How The White Tank Top Became 2022’s Biggest Fashion Statement

To back up, the first white tank top was designed in the 1910s as a men’s undergarment, meant to be worn underneath shirts and while swimming. Between the 1920s and 1940s, the white tank top started to be worn as outerwear during World War I and II, when, according to Blackman, men “got in the habit of wearing undergarments as clothes.” Still, until 1934, the tank top was “never seen in public,” according to Blackman; the first time the article of clothing became visible to the masses — in a scene in It Happened One Night in which actor Clark Gable took off his shirt to reveal a white tank top underneath — “audiences were scandalized, but sales skyrocketed.” 

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