All Bare All Day
Well, okay, as bare as legally possible. Most of you who know me, already know I’m a minimalist person as far as clothes. Wearing my cut-off shorts in the winter with my feet fully bare, having not worn socks in over a year, or underwear in over 2, it is only expected that I would be dressed as minimal as legally allowed in the summer months.
Still the feeling of going about your entire day in only one article of clothing – a pair of short cut-off shorts, is quite liberating. While I generally dislike wearing anything on my feet, comes the summer weather, the same goes for clothes in general.
It only makes sense that if one prefers to go barefoot and barelegged in the winter time, you can expect him or her to be as minimal as possible in the summer.
(by the way the wedding I attended the other night, I simply wore my boots without socks – so far this has proved very effective and my streak is still in tact. Just have to figure out what to do for my niece’s wedding in less than 2 weeks from today!)
Unfortunately, societal norms require people in most public places to be clothed from the waist to chest as well. While going barefoot in public can range from no problem in some establishments, to “um…sir…. (more rare – “um…miss….ma’am…”)” to outright hostile, going shirtless becomes a complete no-no.
Well some places are OK with a female entering their establishment in a bikini top – to me the equivalent of a topless male.
In one of my posts from last summer about getting kicked out of Whole Foods for being barefoot, a reader responded to me that in California, where he lives Whole Foods in his neighborhood displays footwear required signs.
Still, being a beach town, so many people frequent there barefoot that the rules are not enforced. Shows that there is strength in numbers – an experiment I would like to perform with one particular venue here in Brooklyn where I live during the normal part of the year.
On the subject of Wholefoods, the ones I know of in New York contain no such signs so people end up abiding by non-existent rules. So true while there is strength in numbers, the masses can be quite ignorant and establishments take full advantage of that.
Enjoying a full day at work minimally dressed at WiFi potshot
So being that while there is nothing illegal about going topless, there is a bit of risk in pushing the envelope a bit which could possibly turn a non-issue like my bare feet into an issue. Generally this is true in most urban places. Beach towns, however, have a different feel.
Yesterday, while doing some work in a WiFi venue on the Jersey Shore, though I could count the pairs of bare feet I encountered on the toes on one foot, several people came in shirtless. It was a nice feeling to see that there were no NS 3 signs around and no one going around telling people that certain attire was required.
And it wasn’t a beach kind of place either, but rather a nice setting near some fashionable stores in restaurants.
Today, I decided, when in Rome… Leaving the home in a tank top to appease my wife (remember what I said about pushing the envelope – this holds true for spouses),
I parked my car near the beach, changed into my running shorts, leaving everything else off and did an 8 mile barefoot run along the boardwalk. I get a lot of comments along the way of people ‘concerned’ about splinters, but to me, the beach, let alone the summer, calls for bare feet only!
After my run, being far from a shower, I grabbed my towel from the car and rode my bike to a spot I passed on the run, where there was a running sprinkler system. I let myself get drenched from head to toe, and dried off using a combination of the beating sun, and my towel.
Changing back into my dry cut-off shorts, I went over to Kinko’s, as I needed to print something out. I didn’t expect them to say anything about my bare feet, which they didn’t, but I was actually pleasantly surprised that they said nothing about me being topless as well.
I worked there for about a half hour in the comfort of my own skin, before heading back over to the boardwalk in my bike to do some work in the WiFi restaurant where I worked yesterday.
Now there are several venues both around New York and New Jersey where I’ve only gone in barefoot. On rare occasion, I’ve gone in shirtless, but with the shirt tucked through my belt loop or in my bag.
And while it’s quite normal for me to go about the day without having footwear with me, I think today was the first time, however, that other than going for a run, I’ve spent the entire day that I had no shirt with me.
Though I will be back in the city tomorrow, considering that I have gotten my business associates used to seeing me barelegged and barefoot, I think I’ll push the envelope a bit and go as minimal as possible – bare bodied – but not naked as my shorts will be enough to suffice. Hope you are having a great barefoot summer!