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I’d like to think that I had a pretty progressive, open childhood, but it turns out that 13 years of private school dress codes limited my worldview. From a young age, including those formative years when I began dressing on my own, there were certain sartorial rules that were never, ever, under any circumstances broken. The one that sticks out most clearly in my mind is that tank tops are not appropriate anywhere, under any circumstances.
It wasn’t until college that I really saw people wearing tank tops: Gym rats sporting their latest pumps, hipsters using them as a layering piece under button-down shirts, all of us wearing them out to parties to flex our arms in hopes of attracting a mate. And that versatility has carried on into adulthood. It is a style worthy of consideration—despite what the nuns at my Catholic school led me to believe.
The best tank tops can be worn casually with jeans or styled with trousers for something more fashion-forward. Of course, it’s also a workout staple. No matter where or how you’re wearing it, this sleeveless topper provides a sense of comfort that is nothing short of liberating. Also, showing off just a little skin exudes confidence.
If you’re looking to take a dip in this stylistic pond, here are some of the best tank tops for men to try now.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best Tank Tops for Men:
Just like their sleeved counterparts, not all tank tops are created equal. Of course, what you’re in the market for depends on the context in which you plan on wearing it. Whether it’s at gym or in a more formal environment, here are a few key markers to keep in mind.
Material: The choice of material all comes down to how you intend on wearing the tank top. If you’re heading to the gym, keep an eye out for performance materials (often synthetics, but sometimes natural fibers like merino wool) that have moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties. If you’re searching for a tank top that’s more of a fashion piece, look toward more prestige natural fibers such as silk, linen, or cotton blends. And when in doubt, you can never go wrong with a good old fashioned 100 percent cotton tank.
Fit: Tanks come in a variety of different cuts, ranging from compression-fitting performance styles on one end of the spectrum to more loosely cut, billowy tanks on the other. It all depends how you plan on wearing it—but just be sure to check the manufacturer’s description before purchasing.
Neckline: Not all crewnecks, V-necks, and scoop necks are created equal— what might look good on somebody else might not look as good on you. Before committing, just take a look at your favorite T-shirts that you already have in your closet, and stick with similar necklines as inspiration.
Best Overall Tank Top
Mack Weldon has perfect the art of creating shirts—and this includes tank tops. The brand’s top-selling rib tank comes in its signature 18-hour material, which is a cotton-blend with just enough stretch to stay taught all day long. There won’t be any droopy necklines or hemlines here. While it’s designed to be worn as a base layer under your dress shirts for the office or for formal occasions (the no-show neckline disappears like a dream), it also works great on its own as a slimmer-fitting option paired with jeans if you want an edgier, more streetwear-inspired look.
Materials: Cotton, modal, and spandex
Best Gym Tank Top
As the name implies, Ten Thousand’s game-changing Versatile Tank is a solid option for your toughest interval workouts and lifting sessions, as well as your post-gym commute, wherever that may take you. It’s been treated with silver ions, so even after the gnarliest routines, you can be confident that even if you stink, your tank won’t.
Materials: Polyester and spandex.
Best Tank Top for Running
Here’s the tank that started it all. Well, not really, but it might as well have. Tracksmith is a game changer in the running space for its vintage-inflected styles made from contemporary performance fabrics. And this Van Cortlandt Singlet, with its iconic sash panel, is designed for both short jogs and intense long runs alike.
Materials: Polyester and spandex.
Best Square-Neck Tank Top
Square necklines can be tricky. There’s something about them that feels inherently more casual than other types of tank tops, and they also require someone to be a little more confident in showing off their shoulders and collar bones. Enter Saint Laurent’s tank, which telegraphs panache and confidence with its “YSL” logo, elevating this square-neck style from a layering afterthought to a standalone piece.
Materials: Polyester and cotton.
Best Logo Tank Top
We don’t always propose logos. So when we do, you know they’re good. There’s something about this Loewe logo—which is so well-designed that it doesn’t even feel like a logo—that exudes savoir faire. It’s artful, classy, and just covert enough to not make you look like a walking billboard.
Cut: Close fit.
Best Basketball Tank Top
Again—it takes us a lot to fall for such visible branding, but there’s something so brash, so ballsy, so unapologetically cool about this jersey that we couldn’t resist including it on this list. Inspired by the varsity jerseys, this Givenchy tank top is a statement-maker worthy of the most daring dressers.
Best Mesh Tank Top
Tom Ford has once again achieved the impossible: The brand has taken a comfortable mesh fabric and turned it into something elegant. It’s clean, the fit is neither too loose nor too slim, and it’s got that raw sex appeal that people find so appealing about the label’s founder. Wear it on its own or wear it under a suit for a modern look.
Cut: Slightly loose fit.
Most Breathable Tank Top
Mr. Tom Brady knows a thing or two about high-performance workout gear. This tank comes in a breathable material with articulated mesh panels over the hottest zones of the body, allowing for maximum airflow and moisture-wicking in even the most intense conditions. It also features smart details, such as a reflective surface for high visibility and bonded seams to reduce chafing. And whereas a lot of mesh workout tanks tend to wear and break down after several jaunts through the wash, this one is designed with abrasion-resistance so it will last for many, many workouts to come.
Materials: Polyester and elastane.
Best Silk Tank Top
Don’t be fooled by the “sweater” name—this Nili Logan style is a luxe take on the classic tank top. The knit fabric drapes as well as your most expensive sweaters (perhaps that’s where they got the name), and it’s woven from a luxe ribbed silk material. This one works on its own with trousers or layered under a blazer for evening.
Cut: Runs slightly small.
Best Tank Top Pack
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Hanes does a solid job when it comes to undershirts, and this six-pack of crisp, 100 percent cotton ribbed tanks is a no-brainer for your closet. At under 20 bucks for a pack, you’ll have zero guilt rotating them out of your closet once they start to look too worn-in over time.