Tank tops run the gamut from T-shirts without the "T" to cutoff wrestling singlets, drapey fabric suspended on two shoulders to gym-body-baring feats of engineering, we think the best way to start making sense of it all before summer's longest weekend is with some inspiring visual evidence. Let it be our spirit guide in the next five steps to total tank comprehension.
1. Prepare Yourself
No matter how fit you are, you'll need to make some grooming adjustments before going out in public in your new activewear tank top. Here's a comprehensive guide to that very important process.
2. It All Comes Down to Fit
Like your favorite tee, it should fall just below your belt loops. It should not hug your torso tightly. In fact, it should hang about half an inch from your body; this will help keep your sweat from showing up in big pools. See how the straps of Gosling's tank are around three inches wide? Yours should be no thinner than that.
3. Make a Tank Top Your Summer Wardrobe's Bright Spot
Don't wear a tank top that references lifting, gym mottos, or being swole. If you look good in a custom tank top, everyone understands it's because you put in the time to make it happen. What you can double down on is color and prints. Moderation applies to menswear's more traditional pieces, but when we're talking about a casual style that uses minimal fabric, some swervy choices don't come off as overpowering. We'd suggest graphic stripes, color blocking, or repeating tonal patterns like aloha-shirt-style flowers or leaves.
4. There's a Golden Rule of Showing Skin
This is a moment when we want to REALLY stress moderation. In short: The amount of skin you're showing should not exceed the square inches covered by your workout tank top. And no peeking nipples—ever. Believe us when we say a little goes a long way. The armholes of your tank should descend no further than your first rib. And the neckline should end above the latitude of your pits.
5. Don't Just Wear It to the Beach
Who says you have to wear your tank top and wholesale yoga shorts by itself? Tank tops are great for layering under light jackets, blazers, and over shirts. If you're going to wear one under your suit, though, make sure it's classy enough for the occasion. But when it comes to style, we firmly believe that jokes should be left to your conversation rather than your closet.
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