The Best Tank Tops Offer a Bicep-Positive Wardrobe Boost

The best tank tops for men go by many names: A-shirts, muscle tees, sleeveless tees, singlets. But we’re just calling them tank tops. Thanks to menswear’s obsession with camp collar shirts and everyone re-watching The Sopranos, the style’s exploded in popularity. They’ve even gone so far as to warrant their own renaissance with boatloads of designers twisting the tank in new and exciting ways.

That’s all great news because the tank top deserves to be in your wardrobe, if not for its many fashionable varieties, surely for its utter utility. Play to their undergarment roots and they can be a button-up-saving undershirt, the invisible hero to your outfit. You can hit the gym in a performance tank with all the moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties modern science can imbue. Or you can play the capital-F fashion card and wear a tank purely to augment your already-massive fits. The classic move is to layer a tank under an unbuttoned camp shirt (with a dope chain around your neck, of course)—but don’t be afraid to venture out into the fun, freaky side of tank tops by casting one in the lead role of your entire outfit.

All of which is to say, it’s a great big world of tanks out there, so GQ got into the weeds to find only the best tank tops for men. Whether you’re looking to flex your style chops (or those winter gains–another benefit of the tank top: they make your arms look really sexy), there’s a workhorse undershirt, muscle-baring workout partner, or a show-stopping sleeveless tee with your name on it. Even better, it’s almost definitely on this list. 

The Best Tank Tops Shopping Guide

The Best Basic Tank Top

Hanes tagless cotton tank (6-pack)

You’ve probably owned a six-pack of these at some point or another, and with good reason: Hanes’s no-frills, no-tags, all-cotton ribbed tanks are a preposterous value. They’re cut flatteringly from pure cotton, which means they’re presentable enough to wear on their own, and breathable and comfortable enough to survive the swampiest days of August. They’re best served, of course, as an undershirt—ideally peeking out from beneath a flowy button-down or polo sweater, the way the goodfellas in Goodfellas would do it. 

The Best Workout Tank Top

Lululemon metal vent tech sleeveless shirt 2.0

If you’re looking to make some gains in your tank, you’ll need one that wicks away moisture, dries quickly, and blocks odor. This one from Lululemon does all three better than most activewear tops do just one. The seamless construction also means a more comfortable workout with no chafing, and they come in a vibrant range of colors, so you can flex your excellent taste alongside your muscles. 

The Best Wild-Style Tank Top

Dion Lee “Safety Slider” tank top

Sometimes all it takes is a simple twist–a cutout here, a cinch there–to transform a basic into a righteous fashion flex. In less than a decade, Dion Lee, a tank top virtuoso of the highest order, has perfected those types of big-little revisions. From a fabric standpoint, the designer’s sleek ribbed tanks—cut from organic cotton with a touch of stretch—share plenty in common with the source material, but that’s where the similarities end. Lee’s tanks come every which way but the standard one, incorporating asymmetrical cutouts, garters, and, in this case, an adjustable shoulder strap that turns the humble layer into a choose-your-own-adventure swerve: just pull the safety slide tighter or looser depending on how you want to wear it. Because if you’re going to drop $400 on a tank top it really shouldn’t be a one-trick pony.

The Best Muscle Tee

Russell Athletic cotton performance sleeveless muscle T-shirt

Russell invented the crewneck sweatshirt a century ago, but its sleeveless T-shirts are just as worthy of your hard-earned dough as their fleece goods. They’re cut from a buttery-soft cotton jersey in a slim (but not too slim) fit that’s ideal worn as a base layer or all on its own. If your upper arm game is Dom Toretto-level beastly, these have just the right proportions to show off all your hard work. 

The Best Tank Top No One Will Mistake for an Undershirt

Corridor pointelle-knit pima cotton tank top

Eager to take advantage of the tank top’s easy, breezy nature but need a version with a little more pizzazz? Consider Corridor’s riff, an elegant pointelle-knit that shares more in common with a very respectable sweater than it does a schlubby undershirt. It’s crafted from the same soft cotton as its more casual brethren, but the the intricate weave lends it a dash of sophistication—without compromising on the tank’s innate breathability. (If you’re wearing a tank top, the climate is probably “hot” and being “not hot” is probably high on the list of priorities.) You could wear it under a rumpled striped button-up, but to really let its star wattage shine ditch the shirt altogether and throw on a crochet bucket hat, sleazy tinted shades, flowy linen trousers, and strappy leather sandals. No matter where you are, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation—and you’ll still look Zoom-ready when a surprise touch base pops on your calendar. 

Plus 19 More Tanks We Love

Calvin Klein cotton tank multipack

The early aughts staple you can still fall back on when your low-key outfits need a little freshening up.

Aimé Leon Dore multi-color tank top 3-pack

Neutrals on lock.

Tracksmith Van Cortlandt singlet

An ultramodern running tank built into a vintage chassis.

Nike AeroSwift running singlet

Sure, this mesh tank is super breathable, moisture-wicking, and aerodynamic. But most importantly, it’s goddamn sexy. The next time you’re really feeling yourself, tuck this into some thigh-baring shorts and head out the door.

Gap ribbed tank Top (2-pack)

What’s better than one classic ribbed tank from the saving grace of suburban malls across the country? Two, obviously.

CDLP pima cotton-blend jersey tank top

At this point, just replace all of your undergarments with CDLP and be happy.

Saul Nash drop stitch tank top

Sporty Spice. 

Rhone Swift tank

So unbelievably lightweight and breathable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing it.

Telfar half tank

Telfar’s forward-thinking take is off-kilter but very on-trend.

Ten Thousand lightweight tank

With literal silver doing the Lord’s work of blocking your B.O. (in tandem with a micro-ventilated, anti-chafe fabric), this tank boasts more specs than a tricked-out muscle car.

Uniqlo dry color ribbed vest top

We’d like to think that lopping the sleeves off a shirt is enough keep you cool, but if you need added reinforcement, the Japanese retailer’s DRY technology has you (un)covered.

Todd Snyder Made in L.A. tank top

You probably know Todd Snyder for his saliva-inducing outerwear, handsome tailoring, and world-class sweats, but don’t sleep on his top-notch cotton jersey tanks.

Vuori Strato tech tank

Heading out for a long-distance run? This tank is imbued with UPF30+ protection to keep your torso sunburn-free.

Comme des Garçons SHIRT x Sunspel vest

Some of the silkiest, softest cotton you’ll ever have the privilege of experiencing.

Rick Owens ribbed tank top

The baddest tank top on the block.

K.NGSLEY “Romain” cutout ribbed tank

Leading the charge on the tank top reniassance, K.ngsley plays with the silhouette in a way that feels refreshing and fun. What more can you ask of a tank, really?

Mack Weldon 18-Hour jersey rib tank

Mack Weldon’s 18-Hour jersey rib tank is designed to regulate your body temperature through the heat and the cold, making it ideal as an undershirt.

Zimmerli Royal classic cotton tank top

The Swiss brand’s luxury touch extends to its tank tops, too.

Icebreaker Merino Anatomica tank

Tank tops can be a great base layer in the colder months, too. Icebreaker’s features a soft, naturally temperature-regulating merino wool yarn that’s wrapped around a nylon core for extra durability.

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