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Tank Tops

One of our favorite menswear sites recently made fun of this practice. But when it’s done with a spirit of preservation (say, rescuing your vintage concert tee with the dorky, tight neckline from getting Goodwilled), we think there’s something to be said for giving old favorite T-shirts a new lease on life—with scissors.

Eric Yanez, a buyer for The Rail department, showed us three ways to chop a T-shirt into a tank top in no time at all. He used new T-shirts—but use your imagination and picture a rare gem from the back of your drawer.

See instructions below, plus ideas for how to wear them this Labor-Day weekend (perhaps your last chance to exercise the right to bare arms for a while).

General Tips: 
- You can use a ruler and marker if you want to get technical…But Eric just eyeballed it.
- Use the part of the scissors near the hinge to cut through thick seams easily.
- Once you cut off the first sleeve, use it as a rough template for the other side before you toss it.

 
 


Style 1: Classic Tank Top. For the most straightforward approach, simply cut an inch or two inside the sleeve seams, and take off the ribbed collar as well. Works for a backyard BBQ, but bring an extra layer in case the after-party heads downtown.

Shop: The Poster List T-shirt | Reyn Spooner button-up shirt | Zanerobe swim trunks

 
 


Style 2: Beach Bound. [Black lines = front of shirt. Red lines = back.] This one cuts in further in back—advisable for the beach, poolside, and anywhere else clothing is optional. Make sure you follow the red lines above for the BACK only.



Shop: Bowery Supply T-shirt | Maui & Sons swim trunks

 
 


Style 3: Muscle Tee. Lose the sleeves but keep the neck intact. A good option for the gym, where you want to stay cool while keeping some fabric between you and the machinery.



Shop: Altru T-shirt | 1901 oxford shirt (also in green) | Original Paperbacks shorts

 

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Final Tip: When in doubt, heed the advice of menswear designer and all-around class act Ms. Eunice Lee: Tank tops, like flip-flops, are more at home at the beach than in the city.

SHOP ALL: Ready-Made Tank Tops | Future-Classic T-Shirts

When we were putting together tank tops for the July issue story, this one was at the top of our list because it has an athletic edge but doesn’t look like something you’d pick up at a sporting goods store. The contrasting black-and-white piping, set against that faded red, feels a bit 1960s SoCal and gives off a laid-back, beachy, surf vibe. Also, Alternative does a great job on making sure their fabrics, which are naturally dyed, feel as good on the skin as they look.

—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director

Each month for the next six months, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio and the Men’s Shop, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on Nordstrom.com.

For our inaugural edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 12 killer items from the July issue. Check back every month for more.