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6 Different Types of Tank Tops for Men

Learn how to wear tank tops properly or how to style it with other outfits by learning more about tank tops for men.

Man wearing grey tank top on blue background.

When it comes to types of tank tops for men, there are fewer types than there are for women. That is largely because men do not wear them for the same reasons that women wear them, much of the time. Men styles are a little simpler, and when they don’t make the cut for men that they would like, men can find their own ribbed tank in the women’s department if they want to.

Still, men like to look good as much as a woman does, and sometimes, the answer to that is a tank top. Learn more about the types of tank tops for men, and see if there is a choice here for you.

The Athletic Tank Top

Athletic tank top worn by weight lifter.

The athletic tank top for men is likely where most men are wearing tank tops today, although they are also seen in bars, farms, and on the streets on a hot day.  Athletic tank tops for men come in a wide range of fabrics and cuts. The benefits of these are tremendous for men who work out, or, men who like to wear a nice athletic tank top.

The athletic tank top is lightweight and is often designed to keep sweat away from the body for workouts or warm days. These tank tops are used to keep someone dry, comfortable, and flexible when worn during workouts. It also helps from keeping you overheated.

There are some brands of athletic tank tops that are constructed for good airflow, and they come tailored to help the wearer breathe through the workouts. These tank tops are not your average tank top but will have ventilation constructed into the design in order to keep the athlete cool and dry during workouts. The right brand can make or break a workout or competition, and for serious athletes, these tank tops are a little more costly and worth the investment.

Women love athletic tank tops as well, but this is a versatile look for a man. The athletic tank top can be used in almost any style of dress when paired with the right accessories.

The Basic Tank Top

Man wearing a basic white tank top.

The basic tank top is in many people’s wardrobes, men and women alike. Tank top fans will buy them by the six-pack in stores like Target and Old Navy because they are just that versatile to wear in any wardrobe. The basic tank top for men is typically a plain color but can be black, printed, or even have a little bling for the man with a little extra style.

The basic tank top is a tank top that is exactly what it sounds like, a simple narrow shoulder tank top with a minimalist cut. These are typically fitted tank tops but can be loose as well, and that will depend on your personal preference. The most common basic tank top is the white tank top, but you will also find black tank tops rank a close second to this basic tank, which is wearable for men with almost anything.

Most men will wear these as an undershirt, but many will wear them on their own for the day.

Designer Tank Tops

Stylish man wearing white tank top and sunglasses.

Designers know that men love to show their hard work from the gym off as much as women do, and they have accommodated them with trends in tank top styles that can be worn anywhere. Men’s tank tops are appearing on the runways in a wide range of fabrics, styles, and colors. Metallics are big for men that like the nightlife, and a little bling from the designers for men is not unusual either.

At the same time, streamlined and tailored looks from designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren are on the runway as well. These are tank tops that can be worn with blazers, sweaters, plaids, and flannels, as much as the women’s tanks can be. Some designer tanks can be very elegant and look close to sweater vests, while others are simply higher-quality ribbed tanks that work well with anything.

The Hooded Tank Top

Man jogging wearing sleeveless hoodie.

The hooded tank top is a merge between an everyday look and a casual style. This can be worn during bodybuilding or at the gym, and are a sleeveless version of the hooded sweatshirt. Some men find this tank top a little edgier, with a strong rapper vibe to it for those that aren’t athletes.

They offer a wide range of purposes to men that are looking for a casual style with their tank top.

The hooded tank top can be worn with anything, and it will all depend on what hooded tank top you are starting with. Denim is an easy pairing with any tank top and keeps the casual tone of this hooded top fresh looking. With the right styling and accessorizing, a hooded tank top can look great when it is dressed up with black denim or black dress pants, evening shoes, and the right watch or men’s jewelry to match.

The season or occasion doesn’t matter either with these tank tops. They can also be paired with a blazer or coat when the office or work dress code permits it. They can be worn in warmer climates or in cooler ones, and are great choices for fall and spring when you don’t know how the day’s temperature is going to go in a seasonal climate.

The V-Neck Tank Top

Man in glasses wearing v-neck tank top.

The V-Neck tank top is another look that can go either way, for day or for the night when it comes to styling men’s tank tops. Again, it will depend on the brand and the designer as to what occasion these tank tops can be used for. These are a cut for tank tops that give tank tops a unique look.

