Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy: Wife beater tank tops as street wear

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

The last snappy or crappy, political caricatures and figurines – with a Hillary Clinton nutcracker doll as an example – racked up a majority of snappy votes at 54 percent. A mere 10 percent voted crappy, 21 percent gave a snap/crap vote and 12 percent were too busy trying to crack open a walnut to decide.

Rather than a political statement, the latest snappy or crappy is a fashion statement: “wife beater” tank tops as street wear.


Wife beater tank as fashion statement/Ryn Gargulinski

These fine white tanks, which great-grandfathers wear as undershirts, have popped up more than once on the streets of Tucson – and beyond.

We love Old Pueblo for its laid-back vibe, but we’re wondering if great-grandpa underwear is the prettiest choice of outerwear for hopping about town.

Wife beater tank at a downtown Tucson bus stop/Ryn Gargulinski

Wife beater tank at a downtown Tucson bus stop/Ryn Gargulinski

This particular guy, who has been kept anonymous along with the rest of the folks in the photos, was spotted at a downtown bus stop. So it’s not like he’s just wearing the white tank for walking the dogs in the riverbed or watering his lawn.

Tucson fashion/Ryn Gargulinski

Tucson fashion/Ryn Gargulinski

These tanks also get a thumbs down for their nickname. The term “wife beater” never brings any positive connotations to mind.

Crappy, crappy, crappy.



Would you wear a wife beater tank top in public?

Would you wear one in private?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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18 Responses to Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy: Wife beater tank tops as street wear

  1. leftfield says:

    It looked a lot better on Marlon Brando.  You can be certain at some point in the day, friends, co-workers and even complete strangers will be treated to the sight of his armpits in the full bloom of the Tucson summer complemented by matching sweat stains down the sides of his shirt.  Imagine, if you dare.

  2. Rynski says:

    hey lefty!
    STELLLLLAAAAAAAA! i forgot about brando being kinda cool in white wb tank. i wanted to name one of my dogs stella so i could call her like thus, but phoebe won out in name category.
    as for imagining the sweat stains et. al., i do heartily thank you for that image…but white only shows stains in medium glory – (light) GREEN is the color to wear if you want to get really disgusting about it – hahahhahaha

  3. Bill Hilser says:

    Hey Rynski: I just wonder how long it takes that guy to strap on his beer gut after he rolls out of bed every morning?
    I’ll bet he was on his way down to see the dead bodies on display. Was he?
    Why else would that pervert have his hands down there playing with himself in anticipation?
    And that crooked smile, with the spittle running down his chin?
    YUK!  —  I would have slapped him in the face!
    Book ’em, Dano, Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  4. leftfield says:

    Ryn, with a white shirt, you have to let the stains mature and ripen through a few days of continuous wear in order to appreciate them in their full glory.  And, your viewing pleasure is enhanced when they are seen in the context and vicinity of a hairy armpit dripping with sweat on a really beefy guy.

  5. leftfield says:

    i forgot about brando being kinda cool in white wb tank

    Yes, you can thank Marlon for this one.  You have to remember that in the context of the times in which “Streetcar” made its debut, for him to appear in (gasp) underwear on screen was very racy and it set female hearts aflutterin’ everywhere.  Unfortunately, it also made some men think that wearing a WB and being moody would turn them into Brando.  Same thing with red windbreakers, pompadours and James Dean.  

    I have the kernel of an idea that pompadours, DA’s and crewcuts might somehow be good subjects for discussion if accompanied by good photos.     

  6. Rynski says:

    @ferrari bubba –
    oh, bubba – i am not sure where the man was going….and i tried not to discuss anything for any length of time. i do thank you, however, for your theories – EEEK!

  7. Rynski says:

    @leftfield –
    hahahhah! i shall be on the lookout for photos of pompadours et. al. – i’m also looking for pajamas in public as another fine discussion topic.
    how funny that guys would think WB and moodiness would work for them just because worked for brando – that explains A LOT! ahhahahha.
    thank you also for the proper formula on white shirt sweat stains and its need to be accompanied by the hairy armpit. sounds like the perfect recipe, for sure!

  8. fraser007 says:

    No wonder…. the photo was taken at the Sun Tran Transit Center in Downtown! How many will you see at la Encanta in the foothills!! LOL

    Nobody would complain if a good looking woman worn one.

  9. Rynski says:

    ha~! good observation, fraser007, both on sun tran transit center being the location of offense – AND the double standards about woman wearing wb tank…although i did get glared at recently at the mall by some uppity lady with 16 kids even though my tank was unrevealing and a fine teal blue.

  10. azmouse says:

    Just crappy.
    The guys who shouldn’t wear these are always the ones that do.

    • Rynski says:

      hahaha – so true, azmouse, about guys who should not wear such stuff as wbs – or speedos! – being the first to put them on.
      now where’s brando when you need him in either (in his early years, of course…hahahah).
      on second thought, NO GUY looks good in speedos…yick!

  11. Bill Hilser says:

    Hey 007: Especially if she wore it on a cold, wet, windy day! 
    I’ll never forget the day that I got what was left of my mind jogged when I saw a photo and learned that green pajamas were suddenly permissable attire in an award-winning  newspaper newsroom. 
    The photo was cropped, so I couldn’t see whether her fetching outfit included her bunny bedroom slippers too.
    And after 40 years in the racket, I thought that I’d seen it all. I can see that I retired way too young, right, Rynski? <g>
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      ferrari bubba – what a cRAZY site the green pajamas in a newsroom must have been – geesh! – i don’t even want to venture a guess as who would try to pull that one off! hahahhahahaha.
      as for bunny slippers as footwear? i guess it could work if they, too, were green to match the pjs…or perhaps a fine pair of fuzzy frog slippers to keep with the green theme?
      i am shocked to hear of such a thing – glad i missed that one! hahahahhahahahahha

  12. radmax says:

    All things being relative, I agree that unsuitable clothing looks awful on the wrong person…like a two ton Tilly cramulated into a spandex gym suit. There goes my lunch.

  13. koreyk says:

    Is it a wife beater only if it is white and ribbed?

    When I was in high school, colored (and often silk-screened) tanks were popular with the guys.  We called them muscle shirts.  I wore them a lot, but back then I had the physique to pull it off.  I still have the muscles, but they have been disguised enough by too much beer and Mexican food that I figure I’m doing the world a favor by not wearing them anymore.

    • Rynski says:

      haha! thanks for input, koreyk.
      yes – it is only white, ribbed tanks that qualify as wife beaters.
      other colors – with or without ribs – are fashionable tank tops while ‘muscle shirts’ to me were always t-shirt-like body of shirts with no sleeves. tank tops have dipped neckline and arm holes while muscle shirts cut at the shoulders so the muscles looked like they we bulging out.
      yes, i had my own fine array – muscle shirt with studs at arm holes was one of my faves. still dig tank tops – but NO wife beaters for me – silk screen only when i’m feeling retro-ey and only if it features something like hendrix – hahaha.

      • koreyk says:

        I don’t think the muscle shirt of today that you describe even existed in my high school days.  At least I never saw such.  Ours were basically like todays tanks.  They really showcased the delts. 

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