It’s finally Summer and, while some parts of the country are still waiting for the mercury to really top out, in other places it’s already pretty toasty, meaning it’s time for less cover and more skin. It’s time, for tank tops.
There’s no denying that Stanley Kowalski looked hella hot in his tank top in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” but unless you’re prepared to show up with Brando’s unique brand of swagger— and muscles to match—it’s probably best to leave the classic skin-tight “A-shirt” behind when headed to this summer’s barbecues and pool parties. Let’s go for a look that’s cool, but sophisticated; bicep-bearing, but tasteful.
Key looks for the season are shirts that are a little loose, but not swimming around the body. We like wide enough straps and high enough armholes to prevent wardrobe malfunctions, while still allowing maximum movement and ventilation. Soft, breathable fabrics rule this time of year, with cotton and cotton blends being an obvious choice. Retro styling with contrast trim and graphic prints are key, as are neat, “all-over” designs. Athletic tops in shiny performance fabrics are usually best left at the gym or the track, but there are now so many with great style, we couldn’t possibly say no.
“Sun’s out, Guns out?” Nah…too controversial. Break out those “wifebeaters?” Not with the #metoo moment going on! Aw, hell…just bring on the tank tops!
A little looser through the body, showing off a sort of “Endless Summer” theme, this Topman tank is in lightweight 100 percent polyester, keeping those graphics as bold as possible. You’ll be ready to slip this on and slip right into a Mai Tai. The style looks great with faded denim jeans or crisp white summer shorts.
We like how that this tank has that classic underwear-like quality to it, rendered in a soft, almost-white, pale blue, and with an inviting slub texture and sliced off bottom hem. It looks cool as an ice pack, and the airy, open knit will keep you literally cool, as well.
Practically a sleeveless T-shirt, the Chapman tank is a little fuller, allowing easy movement. It’s got a stylish look, that makes the ultimately casual tank top into an elegant statement. It’s a perfect piece for some solid SPF, while looking great at a casual dinner out.
The horizontal stripes remind us of one-piece bathing costumes from the 1920s, but the colorful, cooling hues of this tank bring us right into the 21st century. It’s a sporty look, featuring the perennially chill Original Penguin logo. We like that it’s pastel hues can brighten a pair of khaki shorts or navy swimsuit.
This is that exception we mentioned: the Tech Tank’s four-way stretch fabric means it’s fitted, but not too tight, while its sweat-wicking properties will come in handy on those hottest of days. It also features built-in odor control, so you can get a couple of wears out of it before tossing it into the laundry—perfect for summer long weekend getaways. With all those performance features, it’s still just a great-looking, lightweight tank top to wear just about anywhere…even to the gym!
A 1980s graphic in that decade’s iconic pink and gray color combo makes this Scotch & Soda shirt simmer for summer, and the cactus image captures just how you feel. It’s made with comfortable cotton jersey, with a slimming seam down the center back. The armholes are open a bit wider in the back, too, for added cooling.
Back in the day of the Preppy Handbook, simple all-over motifs like this were limited to whales, frogs, and turtles, on turtlenecks and corduroy pants. They were certainly never applied to a tank top. Luckily for us, things change, and in this case, for the better. Sovereign Code puts a decidedly tropical spin on the all-over repeat, with a tasteful solid patch pocket on the chest.
While much of Spiritual Gangster’s collection has a decidedly “yoga meets streetwear” vibe, their Flamingo Tank is definitely all about the party. A neon pink flamingo, outlined on the back of a punky black tank is a throwback to 1990s Los Angeles, but will look right at home at suburban lawn parties everywhere.
Another return to pure minimalism, this washed-down, pristine white tank top offers up a little more skin, with a deeper neck and armholes, a scoop-bottom detail, and a long-line shape. The Rugger makes a great transition from the beach club to the night club.
Now that you’ve got the tank, learn how to keep those biceps bulging with our simple workouts to get you in sleeveless shape. Or if tank tops aren’t really your style, you can always check out these great summer t-shirts, perfect for keeping you feeling and looking cool during the dog days.