There’s a time in every guy’s life, be it a warm weather outing, a tropical vacation or a trip to the gym, when the “guns” (those arms you’ve worked so hard on) have to come out. Don’t resort to cutting the sleeves off an old high school or college tee, though. Let us do the hard work for you and showcase some of the best tank tops for men, all the better to get a premium look and feel that reflects the long hours you’ve been putting in with dumbbells in hand.
The best men’s tank tops are often made in much the same way as your favorite T-shirt, with soft and breezy fabric at the forefront. And all that being said, there’s something different, though. What’s so different about a tank top other than the modified sleeve design? Well, it’s a whole new ballgame when a shirt has been made intentionally to showcase your arms and shoulders. And it’s great news for you when said tank top is made to be worn for either work or play, all on its own. There’s also a difference between the tank top we think you should wear (remember, we’re hunting for the best tank tops for men), and the standard white undershirt tank top.
All joking aside, wear a tank top when you want the coverage of a shirt while showing off those guns
The white tank top has a history all its own, famously worn by counter culture style icons and layered under real-world, functional garments like cotton officer’s shirts or field jackets. It’s also a go-to work shirt, the kind that you can wear to chop wood or burn through a modified outdoor workout (a superhero by the name of Wolverine tends to love himself a tank top, for what it’s worth). Tank tops are probably best worn at the beach or the boardwalk, anywhere the sun is out and shining brightly (as the adage goes, of course: “Sun’s out, guns out”). The more flattering your tank top, the better you’ll look and feel, and the best tank tops for men are going to get you there in flattering fashion.
All joking aside, wear a tank top when you want the coverage of a shirt while showing off those guns — the beach bar is certainly as fitting a place as any to throw on your favorite tank top. Tank tops these days fit modern and are often breezy and vibrant, but the history is worth considering, too. Like so many menswear staples, its roots were purely functional before evolving over time to become an everyday style staple.
Tank tops are so named for “tank suits,” the one-piece bathing garment with a U-shaped neck and tank top-like opening, commonly worn around the 1920s. Today’s tank tops are obviously much shorter and worn like a shirt, yet ironically enough, you’ll probably see your fair share of tank tops worn alongside swimming trunks or board shorts. It’s a way to stay cool, get some sun and yes, as we keep saying, show off those guns.
Tank tops are best worn casually with canvas shorts and slip-ons as opposed to your favorite leather dress shoes and slim cotton trousers — it goes without saying, right? They’re also a bit more laidback than the best V-neck T-shirts, for example, so save that V-neck tee to wear under a blazer and reserve the tank top for the beach or breezy days around town or on the water.
And again, steer clear (for now) of the white undershirt-style tank top — let’s amp things up with fashionable performance in mind, because that’s what the best tank tops for men are all about.
Look instead for a tank that’s built with some style in mind, like a neat pattern or a cool color. We’ll showcase some of our favorites below, but when you want to rock a tee that’s made for warm and breezy weather, muscle shirts are the right way to go. You’ll ideally want to look for a tanktop made by a trusted brand, perhaps a brand that makes a T-shirt that you love (keep scrolling to see what we mean in a second).
Men’s tank tops can be an invaluable casual piece to wear anytime the thermostat climbs (which seems to be quite a bit these days). So, it’s clear that you need at least one tank top in your rotation. But which one to buy, and how to find the right one? Let’s get started with a few pointers.
How to Shop for a Tank Top For Men in 2021
- Kick it up a notch: Like we’ve said before, your tank top should be anything but average these days. Look for soft fabric, perhaps with some textured, like slub cotton, and stray away from the white undershirt tank tops you’ve probably seen everywhere. If you’re feeling adventurous, get one in a vibrant color (but not neon green or yellow), or find one with a small print or stripes. Then, wear it to the beach or the boardwalk.
- Trust your favorite brands: You’d probably be surprised to find out how many brands make cool tank tops for guys these days. Even high fashion designer brands like Todd Snyder make a tank top that’s not all that different from the brand’s famed and ultra-soft, stylish T-shirts. That’s good news if you want a quality, long-lasting tank top that you can wear season after season. Which brings us to our next point as far as the best tank tops for men are concerned.
- Invest in the best, but don’t overdo it: A tank top, even one of the best tank tops for men, is technically just another knitwear item at the end of the day. That being said, look for a quality design and don’t stray too far away from finding yourself a top-notch tank top made with top-notch materials. It’s better to spend just a bit more, as you would with any other menswear essential, than skimp on an item and be left with a tank top that falls apart after just one wear.
Now, with all those rigorous keys in mind (and with plans for a future getaway quickly developing), what tank top should buy now? As in, right now? Well, start with a few handy suggestions via the best tank tops for men.
The Best Tank Tops for Men to Buy in 2021
Todd Snyder Stripe Tank Top in Navy
Here’s exactly what we’re talking about when we say that your tank top should be more than just a tank top. It should be a serious step up from the norm, a shirt that looks cool when kicking back and enjoying an ice-cold beer on the beach. Todd Snyder has nailed the fit and details of this tank top, just as we mentioned above. Snyder also offers a more detailed history of the tank top’s origins in the 1910s (the tank suits were originally worn by the British Women’s Swimming Team at the 1912 Olympics). Regardless of its origins in terms of history, this new style does the old-school tank top proud by using 100 percent cotton and careful craftsmanship by way of Portugal. Pack it in your suitcase for your next beach vacation.
Bonobos The Tank Top
The brand that makes some of your favorite pants also makes one of the best tank tops for men, and that’s really saying something given how competitive the field of menswear can be at times. But Bonobos is a brand that can do it all, which is very fitting these days. It definitely helps to have a one-stop shop where you can get everything you need for every style situation, be it breezy chinos and a printed shirt for a beachfront happy hour, or a well-made tank top to rock in the hours prior to that refreshing cocktail. The two-tone detailing here between the tank top’s collar and cuffs, plus the body of the shirt, is a nice retro touch that elevates this above the more run-of-the-mill white tank top. There’s no way to go wrong here with Bonobos.
Vuori Tradewind Performance Tank Top
While you can certainly wear your tank top for leisurely pursuits, it’s going to come in most handy for workouts when it’s got a performance element built right into it. The Vuori Tradewind Performance Tank Top hits all the right notes as far as the best muscle shirts are concerned, with details like a “perforated performance knit, UPF and quick-drying capabilities,” according to Vuori. The performance gear brand also offers it in a helpful array of colors, all the better to coordinate with your workout gear. Wear one every time you need something that’s ready for the gym and just about anything else, as Vuori notes this shirt is “great for yoga, training and running.” What more could you want in one of the best tank tops for men?
Hanes ComfortWash Sleeveless Tank Top
Stock up on basics from a brand that knows best how to make ’em: Hanes is renowned for T-shirts and undershirts of all types, including this soft-washed tank top. We love the vibrant color and the highly affordable price tag, making it super easy for you to grab more than one at a time. In fact, if you happen to be heading to a tropical locale and see plenty of tank top wearing in your future, it’s best to grab as many as you can from the famed basics brand.