Summer Layering: Tank Tops

July 5th, 2011

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Firstly, my apologies for the delay in this month’s Video – we will try to get Episode 6 up soon.


Summer can be a tricky time for style. To beat the heat, most guys keep it simple with a t-shirt/polo & shorts, and all layering goes out the window.

Although a simple outfit can look great (with the proper fit, colors, accessories, etc) that doesn’t mean you should discount layering all-together.

Here, some layered summer looks featuring an underrated accent piece: the tank top.


1. Under Slim Cotton Jacket

The tank under a jacket can be a tricky look to pull off. It’s all about balance: make sure that the tank isn’t too tight, and the jacket isn’t too loose. The tank should also be cut (or rolled/partially tucked) shorter than the jacket.

This works best with unstructured jackets, preferably in cotton – although I’ve seen it done well with more traditional suiting fabrics as well.

Bonus Tip: These aren’t stretchy, tight, “wife beater” undershirts – they are tank tops that are meant to be a little loose and flowy

Bonus Tip II: Tanks are one of the only garments that I suggest buying one size up.

Bonus Tip III: Tank tops, like several other summer looks, look best on the fit – but that doesn’t mean a heavier guy can’t pull it off!

Bonus Tip IV: It helps if you have a tan too – but that doesn’t mean a pale guy can’t pull it off! (I’m proof haha).


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someone
  • Jane

    Great post, although your post is not related to women tank tops, some of the same issues apply to women, for example, some of the women that come to us always complain about summer clothes that do not layer properly.

    Thanks again for your informative post


  • Luke

    Much more handsome without the beard. Great look. Very tasteful.

  • Gazman

    SB, that is one fantastic look (green s/s shirt, blue shorts)! Living here in Brisbane, Australia, I’ve got to say that has inspired me as we move into our very long, very hot and humid summer.

  • theartfularcher

    I just came across this blog today and I’m hooked! I particularly loved this post! Very practical for someone like me, who lives in a tropical country (Philippines)where it’s summer all year round!

  • Mondstrocity

    I like wearing a mesh neon tank top with nothing underneath in the summer. NYC gets just as steamy as Kingston and it makes me feel like Ini Kamoze when mi hot-steppin’ seeen!

    Big up titanium status

    • SB

      Hahah. I think that only works if you’re a Jamaican reggae singer…which you may be (in this life or another :)

      Thx for reading.



    another example of why this is one of the most, if not the most solid men’s style blog out there. great balance on the basics and the more experimental expressive stuff. but of course in society you have some people who just don’t feel comfortable stepping outside of the boundaries. so of course its expected that posts like these will fly over some heads. i’m glad you did it though. it was needed. i actually like all of the looks and had it not been for this slight gut i accumulated at my desk job over this past winter i would give it a shot :(
    maybe next summer.

  • \

    Don’t like any of these personally, but tank tops + jacket is a solid look. You can tell most people here don’t follow fashion too closely.

    Something like this would be more my style:

  • Arsene

    I’m a sinny guy and really never felt confident about wearing tank tops. Confident restored! Thanks!!!

  • mr.please

    Great blog! Horrible entry tho. No tank tops unless u’re on the basketball court or on Jersey Shore.

  • bob

    that tank top on tank top, over under look… dude. wtf!? no man! just no!

  • Ed

    #4 UNDER AND OVER – 99% of the time I am a fan of your looks but I think the “Tank by Obey” is a not so much for me. One person stated it well “I respect the fact that you are trying new things and making style not so serious” and totally agree but i just cant bring myself to agree with this look no matter how much you experiment.

  • Plain-h20


    I like the style Dan!

    Quick question… how do you keep your sleeves rolled & not come out? When I do mines, i just pull them up & leave it, but it slides out. The sleeves on my blazer is slim so I thought it will stay up if I pull them but doesn’t work.


  • Tim

    Man, I’ve been reading this blog since last winter, and now I’m addicted. It’s easily the best men’s style blog out there and the looks you and your guests make are fantastic. I hope to see more of this style in the midwest soon.

  • Another Dan

    Although I wouldn’t wear any of this, I respect the fact that you are trying new things and making style not so serious. Great job!

  • Step

    Brent’s uping the photography game with some strobes! Nice.

  • justin

    what style of Levis are those in look 4?? 510s? i havn’t seen ‘em in that colour. they also look like they are a far lighter material than the 510 trousers.

  • Emanuel Iuhas

    I like a lot the Obey tank!!!
    Again you inspire me!
    Thank you Dan!

    Emanuel Iuhas
    Visual Merchandiseer/Fashion blogger

    • SB

      :) that’s our goal.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Krupottt

    these all look like you guys wardrobe comes from Toys R Us!!!! hahahahahahaha

    • DCRob

      Don’t get it?

    • SB

      This went over my head as well.
      Perhaps the looks are “playful”


  • Arsene

    Shot #1…def epic in my book. Very much digg’in the Native American print which is so busy yet understated at the same time. How do you do it brotha???

    Lifelong fan,

    Arsene R.

  • Bosun

    love the way you have totally worked that tank in look 4 & 5

  • KC

    haha brent, you’re digging the jumping shots, aren’t you?

    • SB

      Brent gets the crowd jumpin!

  • Jaakko

    Good post, been digging the aztec themed tank top w blazer for a while now, nice to see I’m “right” on that one. :D

    • SB

      Right you are. But beware with a forward look like this, there are more ways to get it wrong.


