If you’re a fan of ribbed tank tops (aka the “wife beater”), and curious whether or not it’s ok to wear them alone, in public, read on.
What’s the real name for a wife beater shirt?
The real & proper name for a wife beater is ribbed tank top. They are also known as a-shirts, sleeveless shirts, and tank top undershirts.
Per Wikipedia, this type of shirt is also know by the pejorative nicknames guinea tee or dago tee (“guinea” and “dago” being American ethnic slurs for people of Italian ethnicity).
A Fashion Faux Pas?
Here’s a question I received from a reader recently wondering exactly that.
I was just made a little self conscious about wearing Hanes white ribbed tank top undershirts.
I’ve always worn them and feel comfortable in them.
While I don’t usually just wear them as a fashion statement, I have been out in public with them on occasion, usually just on a last minute late night run to the store or just tooling around my house.
I also work at a job where I manage a large equipment warehouse that gets real hot during summer and I often take my shirt off during the afternoon.
It isn’t an issue with anyone, except for one gal who is making a stink about how crass they are. I don’t think anyone else cares actually, since most of the senior office personnel are guys.
Even if I put my shirt on, it can still be seen though it.
Is this a fashion faux pas?
I need to add that while she has gotten in my head a bit, she didn’t seem to mind when she made occasional afternoon runs back to the warehouse to “blow off some steam” with me.
Only since things cooled down has she been making a stink.
It’s not like I’m a fat overweight guy. I work out hard and stay in shape.
Do people really make a conscious note of undershirts?
Top Rules To Wearing Wife Beaters
Good to hear from you buddy, and thanks for your question!
TBH, and based on what you said about how things have “cooled down”, I think your co-worker is just nit-picking.
That said, here are some articles for you to take a look at:
Wearing a Ribbed Tank Top Undershirt Alone?
Regarding wearing it alone, to be 100% honest, it’s really a matter of personal preference.
That said, if you’re in a position where you may not want to offend people, you could:
1. Bring a light t-shirt with you to work and wear that instead of simply just removing your shirt and wearing your ribbed tank top.
2. Bring a white crew neck or v-neck undershirt, and wear that instead.
3. Find a thin lightweight crew neck or v-neck undershirt, and wear that instead of the ribbed tank top.
Hope the above information helps.
Let me know your thoughts, ok?
Bob’s Feeling A Little Better
Thanks for the reply and the links.
Makes me feel a little better about the ole wife beater.
I’ve definitely been rocking the beater under the snug tee shirt and liked the look.
Glad it’s considered fashionable now!
Will need to check out the other products too. Thanks.
Btw, I spoke with the branch manager in the warehouse this morning and he said they don’t care what I wear back here, as long as I use health and safety precautions when needed, or dress appropriately for clients.
In fact he said the guys know what was going on and were rooting me on because apparently she wasn’t always the most pleasant person around the office but was nice and calm when she wound return…go figure.
They are kind of hoping it would start up again. Lol