80s - muscle shirts - a question

For those here who were in their 20s-30s in the mid 80s (83-86 let’s say) I have a question:

Were muscle shirts along the lines of these:

a universally popular thing? Or were they more popular with certain subcultures - if so, which? I ask because I see them appear in a lot of mid 80s movies like The Terminator, The Breakfast Club, etc, all from around 1983/1984.

Born in 1960. I - and my friends - wore those all the time in college. Generally cut the sleeves off regular shirts - including flannels. Often we’d cut off the sleeves, and the tails - making it a midriff. We were mostly thin and in decent shape, but I never got the impression we were really trying to show off whatever muscles we had. Instead, we were more of the rock and roll/stoner crowd, and were mostly focussed on comfort.

Got married in 85, and finished law school in 86. After that, I probably wore them for yardwork until they wore out.

Hell - what am I thinking about - I’m wearing a sleeveless tee at the minute as I type this, working at home! :smack: As a young adult, I wore tank tops, until at some point my wife told me I was of an age that no one really needed to see that much of my skin.

When I think muscle shirt, I think of the tank tops with the very thin straps, down the center of the back - to show off one’s lats.

Well, they were certainly (and still all) popular with weightlifters/bodybuilders. I wear one every day at the gym, and have for decades.

It could be any sleeveless shirt. Just no sleeves allows men to show off their arm muscles. The less shirt there is elsewhere the more muscle can be displayed, but the number of men who should be showing anything but their arms is much smaller.

I seem to remember OP (Ocean Pacific) had a lock on the surfer tees and muscle shirts.

I remember that as a kid, we’d often roll up the sleeves of our regular T-shirts to emulate that look. Most of us weren’t brave enough to actually cut the sleeves off, though.

I grew up in the rural South; I was in my late teens and early 20s in the mid-80s.

Sleeveless shirts were sorta popular, but they tended to be a subculture phenomenon, primarily among fans of metal bands. They began showing up in 1981 or '82, I think.

As I recall, the Ocean Pacific shirts showed up a bit later – maybe '84 or '85 – and they had more widespread popularity.

I recall them mostly being a stoner/metalhead thing in high school but they weren’t unusual to see.

Emlio Estevez’s character Andrew was the only one that wore a tank top under his jacket, but I thought it was because he was on the wrestling team, not because it was the style of the 80’s. It wasn’t a sleeveless T like the OP tagged.