  • Kip

    Nice Post. Wesley’s outfit is great, as I have done this myself with crocodile loafers. I think #4 and #5 are great looks; well done Dan (Yes I’ll forgive you for the Espadrilles.) As I’m looking at #5 and saying to myself “ah a new use for one of my diner jackets” and remembering I gave a guy a tux back in January and I have seen him in the jacket twice with jeans. As to #3, the jean shorts are great if your happen to be a 19 year old size zero model or live off of Bedford Avenue.

    • SB

      Thx for reading Kip.

  • Brian

    Do you have to get the jackets dry cleaned more frequently wearing them this way?

    Since more skin, especially the armpits, is exposed directly to the blazers I’d think they would get junked up much quicker.

    Or maybe you have some other technique to keep the jackets clean and fresh?

    • Krupott

      I hear you concerns fellow but its actually pretty simple. Just make sure to eat lots of nutrients annd practice good hygeine and keeping your jackets in a freezer is a good way to keep em clean and smelling brand new and always hang them up for the fresh air to breeze it and maybe rub the sensitive areas of your garments with roll-on deodorant (the scentless kind)in order to keep a thin layer of protectorant between the cloth and any badness floating around and also neer lay around in your jacket or rub up against other fabrics too much

    • SB

      Good question. No real “technique” other than deodorant. My jackets are also made with a lined “sweat guard” at the armpits.

      Same rules apply: dry clean the jacket only when it is physically dirty, or smelly. Just because you wore it, doesn’t make it dirty. After all dry cleaning chemicals are harsh on fabrics.

      If it only needs a quick refresh, have it pressed. It’s cheaper and better for the garment.

      Hope this helps,

  • Rafa

    Loved looks #1 and #5, and #3 is also fine. But the detail i liked the most is that tattoo revealed in your chest. I find it sublime: i think you have classic, classy style, and sometimes tattos may not be well considered by that kind of person. But in you, instead, i think it gives a point of rebel elegance, breaking some traditional rules. Brilliant!

    • SB

      Thanks Rafa. Wait till you see the super-stylish, tatted-up gents we shot recently!


  • Sylvan

    Love that you are bringing back the jhorts (jeans shorts)..way to do it Trepanier. If I did not know you, I would think look number 4 is very gay/village people, but I know you are a top dawg from the Detroit playground.

    • SB


  • Craig


    I been debating about Espadrilles shoes for men, I didn’t know if it was a good look for Men but you pulled it off. So I’m guessing its very safe to wear for a Mandingo Warrior like myself?? lol Nice Post! Thanks….

    • SB

      I don’t understand the negative connotation with espadrilles. I have a handful for the summer, great simple shoes for slipping on in a hurry, and comfortable.

      I’m wearing a pair now actually.


  • Miguel Ramalhão

    Love the first pics… Amazing

  • Krupott

    ps is that sanajaya? (whehter it is or isnt, his hair is surely too long! tsk tsk tsk)

    • SB

      “Too” long? According to what?
      I think he rocks it very well

  • Anonymous

    whoah. but what if your nipple pops out over the top? or nopple is exposed when you lean over? btw is that sanjaya?

    • SB

      In each of these looks the nipples are safely covered.
      As I wrote in the post, that is Westley, our new photography assistant.
      Thanks for reading

  • Wayne Gonzales

    I literally just bought 3 items in this post yesterday. I now have more inspirations !

    • DCRob

      “As I’ve said a million times, my hope here is not that readers will recreate this look, but rather draw inspiration from it to help think outside the box a little.”–DT

      • Wayne

        I actually bought them before seeing this post.

  • Sartoria Panama

    Look #4, MAFIA STATUS!
    Love that look, you’ll definitely blend in!

    • SB

      Haha…that’s a flashy mafia
      Thx for reading

  • Zach Raymond Boroff

    The proof is in the pudding

    “Tortoiseshell watch stolen from my gf’s jewelry box”

    • SB

      Not sure what this means, but thx for reading!

  • TO

    #5 may be my favourite look you’ve ever done… Great way to fit in a streetware brand with that look as well! I was wondering where the heck that awesome tank came from.
    Great insights and ideas, I knew beaters wouldn’t work when I’ve wanted to try this sort of thing, but now I know why!

    • SB

      Thx TO!
      I hope all is well with you my man.

  • JT

    Loving the angle on the first shot. Pretty epic.

    • SB

      Brent say the clouds and wanted to use them – he’s got a fantastic eye

  • John Foster, III

    Cool looks…love the one under the gate “Temperance” sort of ironic given your wisdom concerning looks may not fit eveyone.

    • SB

      Good eye ;)

  • dre

    dan, the new photographer is taking this site to another level. Excellent addition, great post.

    • SB

      Thx dre. Agreed, Brent does great work.

  • mick swagger

    all your looks incorporate your personal swagger but you knocked it out the park with the fifth look. bravo!

    • SB

      Haha. Thanks. Great name.

  • Kyle

    Love love love this look. Been doing it myself for a while with a light jacket, so cool.

  • mcr

    Awesome post Dan!

    Always thinking outside the box.. This post was well worth the wait.

    • SB


  • Joe

    On the JCrew jacket, in the first photo, did you get the sleeves opened/do something to make the buttonholes functional, or is that just rolled with the buttons as is?

    • SB

      Just rolled. The only alteration to the sleeves was having them taken-in.


      • KLEE

        did you have to have the sides taken in as well? and is it the ludlow or aldridge?

        • Krupott

          Klee is a cool name

          • FRESH2DEATH

            Definitely the Ludlow fit, slimmer fit, narrow lapels, shorter hem.


        • SB

          It’s the ludlow I believe, and the sides were not taken-in, it’s a size down though (I’m a 40 chest).