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Former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin poses for a photo with University of Waterloo students celebrating No Pants Day.

Pantlessness (also called pantslessness or trouserlessness) is the state in which the lower body is exposed due to the lack of trousers.[1] Pantlessness that exposes genitalia is known as bottomlessness.[2] Rachel Wells of The Sydney Morning Herald declared pantlessness to be one of the fashion trends of 2010.[3]

Underwear as outerwear[edit]

Katrina Onstad of The Globe and Mail criticized the wearing panties as outerwear as being "pretty much about sex".

Pantlessness can accompanied by the wearing of underwear as outerwear in order to cover the genitals.[1] Wearing panties as outerwear was criticized by Katrina Onstad of The Globe and Mail, who argued that "not wearing pants is pretty much about sex."[1]


One event dedicated to underwear-as-outerwear pantlessness, known as No Pants Day, is a participatory annual event that has happened on the first Friday in May. Another is known as the No Pants Subway Ride, which is an annual January event in which transit passengers ride trains without wearing pants. This is organized by Improv Everywhere.[4]

No Pants Subway Ride[edit]

Main article: No Pants Subway Ride
Participants at the No Pants Subway Ride in January 2010

The first No Pants Subway Ride began with seven riders in 2002 in New York City. In 2006, 150 riders in New York City participated. During that event, eight were handcuffed for disorderly conduct, but the charges were later dismissed.[5] For 2013, sixty cities had coordinators.[6]

On 12 January, some people ride the New York City subway wearing no pants or skirts (i.e., underwear only).[7] This is the original Pantsless Subway Ride; in 2014 the 13th annual such day was celebrated.[8]

No Pants Day[edit]

Main article: No Pants Day

A small on-campus club at the University of Texas in Austin known as the Knighthood of Buh thought that dropping trou on the first Friday of May was a humorous stunt for the end of the semester. Informal for years, promotion efforts began in 2000. This day had the advantage of being warmer than the older Pantless Subway Ride Day of January. Pantsless Day has now spread to other cities and countries.[9] [10]The event attracted attention in other states and several parts of Canada as well as Sweden, Australia, Finland, and the United Kingdom.[4][11][12]


Pantlessness that exposes genitalia is known as bottomlessness.

Pantlessness that exposes genitalia is known as bottomlessness.[2] Many actors have appeared bottomless in films, including Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting, Bruce Willis in Color of Night, Ben Affleck in Gone Girl and Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves.[13] While public toplessness is legal in the American state of Maine, bottomlessness is prohibited and fined for a misdemeanor.[14]

Lady Gaga, despite her many costumes, avoids pants whenever possible. However, she does wear panties of some sort in public.

Many cartoon characters, like Donald Duck and Winnie-the-Pooh, wear shirts of some sort but no pants.


  1. ^ a b c Katrina Onstad (11 June 2011). "The long and the shorts of summer humiliation". The Globe and Mail. p. L14. 
  2. ^ a b "Bottomless". Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Happy new gear". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 January 2010. p. 21. 
  4. ^ a b "Pants? Who needs pants!". Regina Leader Post. 5 May 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2013. Celebrations have since spread across the U.S., Sweden, Australia, Finland, the United Kingdom and even Iraq. In Canada, pants-free festivities are known to have been held in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. 
  5. ^ "No Pants Subway Ride returns to Number 6 train". New York Public Radio. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2013. A judge later threw out the disorderly conduct charges, noting that it's not illegal to wear underwear in public. 
  6. ^ Tom Herrmann (7 January 2013). "No Pants Subway Ride 2013 hits NYC and cities around the world [city list, video]". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "The No Pants Subway Ride"
  8. ^ "The History of No Pants Day,"
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "No pants, no problems". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 4 June 2004. Retrieved 11 April 2013. ...a self-described "humor-oriented organization," started promoting the stunt four years ago in an effort to relieve students' end-of-semester stress. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Naked humour". Toronto Star. 18 April 2008. p. E03. 
  14. ^ Richard L. Connor (11 April 2010). "Web interest in march: bottomless". Portland Press Herald. p. E1. 

Further reading[edit]