In my opinion, aside from Speedos, the tank top is the most perilous of the all male garments. The donning of the tank top by a man should only be undertaken with the distinct permission from a women in their life–preferably not their mother–and I strongly urge any women to consult the list below when choosing what guy can wear a tank top and why.
These are the only five men I grant permission to wear a tank top in public.
#1 Richard Simmons. No one wears a Bedazzled tank top like Richard. He is allowed because any other kind of garment on him is just wrong–sports coat, cashmere sweater? Eww, wrong! Rule: If you permeate zero masculinity, and in fact are a male who is like a vortex of male energy, you are allowed to wear a tank.
( I double-dog dare you to click and enlarge this photo.)
#2 My brother, Randall. Both my brothers actually, but I could only find a picture of Randall wearing a tank. In fact, I was hard-pressed to find a picture of either of them with a shirts on at all. Rule: Brothers are allowed to wear tanks if they have the chest hair of a 20-year-old. They are, confusingly, grandfathered in.
(Please, I’m begging you, whatever you do don’t leave a comment saying he’s cute. For heaven’s sakes, he already thinks every girl has a crush on him. We don’t want to encourage him.) #3 Gerard Butler. If you’re in prison and working out by doing pull-ups from the grids on the ceiling and you’re Gerard Butler, by all means, wear a tank top. Rule: Obvious studliness gets a pass on the tank top.
#4 The Harlem Globe Trotters. I would say all athletes, but that really leaves the door too wide open for singlet-style tanks and those self-cut tanks made from Gold’s Gym T-shirts that are open all the way down the side. So I wanted to be very specific. Rule: If you are a professional athlete (or just play one on the court) and have a retro-vibe going, you are allowed to wear the tank–but, only while performing your sport.
#5 Steve Perry from Journey. No one rocked the sleeves cut off a regular t-shirt, ’80s tank top like Steve Perry. This video is one of my all-time favorites and, I think, the BEST 80’s video EVER. Rule: If you’re Steve Perry, you can wear whatever you want.
Love his shirt in the video? Want one of your own? You can order it here, just take scissors to the sleeves and you’re good to go. I got one for my friend’s husband. Will include note he can only wear in public if he has expressed, written permission from his wife (which he will never get, so don’t worry).
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