Okay, folks. It’s time to talk tank tops. I’ll spare you the “sun’s out, guns out” rhetoric. But I’ll also tell you this: Despite their bro-y connotations, those four little words do speak to a fundamental truth about the humble tank top. Because the tank top, though it is an actual garment that exists in the real world, is more than a thing. It’s a state of mind. The only question you have to ask yourself, then, is, “What state is my mind in?” (Don’t worry, multiple answers are allowed.)
You may, for instance, find yourself looking out the window at an ever-warming world and thinking, “Man, I really need to bust out of hibernation mode and start working out again.” Do you know what you wear to work out? Come on. You know this one… That’s right! A tank top. Sure, you could also wear a tee or a half-zip or whatever, but that’s not what we’re talking about right now. Right now, we’re talking about tank tops, and when it’s hot outside and you’re working up a sweat, a sleeveless tee is about as perfect as it gets. The cut can be loose and airy or trim and tailored, but whether you’re opting for breeziness or something that fits close to the body, you should be looking for performance fabrics that make your life (and exercise routine) that much easier. I’m talking moisture-wicking, four-way stretch, UV protection, quick-drying and anti-odor fabrications, and all the other stuff that sets today’s high-octane tanks apart from their forebears.
Or you might find yourself thinking, “Man, all those mid-lockdown pushups really paid off. When it is blistering hot, I would like folks to know just how developed my triceps have become.” Enter the casual tank top. This is the tank top you wear to the beach, the bar, or the beach bar. It’s probably looser than your workout tanks, and made from something comfortable and breathable like good ol’ cotton. The casual tank top might even be a graphic tank top, if you’re so inclined—though if you do go that route, the more classic the graphic, the better. And, yeah, in a pinch, you can wear one of your go-t0 undershirt tank tops on its own (which is especially handy if you don’t want to spend too much money trying out the style; deals abound).
Maybe you’re of both minds. That’s fine, too! Many—most, in fact—of the tanks on this list can pull double duty. Wear ’em to work out, then to meet up with friends (remember meeting up with friends!?) afterwards. Thanks to those quick-dry, anti-stink properties, you’ll be looking good and feeling fresh when you roll up. Will you get a “sun’s out, guns out” comment or two from said friends? Maybe! Or maybe not. But you’re a tank-top guy now. You’re sleeve-free and feeling top-notch, and you’re ready for whatever the world throws at you.
X-Temp Tank Top 2-Pack
The classic Hanes tank top, now in a warm-weather friendly fabrication that wicks sweat to keep you cool, no matter how high the temperature climbs.
AIRism Cotton Tank Top
Uniqlo brings its beloved AIRism tech to an easygoing tank that’s even better than wearing nothing at all, thanks to its moisture-wicking, anti-odor properties (and a very good shade of navy blue).
Trefoil Tank Top
Like I said: If you’re gonna go graphic, go classic. And it doesn’t get much more classic than Adidas’s Trefoil logo.
Dri-FIT Miler Running Tank Top
Lightweight, easy to move in, and made from at least 50 percent recycled polyester, Nike’s Miler is designed for entry-level runners but has enough built-in performance for just about everyone.
Strato Tech Tank Top
Vuori’s tank is all about versatility. With a subtle look and ultra-soft fabric, it looks like the kind of thing you’d wear on a lazy Saturday. But thanks to performance features like moisture-wicking and sun protection, it’ll stand up to tough workouts, too.
The Triumph Sleeveless T-Shirt
A blend of polyester, rayon, and cotton, Alo’s American-made tank—sorry, sleeveless T-shirt—is made for off-duty moments.
Yoga Tank Top
Designed with generous armholes and side vents, Nike’s yoga-friendly tank top will move with you while you practice (and still look pretty damn great when you’re grabbing that iced latte on the way home).
Made in L.A. Tank Top
Todd Snyder, king of tweaking the classics to his own specifications, didn’t do too much to bring this tank top in line with the rest of his designs. Making it in Los Angeles and offering it in a supremely versatile olive color did the trick.
Swift Tank Top
Low on weight and long on features, Rhone’s Swift tank top has everything from anti-odor, moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabric to flatlock stitching at the seams to prevent chafing. Runners, don’t miss out.
Metal Vent Tech Sleeveless 2.0 Tank Top
A hallmark of Lululemon’s ongoing offerings, the Metal Vent Tech tank top is built with as few seams as possible (again with the anti-chafing!) and Silverescent technology, which inhibits bacteria growth to prevent odor. In other words: More wears and fewer washes.
Fourlaps Level Tank Top
The fun thing about tank tops, in a general sense, is how much tech brands can pack into such a small, seemingly unassuming package. Fourlaps uses something called 37.5 technology, which helps vent heat in warm weather and retain it when it’s cold out. Thermoregulation. So (not too) hot right now.
Tank-T Performance Running Tank Top
Leave it to the Swiss running experts at On to craft a tank top that’s super-lightweight, ultra-breathable, adorned with hits of reflective fabric to keep you safe in low light, and quite stylish, to boot.
Ashta Sleeveless Tee
In a blend of cotton and lyocell (for added softness) and a tie-dye-ish colorway, Lululemon Lab’s sleeveless tee is the kind of tank top that’s basically begging to be worn to every summer party, beach day, and festival you can think of.
Air-Wear Stretch-Mesh Tank Top
If you know, you know. And cool-guy runners all over know District Vision is a go-to for PRs and off days alike. This tank top features hidden perforations to get the air flowing and keep you even cooler.
Van Cortlandt Striped Stretch-Mesh Tank Top
Tracksmith is all about leaning into the best aesthetic elements from vintage running gear while delivering high-tech performance at the same time. Case in point: this tank top, which looks like it could have jumped right out of the ’70s, but is made from super-light, antimicrobial mesh.
Printed COOLMAX Mesh Tank Top
Bonded seams. Reflective details. COOLMAX fabric that dries quickly, doesn’t hold onto odors, and stretches in four directions. All that, plus a little message to yourself on the chest. Satisfy’s tank top is the whole package.
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