In my most controversial post so far I answer the question on every (regular-type-of) man’s lips:
Before you let out an audible elation that for once I have managed to keep a post under 2000 words; unfortunately I feel like I need to explain (for another 1950 words) my totally ‘anti’ stance on tanks (singlets, wife-beaters...).
Yes, alas it will take another lengthy style-bollocking to learn you good and proper why you should be avoiding yet another clothing item that has probably been a fundamental part of your Summer-‘look’ since George Michael insisted we should wake him up before we ‘..go-go’.
I need to be clear; I really regret having to say ‘no’ to singlets, because heaven forbid I should further reduce the already limited clothing options available to men. However, I take my calling to protect the ‘ordinary man’ from drifting into the demographic of ‘complete knob’ very seriously, and thus like a dominatrix I accept (ok; and enjoy a little) that I have to deliver some tough love.
So, I can almost hear you now, (yes, with my with my 6th sense ‘I hear style-challenged people’):
‘Its hot...and I look buff! I want to lose the sleeves, you nasty, oppressive cow!’
Yes, it is hot, but an addition of an extra 4 inches of cotton down your arm i.e. the difference between a tank top and a Tee, isn’t really going to smother you. However, it will save everyone else around you from the full-sensory exposure of a hairy sweat-scene every time you raise your arm.
Now the issue with the singlet is that, alas, others have spoilt the look for you.I don’t assume for a second you’re one of those tossers with hair that is the regrettable result of the ejaculation of about 500ml of gel to achieve the vertical mane-shame that is the ‘faux-hawk’.
Regrettably, whilst they strut down the esplanade in their Ripcurl thongs with a tenuous hold on a pit-bull, they are also wearing a tank (singlet; wife-beater...) to show off a hairless torso of Celtic tattoos and a self-tan which would make a pubeless porn-star with a set of double F-cups seem au naturale.
In some sort of semiotic fusion; the singlet has now become inseparable from the bogan, and when you innocently don one in an aim to stay cool, you inadvertently also become a ‘tool’ as if infected with some sort of tank-top incubated virus.
For god’s sake; sleeves are your only defence, man!
You’re probably thinking; surely there must be other singlet-wearing sub-cultures with whom you can affiliate to accommodate your desire to bear your freaking shoulders? Well, yes; but unfortunately these other tank-topped-demographics aren’t offering you alternative image-destination other than Twat-ville.
I need to stress at this point that there are some blokes who are an almost impossible personification of masculine and cool and could maybe get away with wearing a singlet and not looking like someone even your grandmother is even tempted to punch in the face.
However, I have always seen myself as the style-patron for the ‘average bloke’ and without the pleasure of having known you all individually, I must err on the side of caution and preach against singlet-wearing .
I cannot bear the burden that a single one of you would experience the almost tangible bewilderment from your mates down the pub because Mistress MenWTW suggested you are maybe one of the rare few who could actually pull off that floral tank.
This brings me to one of the ‘other’ singlet-wearing sector of the male population: the hipsters.
The American Apparel army find it a necessary part of their long-neck beer fuelled onslaught upon popular culture to be wearing a racer-back tank top lest they break out in a sweat when trying to pedal up a hill on a bike with no fucking gears.
Singlets to trendy metrosexuals are just another item in their insatiable-lust for irony. So despite their lily-white, girly-boy bodies; garnished in no more than 6 chest-pubes to validate their manhood, the hipster selects a top that marks their wee limp limbs as a location of interest.
There you have it; the tank-top is once again a poor little pawn in another subculture’s desperate need to establish an identity. Unfortunately, unless you were thinking that you might go ahead and become one of these-here hipsters because you already have a whole wardrobe from the 80’s and like the idea of getting a chest-load of ironic tattoos of household objects like toasters and game-boy consoles or some shit, the singlet is going to douse you in the undesirable scent of twattiness.
So what can you wear when the temps hit 30 degrees and all the trendy metros, bogans and thugs are delighting in their singlets, tank-top and wife-beaters? Well, you can wear a thin, scoop neck, short-sleeve t’shirt....and hold your head high whilst you and your manhood sweat it out.