CLIQUE WEAR: the white tank top
What do Tony Soprano and yours truly have in common?
Answer: we both sleep in a tank top.
But we also wear one during the day – under a shirt, of course, or a polo shirt, or even under a T-shirt. It keeps you warm in the winter, and regulates your body temperature in summer.
Once you’ve got into the habit of wearing a tank top, you can’t go back. You feel naked without one.
Sturdy, popular and chic all at once, the tank top goes with anything and can be worn in all circumstances. There is one golden rule, however: it has to be Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. Only those brands make tank tops of the highest quality: 100% ribbed cotton, a TAGLESS® printed label to avoid itching, and an ideal cut, close-fitting and long enough to tuck in to ward off the wintry weather without any risk of it riding up.
But while Carmela bought Tony’s XXL models at the local Walmart, I’m another kettle of fish.
In Paris, in 2015, you can find virtually anything you want clothes-wise. The slightest trend is served up to the Philistines, who snap up each new fad without a moment’s resistance. But NOT A SINGLE SHOP sells the aforementioned products, so vital to any self-respecting man’s wardrobe.
(To any smartasses who might want to challenge that assertion, let me put you straight right away: the rumour that some were spotted at Ken Claude in the last century is untrue.)
Obviously, there is always some ignoramus who will say that a tank top is a tank top: I am no spring chicken, and I can say with confidence, having tried them all, that from Gap to Éminence, not a single model holds a candle to these two.
To tell you the truth, their unobtainability in France triggers contradictory emotions in me. Of course I am put out at not being able to buy them at my convenience, but I’m also secretly happy that aren’t on sale in every pale imitation of a concept store in the Marais.
So, Mr Snobbypants here gets them shipped over from the US, in packets of 3 or 6, replacing them every six months when the white turns to grey. In a single click it’s done. I would invite anyone with high standards to do the same. Eschew mediocrity and settle for nothing less than the best.
One last thing. Please don’t, as many in France do, call them “marcels”. It’s disrespectful and cheap. It sounds like something from the sort of low-rent recent Parisian brands which pass off their blatant copies reinventions of the kind of denims and worn-out shoes worn by boules players as creative fashion design.