Tank Tops

Banana Republic ribbed cotton tank top


Tank Tops

A price and style comparison

Have you embraced the return of the A-shirt? I bet you didn't know that's what these ribbed tanks are officially called, thanks to Hanes, which rechristened the undergarment as the athletic shirt (or A-shirt) in the 1970s. You've no doubt heard them referred to by their domestic violence-influenced nickname—but that's been rebranded these days into the more palatable “wife pleasers” moniker. It's one of those old-school closet essentials that has seen some resurgence in the last few years—relaxed, reliable and easily accessible. Think of it as the undershirt you need when it's too damn hot for an undershirt.

They're such a staple that everyone from legendary leading men to modern-day celebrities have rocked them in their own unique way. Bruce Lee opted to train in his as it frees up your shoulders for maximum movement. A young Matt Dillon shows that the tank is the key to keeping your poplin shirt fresh while Shawn Mendes is raw-dogging it in the city with some wide-leg pants. Honestly, that's a bold style move that would probably look better with a billowy camp collar or unbuttoned sweater polo tossed over it.

Showing off a little more chest and maybe a necklace or two, these tanks exude a cool, sexy confidence. But you've got to find the one that works for you. When they're available everywhere—and we mean everywhere from drug stores and big box retailers to specialty shops—how do you decide which one's worth the money? And how much should you spend on an undershirt? We tested a handful to bring you three that offer comfort, value and quality. Each is made for flexing, literally, but how much you want to spend is entirely up to you.



The Budget-Friendly Option

• Thicker than your average “wife pleaser”, made from 73% cotton and 27% polyester

• The fabric utilizes the company's DRY technology that wicks sweat away without feeling like performance wear

• This tank has the lowest cut collar of the three

• These run large, so consider sizing down for a snug undershirt-style fit and they're longer, so plan to tuck them in

DRY color ribbed tank top,
$9.90 by UNIQLO


The Athletic-Fitting Option

• This is made from $96% organic cotton and 4% spandex

• If you're not much of a tank guy, this has a high-cut neckline and thicker straps, which looks great under an open-collar shirt

• The trim around the neck and arm openings is thicker, giving it a more luxe look and the slight stretch of the spandex helps it retain its shape after each wear

• The stitched hem running down the back helps with a more flattering silhouette

Ribbed cotton tank top,
$40 by Banana Republic


The Ultimate Variety Pack Option

• This is made of a thin, 100% cotton fabric

• A great value at about $15 for each shirt (comes in a three-pack) and the quality is excellent

• Lightweight with a just-deep-enough scoopneck which hugs the torso and feels like you're wearing nothing

• The best-fitting option from the straight hem to the widened band around the shoulders

Cotton classic fit tank top,
$46 (for three-pack) by Calvin Klein

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