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Men's Sleeveless T shirts

by Alexandra Parren
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A sleeveless t-shirt, vest, or muscle tank should be a staple of your workout wardrobe. We look at why you should go sleeveless, types of sleeveless tops for men, and sleeveless t shirt dos and don'ts.

Why go sleeveless?


The lack of sleeves allows your skin to breathe where it needs it most, exposing your armpits and also reducing the risk of sweat patches. If you are a man who sweats a lot when working out, a sleeveless t shirt is perfect for you to keep you comfortable, especially one with sweat-wicking properties which will keep your skin dry and prevent chafing. 

Freedom of movement

A sleeveless t shirt for men allows for complete freedom of movement around the shoulder joint as there are no tight seems or sleeves to restrict you. Your shoulder offers the greatest range of motion out of all the joints so it can be really beneficial to not have any restrictions caused by material.


Due to having less material than a men's gym t-shirt or long sleeved training top, sleeveless t-shirts provide the most lightweight protection for your sport. When it comes to training for speed and agility, you want a lightweight gym top that is going to give freedom of movement and not feel heavy or hold you down. Not only this, during the hot summer months when humidity can make training extra tough, you want to feel comfortable in a lightweight top that is going to sit on your skin and not feel heavy and uncomfortable. 


Sleeveless t-shirts flatter an athletic physique and show off the body for which you've worked hard. If you hit the gym regularly and follow a strict diet, you'll want to be able to show off your toned physique and shapely muscles. If you are an athlete, you will also want to show off your athletic stature.

Whilst these are great reasons to ditch your sleeves, this doesn’t mean you should be rushing off to cut all the sleeves off your t-shirts. The raw seams could fray and lead to chafing, whereas sleeveless t shirts are crafted to not rub the sensitive skin under your armpits and have a relaxed fit around the armpit to allow your skin to breathe where it needs it most.

Men's sleeveless t-shirts vests gym tops for men

Types of Sleeveless Shirt

Typically, sleeveless tops come in two types: compression tight tops or muscle fit vests, each with their own purpose.


Compression shirts are tight spandex clothing generally worn as a base layer under outer athletic apparel. There are lots of benefits to compression wear, as these types of shirts offer support while keeping the muscles warm, making them less become susceptible to cramps and strains. Compression sports apparel also helps to prevent chafing by providing a slick layer near the underarms. Although not necessary for a workout, compression shirts can increase comfort throughout exercise and are even thought to improve athletic performance.


V-tapered workout shirts are designed with the bodybuilder, weightlifter, and professional athlete in mind. These shirts offer a deep v-tapered cut and are made of cotton with a mix of other synthetic blends. The shirt offers sections of porous, jersey-like weaves that allows increased airflow in areas with high perspiration, such as the underarms. This workout apparel is constructed to maximise a man's physique by highlighting his back and shoulder muscles, while minimising the waistline.

Sleeveless T-Shirt for Working Out

Sleeveless Dos and Don’ts

Don’t: Do sleeveless and mesh. It may be cooling, but you will look ridiculous.

Do: Wear sleeveless compression shirts under your men's gym wear. This can help with thermo-regulation, keeping you cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Do: Balance a sleeveless top with the right bottoms. Longer shorts or tights balance out the extra flash of flesh up top.

Don’t: Do a sleeveless shirt and bling, unless you are a famous rapper, in which case we'll let you off.

Why Go Sleeveless

Men's Sleeveless Workout Shirt Sizing

When buying workout shirts, it is important to consider size. Men's activewear shirts should be in a comfortable fit and when it comes to sleeveless, you need to make sure you’re buying the right size to flatter your physique. Men can use the chart below to determine the correct size for their body type.

Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large
Chest 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47" 47-50"
Waist 28.75-31.25" 31.25-33.75" 33.75-36.25" 36.25-38.75" 38.75-41.25"
Hips 35.75-38.25" 38.25-40.75" 40.75-43.25" 43.25-45.75" 45.75-48.25"
Height 5'7"-5'9" 5'9"-5'11" 5'11"-6'1" 6'1"-6'3" 6'3"-6'5"


Sleeveless Gym T shirt Materials


Fabric Features
Cotton Whilst cotton may survive  well during low to moderate intensity exercise, once you crank up the intensity, cotton no longer becomes soft on the skin but soggy and can leave an athlete soaked after a heavy workout.
Polyester Polyester is the most popular choice because it is breathable, lightweight and dries quickly. It can, however, become frustratingly static, especially if your gym has a carpet flooring.
Nylon Nylon has similar features to polyester. It is both lightweight and strong. Nylon does not absorb much moisture, it is also fast-drying and easy to maintain.
Spandex Spandex has the ability to stretch up to 500 percent of its original size and then recover its original shape. This material is also lightweight, making it ideal for fitness wear. One common form of spandex that is often seen in fitness wear is Lycra, which is a synthetic elastic fabric. Lycra is comfortable and breathable as well as quick-drying and resistant to bacteria, ultraviolet rays, and chlorine. This fabric also eliminates static cling and pilling.


Remember to always find gymwear that makes you feel as well as look good, if you feel good, you’ll get more from your workouts.

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