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.
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.
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.