Another story says that the tank top got its name from the sleeveless shirt that soldiers wore during World War I, also called tank tops.
In different geographical locations, the tank top goes by diverse names such as “vest” in the United Kingdom, “muscle shirts,” or “A-shirts.” Irrespective of the various labels, the modern-day tank top owes its existence to early bathing trends and continues to prevail as a fashionable and functional clothing piece.
Today, we will take a look at the history of the tank top and how it got its name. Also, we will explore how this popular garment has evolved over the years and how it is worn today.
The History of Tank Tops
The history of the “Tank Top,” a popular wardrobe staple across the globe, has a unique heritage that can be traced back to early 20th-century fashion trends. Often worn for casual occasions, or as athletic or formal wear, the evolution of the tank top offers an interesting narrative about cultural changes in clothing styles.
|1913||John L. Hammons patents the first tank top (There is evidence that it was worn before; he just patented it).|
|1920s||Tank tops become popular as a part of one-piece swimsuit for both men and women.|
|1940s||Tank tops become popular with women as casual wear.|
|1940s-1950s||Tank tops are often worn by soldiers during World War II.|
|1950s||The popularity of tank tops declines.|
|1970s||Tank tops make a comeback as a popular item of casual wear for both men and women.|
|1980s||Tank tops become a popular fashion item, especially among athletes and celebrities.|
|1990s-present||Tank tops remain a popular item of clothing for both men and women.|
Here are some additional notable events in the history of tank tops:
|1962||The Beatles wear tank tops on the cover of their album “With the Beatles.”|
|1977||Arnold Schwarzenegger wears a tank top in the movie “Pumping Iron.”|
|1982||Madonna wears a tank top in the music video for her song “Lucky Star.”|
|1999||Britney Spears wears a tank top in the music video for her song “Baby One More Time.”|
The Origins of the Tank Top
The tank top is a piece of clothing that has been around for centuries, dating back to the days of the Roman Empire. It was originally designed for soldiers to wear under their armor, but it has since evolved into a fashion staple for both men and women.
The tank top became popular in the United States during the 1920s when women started wearing them as beachwear. They became even more popular in the 1960s when men began wearing them as casual. Today, the tank top is a wardrobe essential for both men and women. It can be dressed up or down and is the perfect garment for hot summer days.
The tank top is a versatile and stylish piece of clothing that anyone can wear. It is a great way to show off your muscles and can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. So whether you are headed to the beach or the gym, a tank top is a great choice.
Who Invented the Tank Top?
The invention of the tank top is often attributed to John L. Hammons, who patented a design for a sleeveless undershirt in 1913. However, there is evidence that tank tops were already being worn in the early 1900s, so it is possible that Hammons did not invent the tank top, but simply patented a new design for it.
There are also some who believe that the tank top was invented by Italian immigrants, who brought the garment to the United States in the early 1900s. These immigrants reportedly wore tank tops as a way to stay cool in the hot summer weather.
How the Tank Top Became a Fashion Staple?
It’s hard to imagine a world without tank tops. They’re such a staple in our summer wardrobe that it’s hard to believe they didn’t always exist. So how did the tank top become a fashion staple?
The tank top has its origins in the world of sport. In the early 1900s, tank tops were worn by swimmers in order to increase their range of motion. Soon, other athletes, including tennis players and runners, began to adopt the tank top.
The tank top first entered the world of fashion in the 1920s. Coco Chanel famously wore a tank top in her iconic “little black dress” design. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the tank top really took off as a fashion style.
It was in the 1960s that the tank top became associated with the counterculture movement. Tank tops were seen as a rebellious fashion choice and were often worn by hippies and other young people rebelling against the establishment.
The tank top’s popularity only increased in the 1970s. This decade saw the rise of the disco scene, and the tank top was the perfect garment for dancing the night away. The tank top was also associated with the feminist movement, as it was seen as a garment that women of all shapes and sizes could wear.
The tank top’s popularity has only continued to grow in the decades since. Today, it is a staple in the wardrobes of people worldwide. It’s the perfect garment for a hot summer day and can be dressed up depending on the occasion.
What Is The Difference Between A Tank Top And A Regular Top?
|Feature||Tank Top||Regular Top|
|Fabric||Lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton, polyester, or nylon||Varies|
|Occasion||Casual, athletic||Casual, formal, business|
|Style||Versatile, can be dressed up or down||More formal|
Why Are Tank Top Undershirts Called ‘Wife Beaters?’
The term ‘wife beater’ for a tank top undershirt might raise an eyebrow, but its origin story is fascinating.
The term reportedly came into use after a 1947 criminal case where a Detroit man, pictured in a stained undershirt, was accused of killing his wife.
There was a more colorful explanation that the term was derived from a medieval chain mail called a ‘waif-beater,’ but that was a ruse admitted by its proponent, film-maker Paul Davidson. The controversial nickname for an everyday garment reflects how popular culture absorbs and transforms mundane objects.
Finally, we know why it is called a tank top. It turns out that the answer is quite simple and has to do with the fact that these shirts were originally designed to be worn by soldiers during World War II. The tanks at that time were very hot and uncomfortable, so the soldiers needed a shirt to help them stay cool. The tank top was born!
I hope this helped clear things up. If you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.