We’re frequently asked about the “rules” for wearing a tank top (like, a lot). Because the line between amazing and gross is so thin, the “sun’s out, guns out” staple is a tough piece of clothing. As in, a single inch of cloth, whether there or absent, can make all the difference. We think the best way to start making sense of it all before summer’s longest weekend is with some motivating visual proof. Tank tops range from T-shirts without the “T” to cutoff wrestling singlets, drapey fabric perched on two shoulders to gym-body-baring works of engineering. In this situation, we’d like to point to this legendary photo of Ryan Gosling striding down a Los Angeles sidewalk. In the next five steps to total tank comprehension, let it be our spirit guide.
1. It’s all about the fit
It should fall just below your belt loops, like your favorite tee. It shouldn’t be too tight around your torso. In fact, it should dangle about a half-inch from your body to prevent sweat from pooling in large pools. See how Gosling’s tank’s straps are around three inches wide? Yours should not be any thinner. Ryan Gosling is in tip-top form and a movie star, so you might want to go for a less revealing tank for your own hanfu tank top (no disrespect, you’re fantastic!). When it comes to revealing…
2. There Is a Golden Rule When It Comes to Showing Skin
This is the time to emphasize the importance of moderation. In a nutshell, the amount of skin you display shouldn’t be more than the number of square inches covered by your tank top. And never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, (A shirt with nipples on it isn’t a shirt.) When we say that a little goes a long way, we mean it. Your tank’s armholes should not go any lower than your first rib. The neckline should also terminate over your pits’ latitude.
3. Make a Tank Top the Star of Your Summer Wardrobe
Wearing a tank top that mentions lifting, gym mottos, or being swole is not a good idea. Everyone realizes that if you look nice in a tank top, it’s because you put in the effort. Color and prints are two things you can double down on. Moderation applies to more traditional menswear pieces, but when we’re talking about a casual look with less fabric, a few swervy options don’t seem that out of place. Graphic stripes, color blocking, or repeated tonal patterns like aloha-shirt-style flowers or leaves are all good ideas.
4. Get Yourself Ready
No matter how fit you are, you’ll need to make some grooming changes before wearing your new tank top out in public. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to that crucial procedure.
5. It’s Not Just for the Beach
Who says your tank top has to be worn alone? Tank tops are ideal for layering beneath blazers, light coats, and shirts. However, if you’re going to wear one under your suit, make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion. The high-low blend of a tuxedo and a Seor Frog’s tank top can appeal to you. When it comes to style, however, we believe that jokes belong in your conversation, not your closet.