Seven styles for Improv Everywhere's No Pants El ride

    This Sunday, Chicagoans are going pantless. Famous for their large-scale social experiments, like the flooding of Home Depot with slow-motion people and their “improvised” food court musical, Improv Everywhere will hold their annual, global, pantless subway ride.

    This year, Chicago’s No Pants El Ride takes place on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 12–3 p.m. After everyone congregates and gets on the subway at their station, coordinated teams for each stop will begin to depant right before their designated station. If questioned about their disrobing, they are told to comment that they are uncomfortable.

    At their designated station, they’ll exit, then re-enter the next subway. Confidence and dedication are key for this event. The number one rule for passengers is to appear not to know one another. The second is to act as normal as they can.

    Here’s what your underwear will say about you, from the least attention grabbing to the most disconcerting, rated out of 10.

    Photo from Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons.

    The Non-Participant (Reaction: 0)

    Attire: Normal pants, skirts, kilts; any normal lower half gear
    Expect some dirty looks from those who decided to truly participate. Still, if you’d like to see the action firsthand, this is the most comfortable way to go.

    The Conservative (Reaction: 2)

    Attire: Athletic or biker shorts
    Prepare to be ignored next to your lingerie-clad counterparts. People might mistake you as a regular person, albeit one who is oblivious to the 17 degree low predicted for Sunday.

    The Practical (Reaction: 4)

    Attire: Long johns
    This step up from board or biker shorts is a practical, sane way to keep your bare thighs off the bacteria-covered subway seats.

    ¿Mi amor, is that you? Photo courtesy of Asos.

    The Prep (Reaction: 6)

    Attire: Argyle or plaid boxers or classy boy shorts
    This is the first leap to full-out underwear, garnering you confused looks and awkward comments. However, the classic prints and lack of holes say, “Sure I’m riding pantless. But I’m keeping it classy.”

    The Romantic (Reaction: 7)

    Attire: Classic heart-printed boxers or frilly panties
    These themed undergarments give you a sensitive look in a normal scenario — on a public transportation system, however, they’re just creepy. The awkwardness of this reaction all depends on whether or not you try to hit on people while wearing them. Maybe you’ll get lucky. Or slapped in the face.

    Photo from Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons.

    The Confidence Man (Reaction: 8)

    Attire: Briefs
    This look lets everyone know how secure you are in your tighty whities. Count on averted gazes, ample giggling and perhaps a phone number or two.

    The Felon (Reaction: 10)

    Attire: Nothing
    You’ll be getting a whole lot of attention for this — from the police.


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