Let’s talk about tank tops. “Muscle shirts.”
The last time you went to the gym (giving you the benefit of the doubt here), remember that guy? The gym bro in the tank with a neckline cut so low you couldn’t tell if the straps were a shirt or suspenders? A shirt that looked like it was made during the Great Cotton Crisis of 1923? A shirt with about a square foot of fabric that let you count every fiber of every muscle group? The guy slamming down the weights after every set because his superhuman efforts can only be sustained so long before the relentless god of gravity has had enough of him? Yeah, that guy.
Does he wear a tank top because he’s irritating? Or is he irritating because he wears a tank top?
Sure, we get it. Muscle shirts show off your muscles. We’re all impressed. Also by the guy next to you in a tank top. And the guy over there in another one. And that guy. And him. [Yawn …]
You know what’s really impressive, fitfolk? What shows what you’re like inside and out? Crew necks. A crew-neck shirt. And not just in the gym. Anywhere. Why? Well, let us share (because sharing is what people in crew necks do) …
10 reasons crew necks are better than tank tops
- Do you know why tank tops are called “tank tops”? They’re named after tank suits; one-piece women’s bathing suits from the 1920s. They were called that because back then, before pools were widely available, people went swimming in … you guessed it … tanks. “Yup, Clem gonna be pushin’ them cows out’the way ta git ta the tank and do me some swimmin’! A-yuh!”
- OK, this isn’t a reason, but just an FYI that we at SFE have nothing against women’s tank suits. They can be really attractive. But the men’s version is that thing high school and college wrestlers wear — a singlet. And please, guys, please don’t start wearing those to the gym.
- So when you think about it, a tank top is really a singlet without the pants part. Eew.
- Do you know why crew neck shirts are called “crew necks”? Because that’s the style of the collars on sweaters that used to be worn by teams of rowers, called crews. Crewing is an elegant, stylish sport of elegant, stylish people, and never takes place in a tank surrounded by bitter, thirsty cows.
- Also, crewing is done in teams whose success depends on split-second coordination and camaraderie; teams of people who work together; who don’t slam their oars or leave a bunch of sweat on the seat for you to wipe up.
- Do you know who the first athletes to ask for crew necks on T-shirts were? Football players — to wear under their shoulder pads and prevent chafing. Yeah, those dudes who are tough enough to slam into each other repeatedly all afternoon aren’t afraid to show their sensitive sides.
- And who else thinks crew necks are a good idea? The brave men and women of our unstoppable United States Navy, that’s who! In the lead-up to World War II they wanted crew neck T-shirts for their ability to (You listening, gym bro?) … absorb sweat.
- Who got them next? The Marines, baby! Only they would take the white ones and soak them in coffee so the white color wouldn’t give them away on reconnaissance missions. How cool is that? OO-rah!
- The crew necks’ style is more versatile than a tank top’s. You can find it on sweaters and sweatshirts — items with long sleeves. Can you imagine a long-sleeved tank top? No. That would be dumb.
- And finally, crew necks in any style have a full front on the shirt. They have a chest. And do you know what would look really great on that chest? That’s right: the Arizona-proud logo of State Forty Eight.
We rest our case.