Rant: Why No Shirt?

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - 300 Block of 14 Street NW


Fair warning fashion friends: I’m about to go off. It’s been a long time coming. Since I was a little girl I asked my mother what will I be? Silly Sarah, that’s a song. While I did sing that song with my mom, that is not this post’s point. Here’s the rub: what’s with the not so random no-shirt-in-public dude?

Once our city climbs above twenty degrees, something happens to some guys. While I am no huge advocate for fan fiction, there’s no other way for me to understand what these fellas are thinking. I’ll take a stab at it.

Calgary. Lovely morning with a blue sky. It’s about 20 degrees Celsius and climbing. Sun is shining down.

Matt is on his walk from the c-train to work at his office job just outside the downtown core. While looking around he thinks to himself, “Today is going to be a warm one. Getting home should be a toasty trip.”

Now a bunch of inconsequential stuff happens. Basically he works all day. Note: shirt stays on for entirety of his work day.

Fast forward to post work. As he lives in an inner city community Matt decides to walk home today and not take the c-train.

To himself, “Wow. It’s hot. Like really hot. Maybe this walk along the river path wasn’t a good idea. Nah, it feels good to move. ”

After ten minutes, Matt is even warmer. By now he’s already undone his dress shirt at the top and scrunched up both sleeves. He’s mildly frustrated.

“You know what, let’s just take the shirt off. OFF.”

As he unbuttons his shirt he decided not to stop at his dress shirt, the undershirt is coming off too. He is naked from the waist up.

Matt walks home, happy as a pig in shit, while innocent passerby see Matt in a very casual personal take of his business casual dress code.

You’ve seen Matt, right? Or another fellow just like Matt. It’s common. But I ask, why is this happening? How is it acceptable for a dude to just whip off his shirt on a walk home? Could you imagine if a woman, in say a knee length shirt and blouse, decided to take off her blouse mid walk? That's just a shirt. Imagine if she took her bra off too - like Matt and his undershirt. She would be slut shamed all over the evening news!

Why no shirt Matt? Surely you can get home, put your sweaty clothes in the laundry, and save the rest of us that unnecessary sight.

I’ve tried not to judge. I’ve tried to hype it up in my mind. I yell to myself, “Get behind shirts off in public places, beyaaaaaah!”

Who am I trying to kid? As a self identified near nevernude my heart sings a different tune. I can’t seem to get past it. If nothing else, it’s unfair. Females cannot participate in the same cool down move. Remember that #FreeTheNipple movement? Me too. Even if women could freely, without shame or inciting blame for accidents, I wouldn’t want to see that either. I want everyone to wear his or her (or their) clothes on the commute to and from work.

Doesn’t seem like an impossibly tall order? Playing the other side, shall I entertain the possibility that I’m the one being unreasonable? No way, Matt.

I say if you need to take your shirt off, do it in a more appropriate place. Go to a beach, a foam party, or a pool. City sidewalks are not the ideal place for nudity. For me, clothes are not optional.

If water or sunshine is not your thing, perhaps consider a career change to wrestling or become an underwear model. Those are okay options that suit your predisposition for no shirt = no problem. Release your inner Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright?

But corporate Calgary dude, Matt, buddy, BRO: keep your shirt on.