The Best Tank Tops, For When It’s Too Hot to Wear Anything Else

Think of it as an excercise in embracing your inner gabone

July 2, 2024 11:18 am
Best tank tops for men
The best tank tops for men look great on anyone... especially if you're Rob Lowe in 1990s Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul Harris/Getty Images)
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Sleeveless tees, singlets, A-shirts — call ‘em what you will, but we know a good ol’ fashioned tank top when we see one. Long a staple for sweaty office-goers, muscle-bound lunkheads, Italian-Americans and the swerviest of summer dressers, tanks chop away all the unnecessary fabric for an easy, functional top that serves as both the last line of defense for humid, sweaty summer days and a way forward for any guy trying to make a splash in the coolest way possible. 

The Best Tank Tops

tank top
Two very different-sized men, both rocking the hell out of a tank.
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In case you were wondering: yes, if done right, you absolutely can and should wear a tank on its own. (A tight-ribbed joint looks pretty damn good under a loose linen look, though.) A less-than-causal A-shirt looks noice tucked into a pair of dressy trousers or matched with some loose, 5” inseam shorts

Naturally, you’ll need a style up to the job, which is where we come in. We’ve researched, acquired and tested a whole host of tank tops, from Hanes to Buck Mason to Skims, and rounded up the best of the best for you below. All you need to do is select the style that best suits you. Below, the best tank tops for men this summer.

Cool, Causal and Cheap

The beauty of a tank top is how available the garment is. From your local drug store to Amazon, the shirt abounds in various forms of ribbed cotton, easy to cop in whatever color you might so choose (we’d recommend sticking with neutrals) and get tossed on under a crochet polo or breezy linen button-down. A word to the wise — ditch the Hanes for something a bit more premium. The basics brand might be famous for their cheap tanks, but there are a ton of other options — Calvin, COS, Japanese giants Uniqlo — that offer slightly better products for virtually the same price.

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Splurge-Worthy Upgrades

Looking for something a little softer, better fitting and more premium than $25 can buy? You’re in luck — a ton of brands dishing quality basics, both old and new, have remade the box store undershirt with premium features and more luxe materials. (A lyocell tank? Are you kidding?) Sure, they’ll run you a couple of bucks more, but can you really put a price on quality?

Tricep-Indulging Tanks

If you immediately associate the tank with pumping iron or pushing PRs, know that you’re not alone. Athletes have long adopted the tank — or muscle tee or singlet, depending on who you ask — as the top of choice come hot weather, and stealing a bit of track and field swag will serve you well. Keep your eyes peeled for moisture-wicking materials, retro designs or maybe just the pure vanity crop. Anything to show off all that daily work you’ve been putting in.

Fashion-Forward Flexes

Tanks are inherently simple garments — there’s only so much material to go around, after all, and the formula can’t be modulated much. Still, the waviest, braziest designers out there have found a way to freak the everyday A-shirt, with funky fabric, particular patterns and bold graphics that introduce a whole new dimension to the OG wife-respecter. By the way, did you know that a sweater vest can be rocked as a tank, too?

Luxury, But Lose the Sleeves

If you feel a class-structure-induced repulsion to even just the thought of pulling on a Fruit of the Loom tank, you’ve probably got some things to work out in therapy. That being said, know that there is, in fact, an upper echelon of elite tank tops from the top tier of designer luxury — some from Jonathan Anderson, perhaps, or Issey Miyake’s infamous Homme Plissé pleated line — that is in a whole other stratosphere, at least as far as quality and aesthetics are concerned. Yes, they might run you a grand a pop for a simple ribbed cotton tank, but these shirts will instantly elevate any sweltering fit, be it with a Bushwick-style pair of jorts or dressing down your finest Cucinelli tux.

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