aug 2, 2013 12:08:16 PM

  4. I guess these folks don't get out much. Take a walk in the Village or in Chelsea or in Hells Kitchen. Gay men have been doing this for years. Perhaps it's only news because allegedly straight men are doing it. Should any guy do it? Well, I would never be one to complain and I must say it does make for some wonderful city sights. Unless when I'm driving my car. Then, it could get, um, a little distracting, you know, sort of like texting.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Aug 2, 2013 12:18:54 PM

  5. As much as I like to look at hot guys, I don't think it's appropriate to be wandering around shirtless unless you are at the beach, or some other environment where it's expected (Pool\back yard\etc). That's not to say I'm not going to look at them when I see them. But it just seems inappropriate to me. Either way, it doesn't particularly matter what I think. People will do what they do. It's the way of the world.

    Posted by: Jimi | Aug 2, 2013 12:22:15 PM

  6. When did freakin' NEW YORK become so damn uptight?

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Aug 2, 2013 12:24:03 PM

  7. MS. Mears: Men have always been the object of my gaze. It reminds me of those HOT pics of JFK Jr. and Kellan Luts jogging around NYC sweaty and, thank the gods, shirtless.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 2, 2013 12:25:40 PM

  8. heaven help the poor writer should they ever venture into Brooklyn....

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Aug 2, 2013 12:29:25 PM

  9. At the age of 52, there seems to be a clear and present generational gap. Ms. Mears needs to get off her haughty horse. I think there may have been ladies on the NYC streets showing some knee too. What shall we do!

    Posted by: Chris | Aug 2, 2013 12:42:59 PM

  10. @ Six Pack


    Posted by: Anthony | Aug 2, 2013 12:57:18 PM

  11. Thank you, New York Times, for this valuable journalistic information.

    Posted by: Distingue Traces | Aug 2, 2013 12:59:43 PM

  12. This is funny. I've been going shirtless in the city, but only because its f'cking HOT.

    Posted by: Munro | Aug 2, 2013 1:01:06 PM

  13. I've lived in both L.A. and New York, and I've got to say I would likely find it a little jarring to see bare-chested guys in (many parts of) Manhattan. Probably just because I don't associate that with my former ultra-urban environment, and have come to associate it with my always-sunny beach environment.

    Even here in L.A., rampant shirtlessness is only typical in the beach towns, and you rarely see shirtless guys even in my own ultra-gay neighborhood of WeHo.

    That all said, Manhattan is a place to mix hundreds of fantastic styles - and there's nothing wrong with shirtless being one of them!

    Posted by: Zlick | Aug 2, 2013 1:06:47 PM

  14. I agree with Jimi... Unless there's sand or water nearby, or you're at home, walking around topless - whether you're male or female - strikes me as pretty low-class.

    And I think Mears' remark about the "dressing down of America" is spot-on. Anyone who's been to Europe or the more developed parts of Asia will immediately notice that people in those areas tend to look a lot better than most Americans. New York is sort of an outlier when it comes to fashion, but people in many other parts of the country have no qualms about going out in sweatpants and a cut-off T-shirt.

    Posted by: AJD | Aug 2, 2013 1:08:08 PM

  15. I admit I'm uncomfortable with men walking shirtless on the street. Of course, doing it in Chelsea (which is a giant cruise bar anyway) is a lot different from Fifth Avenue in Midtown. For myself, the first years I lived in NYC I definitely dressed differently for that part of Fifth Ave (I didnt' even like to wear jeans uptown) than I did in my neighborhood (I've always lived in the Soho/LES/East Village area). Kinda old fashioned, I know--maybe a relic of my coming from the South. I certainly would not have gone shopping in Sak's or Bloomie's in shorts. It's kinda weird, tho--cuz I"m a cyclist, and on the bike have always worn decidedly alternative/informal costume. And Im serious about working out, so my body's not anything to be ashamed of. But I still have that sensibility...And I like that there are places one can go for which one, well, dresses.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 2, 2013 1:20:12 PM

  16. Yo, Vinny, put a shirt on! Whaddaya tink dis is, Joisey?

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 2, 2013 2:14:33 PM

  17. Wow so many people are uptight. If you're inside it's one thing, but summer outside hot as balls sweating your ass off it's not appropriate to go shirtless?? Give me a break. If you got if, flaunt it. If you don't got it, go to a gym.

    Posted by: Not that Rob | Aug 2, 2013 2:20:35 PM

  18. Yes they are men's bodies, but not sexy bodies. New York takes what it can get. They do it for gay admiration, where showing any skin is enough.

    Posted by: Josh | Aug 2, 2013 2:24:05 PM

  19. living in venice, ca, where guys are shirtless even in 60s temp summer gloom, i applaud this message

    Posted by: gomez | Aug 2, 2013 2:43:16 PM

  20. @josh. strange comment you got there

    Posted by: gomez | Aug 2, 2013 2:45:59 PM

  21. LEAVE JOSH ALONE!!! I've spent 20 minutes trying to figure out what he's trying to say. It's exercise for the mind.

    When I figure out his comment here then I'll go on to figure out the one he made about Ellen hosting the Oscars.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 2, 2013 2:51:46 PM

  22. I approve this trend.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Aug 2, 2013 2:52:43 PM

  23. Then just wait till an overweight person with a hairy back does it and gets yelled at.

    A vain lot above.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 2, 2013 2:59:48 PM

  24. Dear Andy

    Love your site . Jeff and John

    Posted by: Jeff and John | Aug 2, 2013 3:04:36 PM

  25. Ah, more body language! They're just saying "I'm HOT!"

    It is August you know.

    Posted by: Sigmund Freud, on call | Aug 2, 2013 3:13:39 PM

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