The Surprising History of the Tank Top
The Surprising History of the Tank Top
When the summer months are upon us, one of the most popular items in many wardrobes is the tank top.
It can be dressed up with a jacket and smart jeans, or dressed down with pajamas and worn to bed.
Tank tops keep your arms and neck cool while covering the rest of your upper body.
When the temperature is warm, they provide just the right amount of coverage.
When did tank tops make their way into modern society?
Before the 1920’s, men and women were not seen showing their arms off in public.
However, the Roaring Twenties brought about a revolution in the world of fashion and clothing.
Women were cutting their hair shorter, wearing dresses which were more revealing than the previous trends, and enjoying human contact (such as rebellious hand-holding!) with their male partners while they danced or walked down the street.
Tank Tops in the Olympic Games
The introduction of women’s swimming into the Olympic Games came along in 1912, held in Stockholm, Sweden.
A total of 27 women competed in the swimming events at these particular games, and their swimwear was deemed “immodest” by many news outlets and spectators.
The costumes they wore were very similar to modern-day tank tops, but with an added piece which resembled shorts to cover the top half of the thighs.
While we might call it a “swimming pool” these days, back in the 1920’s, it was known as a swimming “tank.”
Thus, the items worn by female swimmers were referred to as “tank suits,” in other words, a suit which was worn in the tank!
Tank suits were made from a variety of materials including silk, which was considered very immodest since it was often see-through after going in the water.
Cotton was also used, and heavy woolen materials were considered the most modest since they were so thick and concealing.
The top of a tank suit had straps which were almost identical to the straps we see on tank tops today.
The straps would keep the suit up, but the lack of sleeves gave female swimmers the freedom of movement and flexibility that they needed in order to perform to their full potential in the pool.
A waist trimmer is a shaping garment similar to a girdle. The waist trainer pulls a person’s midsection in as tight as possible. The idea behind a waist trainer is that the pulling action gives the person a sleeker, smaller waist.
Waist trainers usually consist of a combination of tough fabric and hard fibers. Hooks, Velcro, lacing, or other strong fasteners hold the trainer tightly in place.
Advocates believe that it is possible to “train” the waist to retain a slimmer shape after frequent wearing of the garment over an extended period. Some people suggest that wearing a waist trainer while working out can aid weight loss.
Do they work?
Waist trimmer of sweat work in a similar way to corsets, which fell out of fashion due to discomfort and health concerns.
A waist trainer can produce a temporary reduction in waist size or circumference, and a person will typically see immediate results. However, as soon as they take off the waist trainer, their waist will no longer look smaller.
Also, waist trainers do not reduce a person’s body fat. People looking to lose body fat around their midsection or lose substantial weight overall should not rely on wearing a waist trainer to do this.
However, a person may feel a loss of appetite while wearing a waist trainer. The garment puts pressure on the stomach, which can create an artificial feeling of fullness.
Short sleeve button up shirts and polos… they get a bad rap, man. I think that’s mostly because the nerds and dorks who wear them in TV shows and movies wear them all wrong.
The fit is off, the color is off, the length is off… everything is wrong.
But in warm weather, short sleeve shirts are a life-saver! Especially if you run hot, like myself.
In this article, we’re gonna cover every detail about how a short sleeve button up shirt and polo shirt should fit.
Let’s get into it!
By the way, click on any of the fit images below to enlarge in a new tab (for a more detailed view!)
HOW SHOULD A SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT FIT OVERALL?
Overall, your short sleeve button-up shirt should fit slim, but not too tight.
Try the sit down test. When trying on a new shirt , button it up like you normally would, and then sit down in a chair.
It should feel as comfortable (and have enough give) sitting down as it is while standing. The buttons shouldn’t be pulling apart; the shirt shouldn’t be stretching like spandex on your torso.
By the way, the short sleeve shirts you see in these photos are from Peter Manning. PMNYC is a long-time partner of EG and I’m psyched to have their short sleevers as the perfect example of a well-fitting short sleeve shirt in this article.
If you haven’t come across PMNYC yet and you’re a shorter / smaller guy, you’ve probably run into the issue of clothing proportions being off somehow… Whether it’s:the shirt being too long the sleeves being too long & wide or the pockets being too big and low on your shirts and pants Peter Manning’s taken care of all that with their clothing. They’re designed specifically for the guy of smaller stature (5’8″ and under), meaning everything—length, width, proportion, even pocket sizes!—are designed with the smaller man in mind.
16 Different Types of Sleeves
There are many different sleeve styles that can be loose and flowy, structured or puffy, long or short, and can be made from any kind of fabric.
Set-in sleeve. A set-in sleeve is a sleeve that is attached to the garment’s armhole and sewn all the way around. Most sleeves, if they are not continuous with the bodice’s fabric are set-in sleeves.
Bell sleeves. Also called peasant sleeves, this long sleeve is fitted around the shoulder and upper arm and flares out to the wrist, like a bell.
Cap sleeves. A cap sleeve is an extremely short sleeve that doesn’t extend very far from the shoulder and doesn’t go below the armpit. It can have a gathered, elastic seam or a loose seam.
Kimono sleeves. A kimono sleeve is a sleeve that is in one piece with the garment’s bodice and is not sewn on separately. The sleeve is generally wide with a uniform circumference throughout. These are generally used for Chinese-style robes, not Japanese kimonos, despite their name. For a Japanese kimono, the sleeves are usually sewn separately.
Raglan sleeves. A raglan sleeve extends from a garment's neckline, rather than from the shoulder, and this allows better movement. This type of sleeve is used for baseball t-shirts.
Bishop sleeves. A bishop sleeve flares out from the shoulder, giving volume to the sleeve all the way to the cuff, where the fabric is tightly gathered.
Butterfly sleeves. Like a bell sleeve, a butterfly sleeve flares out from the shoulder, but it usually does not fully cover the arm.
Flutter sleeves. A flutter sleeve is very similar to a butterfly sleeve except it is generally a little shorter and wider, falling loosely
Dolman sleeves. This is a type of sleeve that has a very deep armhole, and the sleeve gets progressively narrower to the wrist. This type of sleeve is also called a batwing sleeve, due to its likeness to wings.
Puffed sleeves. A puffed sleeve is gathered at the shoulder and at the seam but is full and “puffy” in the middle.
Cape sleeves. Cape sleeves are full and flowing sleeves that look like capes. The fabric is gathered at the shoulder and flares out like a cape from there.
Lantern sleeves. A lantern sleeve is a long sleeve that balloons out between the wrist and the elbow and then gathers again around the wrist.
Balloon sleeves. Balloon sleeves are long, puffed sleeves that are gathered at the shoulder and then puffed out and gather back at the wrist. Sometimes, the sleeve puffs out lower than the shoulder, but it is still a full puff rather than a tapered flare.
Slit sleeves. A slit sleeve is a sleeve that has a slit down the center usually exposing part of the arm. This sleeve can also be called a cold shoulder sleeve.
Leg-of-mutton sleeves. This sleeve is gathered and puffed by the shoulder and upper arm and then fitted on the forearm. This style of sleeve somewhat resembles a sheep’s leg, hence the name.
T-shirt sleeve. A t-shirt sleeve is a short, set-in sleeve that starts at the shoulder and ends at the middle of the upper arm.