We've all seen it. How could you not? Every time the mercury climbs past 68 degrees in San Francisco, Twitter oozes contempt along the lines of “San Francisco, put your shirt back on” and “I just retched into my Blue Bottle after seeing two man nipples,” the Dolores Park bathroom line becomes particularly unsightly, and Valencia glistens with paleness.
The shirtless trend is such that just the other day I saw a bare-bellied not-drug addict walking down Capp Street. It was 10:30 in the morning on a Tuesday. I hadn't even had my coffee yet.
I had always assumed the shirtlessness was a result of the trashed economy, but it turns out it's the dernier cri way to beat the heat.
Take the situation in New York City: poisoned by Californian ideals, America's capital of class and couture is now host to barfy semi-naked sights on the subway (weird, right?). The New York Times reports on the breakdown of society:
There, on Bastille Day, was a shirtless guy checking out the windows at Bergdorf Goodman; there, on Lafayette Street one Tuesday morning, ambled a shirtless shopper hauling Urban Outfitter bags; there, on the R train, was a rider wearing nothing but jeans and sandals; there, on Astor Place, a cluster of topless men flaunting their abs and pecs.
“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.”
Normally this would be the part where I laugh at the person bemoaning the loss of “decorum and occasion” and point out the unprecedented opportunity for mocking guys with angel wing tattoos. But despite my liberalism and YOLO or whatever, I cannot help but agree: San Francisco, put your shirt back on.