It makes the eye a little more interested in the cut because this is not your everyday tank top.

These can be great workout tops that breathe well and offer a trendy cut for the athlete who likes to look good at the gym when working out. They also are a very nice cut for men that want to wear a tank top to work or to the club under a blazer or sport coat.

There are a number of reasons why these tank tops work well. The key benefits here are both comfort and style, with versatility that V-neck tank tops can be worn almost anywhere when you style them right.

The Sleeveless Tank Top T-Shirt

Man sitting down on the beach wearing t-shirt tank top.

The sleeveless tank top T-shirt is also known as a muscle shirt, or colloquially, as a wife beater. This is a T-shirt that looks like it has no sleeves, and very often, the armholes are cut a little wider for more skin on the shoulders and sometimes chest. This is for the man that doesn’t want to bare too much when he is wearing tank tops but still wants the comfort of a cooler top to wear when he is working out or gets too warm.

Sometimes the sleeveless tank top can be a compression top. These are good tops to wear for working out, but can also be worn for men that have blood pressure issues. Many of these designs will have evaporation channels built into the tank top in order to allow for breathing while wearing a compression top.

The V-neck compression tank is a great top to wear for sweat absorption and to keep the wearer dry and comfortable. Many V-necks built for practical functionality and not fashion are made with stretch fabric that helps the body to move and exercise, giving this type of tank top comfort that can go anywhere.

How to Wear Men’s Tank Tops

Man wearing a casual yellow tank top.

There are not as many variations of tank tops for men as there are for women, but that doesn’t make it any more difficult to style them for men. When you are pairing your tank top with your outfit for the day, you don’t need to overthink this. You just need to think about what you can wear that day, what you need to wear, and how to incorporate your tank into your look.

For the athlete, the choices are going to be simple and even minimalist. You will wear the tank top with your gym clothing and the shoes you will need for your workout.

If you want to wear your tank top to work, you will pair it with your dress code for work, along with whatever else you want to wear it with. Here you can dress it up, dress it down, and do whatever you want with it.

Another key fact to keep in mind when you are pairing tank tops with your everyday look is fabric and climate. Tank tops are typically worn to keep you cool in whatever situation and climate that you are in. Breathable tanks are available if you tend to get warmer faster.

If you just want something with shorter sleeves, a tank top does the job. A blazer, sweater, jacket, or hoodie, can be worn on top when the day starts off cooler and warms up through the afternoon.

A tank top can also be worn in the evening if it is the right top and working with the right style. Don’t be afraid to dress this up. It is as easy to dress up even a simple white tank top, as it is to dress up a designer tank.

Pair the tank with dressier pants, some bling if you like it. Even a nice watch with your tank top uplifts the look in a way that says style.

Prints are another way to bring a twist to your tank top. Designers are making tanks with prints and abstract looks to them. These can still be worn in the gym, the office, and at night if you want to show off some personality.

Pair a color of pant with a color in the print and you are a man with style.

Fitted tanks are a very nice look for the man that works out. However, an oversize tank with skinny jeans or skinny pants is another look that brings casual and cool together. Go ahead and tuck in the front of the tank top into your waistband for a hip-hop look that breathes cool in every way.

Tank tops also work very well when worn as an undershirt for any other look. This may be the most common way that most men wear them. They are worn under flannel, dress shirts, button-down shirts, and even at the gym as a way of adding a layer of breathability to your look.

Exchanging the dress shirt for a sports coat but leaving the tank on for the evening is a common way of using the tank top all day if you want the cool look to continue into the evening.

Fabric in Men’s Tank tops

Displayed white tank top.

For these tank tops, and any man’s tank top, it is always going to be about fabric selection. The fabric for men’s tank tops come in a range as wide as the fabric for women.

You can get them in prints, cotton, cotton-poly blends, spandex, nylon, and other breathable fabrics that will be both cool and stylish to wear. Rayon and silk are other popular choices for fabric in men’s tank tops.

When you are looking for a tank top for yourself, you want to take the fabric into consideration. Fabrics such as rayon and silk are going to need help when laundering, and some extra attention. These fabrics will shrink easily, making your tank top something you will only be able to wear once if you do it wrong.

If you have a dry cleaner or can swing outsourcing that issue, you won’t need to worry about this as much. However, if you don’t want to go that route, and want a low-maintenance tank top, cotton and polyester blends are always the best choice.