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Why Sleeveless Shirts Are My New Obsession

Kind of Obsessed

todd snyder tank
Todd Snyder

Summer 2020 has been brutal so far (for so many reasons, if you've paid any attention to the news). It's also been hot and sticky and generally awful. Not to yuck your yum, but I can only keep up with it for so long. Given a choice between winter and summer, I'm going winter every time. If I get too cold, at least I can put on more clothes. In summer, there's nothing you can do if you're too hot. Unless the sun's blazing down on me, the less clothes, the better.

That's why sleeveless shirts have been on my mind. Among other things, the office knows me as the guy who wears vests and this should come as no surprise. They're really just summer vests.

First of all, they're practical. Tanks and sleeveless t-shirts help cool you down because they allow for more air to flow, which is the key to keeping cool in summer.. They're also a great way to layer in warm weather, without overheating. As an undershirt, they can keep your main shirt clean, too.

The sleeveless joints I'm obsessed with are anything but the intense saturated and obnoxious bro tank (respectfully, hell no). Generally speaking, they're more subdued — plain, even. Your average undershirt, worn surreptitiously under your favorite tee or shown off with a camp collar shirt. These can range from the simple multi-pack to an elevated basic. Or, they can even be a vintage military issued tank in a breathable jersey or mesh.

Courtesy Amazon
Hanes Men's 6-Pack ComfortSoft Tanks
$14.99 (12% off)
Made in L.A. Tank Top
Todd Snyder toddsnyder.com
Courtesy Vinci Bazaar
Vintage 90s White Fishnet Tank Top

But the other kind of sleeveless shirt has a bit more edge. These are grungy moth-eaten, bleached and faded. They're vintage band tees and approached with scissors and a DIY mindset. They're sheer pieces that look like they came out of a '90s MTV spot. Or, these sleeveless obsessions of mine can also be luxury knits, crafted with impossibly soft materials, birthed through an avant-garde lens. Try these with double-knee work pants, knee-length shorts or some thrashed jeans and lean heavy into the grunge vibe.

Some of the most interesting ones are vintage. Peruse through Etsy and eBay and you'll find pages of perfectly faded muscle tanks. Whether you're a fan of Joe Strummer or Stone Cold Steve Austin, Harley-Davidson or Subhumans, you can find the right one for you. Look for one that has a good patina, hell, even a few holes; as long as it looks like you might have worn it in the pit.

Vintage Ozzfest 2001 Sleeveless T-shirt
The Wilde Merchant etsy.com

1979 The Clash Punk Tank Top Shirt Vintage Tee
Future Vintage Clothes etsy.com

And you don't have to spend money on a sleeveless tee, either. As I mentioned earlier, you can take a pair of scissors and an old t-shirt. It livens up your old tee and is a great way to add a new piece to your wardrobe without actually adding a new piece to wardrobe. So if you're looking to join me in my obsession, that's probably the best place to start.

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