Sleeveless t-shirts first started appearing on men in the 70’s and 80’s, and skyrocketed in popularity as bodybuilders and athletes began wearing them. However, they took a hit in the 90’s, and there are many ways to wear a sleeveless shirt and look ridiculous. These shirts are starting to come back, but there are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to avoid a fashion disaster. Here’s a guide to wearing sleeveless shirts for men.
First of all, determine whether you’re going to be wearing the sleeveless shirt on its own or as an undershirt. Sleeveless shirts look great when layered under button down shirts or tees; they also work especially well underneath a basketball jersey. However, if you’re going to be layering, you should avoid any print or decoration on the sleeveless shirt and keep it a neutral color such as white, gray, or black.
Choosing a Color
If you wear the shirt on its own, however, then you have a lot more latitude in choosing the color. Blue, red, dark purple or green are all great masculine choices. You might want to take your skin tone into account, though—dark muted hues work better for men with heavy tans and dark skin tones, while brighter colors work better for paler guys. If you like the color and can wear it with confidence, though, go for it.
Rock the Shirt
Make sure that the shirt flatters your body type. Sleeveless shirts emphasize muscular physiques, flat stomachs, and large biceps. If you have an athletic build, then by all means go sleeveless. You can still get away with a sleeveless shirt if you have an average or stocky body however. Choose a looser shirt, which can make your chest look fuller and divert attention from your biceps. Also, darker colors can make the wearer look slimmer than he really is. If you want your chest to look fuller, try layering two sleeveless shirts together.
Don’t Show Off
Although a sleeveless shirt can make you look great, a little modesty never hurt anyone. Even if you have fantastic abs, it’s best to let other people notice on their own instead of showing them off through a small, super tight tank. If you wear sleeveless shirts that leave little or nothing to the imagination, then people are likely to notice your muscles first and your vanity second. Steer away from the tightest shirts and you’ll manage to show off your body without looking conceited. Also, stick with rounder necklines, since they show less skin.
Keep it Together
Try to balance your top and bottom. If you’re wearing a flashy sleeveless shirt with bright colors or dramatic prints, you’ll probably want to stick with plain denim or khaki shorts. However, plain shirts can look really good with patterned shorts or flashy vintage jeans. Don’t make your pants and shirt fight for attention.
Where to Wear
Finally, sleeveless shirts can’t be worn everywhere. They are great for casual parties, the beach, or the gym, but they shouldn’t be worn to work. Also, these only work in warmer weather. Sleeveless shirts in the winter just look silly.
There are many reasons to love sleeveless t-shirts—they’re cheap, versatile, and really enhance your physique. With a good shirt and these tips, you can’t go wrong, so get out there and lose those sleeves!