The bros and cons of bro-tanks

Allison Duchin, Contributing Reporter

WATCH OUT! Bro-tanks have taken over the closets of Case Western Reserve University’s male student population. Where did the popularity of these garments come from, who wears them and most importantly, are they doing their intended purpose of grabbing the attention of CWRU’s female population?

Bro-tanks are male tank tops that are typically worn by jocks or fraternities; but how are they truly different than just a tank top? Bro-tanks are more than a garment— they are an attitude, they have a certain swagger about them, and to the bros who wear them, bro-tanks represent a way of life. The bro-tank is assumed to have originated in Southern California amongst the surfing community; although CWRU has a decent population that matriculates from the west coast, it doesn’t explain the mass quantity of bro-tank wearing students that appear on CWRU’s campus on a sunny day.

The social connotation of the bro-tank is that the wearer is a well-muscled male often seen as the center of attention at parties and other social gatherings; typically these males can be seen in the untamed environment that is a college campus. If one sees a bro-tank, it is commonly paired with a pair of wayfarer sunglasses, khaki shorts and open toed sandals; these items often complete the look of a true “bro.”

The point of wearing clothing is multi-faceted: it creates a physical form of self-expression, gives one confidence and is used to attract people of the wearer’s interest. The latter of the three, physical attraction, is often the reasoning behind males wearing bro-tanks. Nico Salavaggione, recent fraternity pledge and athlete, is most likely the most notorious wearer of bro-tanks on CWRU’s campus. He was even described as, “the epitome of bro-tanks,” by fellow student Sydney Eton.

Salavaggione’s assortment of bro-tanks varies from sleeveless hoodies to self-made cut-offs. When asked why Salavaggione liked to wear bro-tanks so much he responded, “Because they make me look muscular.”

On CWRU’s campus, however, every “bro” wears bro-tanks, but not every bro-tank is worn by a “bro.” Although atypical bro-tank wearers do not assume the full “bro” persona, many embrace it.

When asked if bro-tanks have a connotation towards the person wearing them, CWRU student Demir Tulunoglu responded, “the connotation of a bro-tank is that you are sweating so much, due to the fact that you are working out so much, that you need to wear minimal clothing.”

Although Tulunoglu does not have quite as an extensive collection of bro-tanks as Salavaggione, his closet does house three different bro-tanks that he sports regularly when the weather is suitable.

Tulunoglu referenced a bro-tank as “bro-thanks” from an analogy: The person who designed the first bro-tank gave it to a friend was later thanked by that friend after he got increased attention from women around him. However, the question remains— do bro-tanks really make the wearers more appealing to the females at Case? Like any other factor in attraction, the appeal of bro-tanks is completely subjective; however, the humor of the shirt solidifies its growing popularity as a trend among college males, including those at CWRU.

Bro-tanks appear on male students across the social spectrum of CWRU. Although typically a fraternity member or an athlete, many students who wear bro-tanks may fall under both or neither categories, making CWRU “bro-neutral” to the shirt.