Man Tank Mandate

Richard Simmons, sporting the man tank.
Richard Simmons, sporting the man tank.

I’ve talked about my fashion prejudice in the past, about how I feel the pajama jean is the ultimate symbol of “I give up,” that the Forever Lazy is a disgrace, and that I think it’s always wise to keep clothing on while pole dancing for Jesus.


Despite my ridiculous prejudice, I’ve always left the men’s fashions alone. Until tonight.


Now that summer is in full swing it’s time to mention something I simply hate: tank tops on men.


I can only think of three places a tank top is vaguely appropriate for men – as a sleep shirt, at the creek as a swim shirt, and possibly – maybe – while working out.


Just like the skinny jean for men, the tank top is not an ok fashion statement to make. Last night we went to dinner and were seated by a person with chin length, gently curled hair pulled back in a headband, gray skinny jean cut off shorts, a tightly fitted tank, and those creepy shoes with all your toes separated out.


My first instinct with this person was to thank her for her hospitality – and then I realized she was also sporting a goatee and it wasn’t the kind you get thanks to menopausal hormones.


She was a he. Wearing very feminine attire.


I admit it – I stared. I didn’t want to stare because I want to believe I’m more cultured than that. But I’m not. I stared. Every time he walked briskly by our table I stared some more.


Some things belong to women and other things belong to men.


Men get pretty much exclusive access to certain items of apparel like athletic supporters, banana slings, and suits of armor. Women get sole ownership of panty hose, brassieres, and tank tops.


Everyone can share the boxer shorts, socks, and t-shirt. No harm, no foul. There are lots of other things they can share too, like toothpaste, hair gel, and hand lotion.


The tank top – men, keep your head out of them. I have as much interest in seeing your pit hair as you have in seeing mine. By virtue of your flowing armpit wool you also have deodorant balls. Not a pretty sight!


Men, if you start wearing tank tops I’m going to have to request you begin shaving your armpits and I think you know you don’t want to start that funky business. Just think of the vast amount of razors you’ll be going through then!


Are there any other items of clothing you’d like to classify as exclusively one gender or the other?



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