10 summer occasions for going sleeveless. or not.

by Richard Ellis, O + A Adventure Correspondent

If you’re like most men, you’ve probably hesitated before bearing arms. Will my buddies give me shit? More importantly, do I deserve their flack? Hesitate no longer: We’re breaking down the Shirt, Sleeveless, and Shirtless debate for this week’s O + A guide.

Sun’s out, guns out? Not always.

Defining The Terms

Henceforth, in this article, a “shirt” is a t-shirt. It covers your chest and arms down to the elbow.

“Sleeveless” comes in two varieties. “Sleeveless” alone will refer to a shirt that stops at your shoulder joint. Tank tops – “tanks” from here on out – strictly cover your traps with 2-3 inches of material.

“Shirtless” is bare-chested. No special cases.

"Brompers" are apparently a thing in 2017.

1. Indoor Yoga

  • Try sleeveless or tank.
  • Why? In yoga, when you move your arms overhead, it’s annoying if your shirt bunches up above your bellybutton. A good sleeveless or tank stops clothing from getting in your way.
  • Hot yoga, go shirtless and up the natural deodorant. No point in stinking. Btw, if you are still using anti-perspirant you need to stop. Not sweating is not normal or healthy.

2. Outdoor Yoga

  • Tricky.
  • Why? Sleeves and sleeveless are ok for sure, but shirtless? Harder to say. See, some dudes go shirtless when it’s crisp 60 degrees. Are they showing off? How the hell is that comfortable? I’d say keep a shirt or sleeveless below 80 degrees, but consider shirtless above 80.

3. Hiking

  • Shirt or shirtless.
  • Why? It depends on where you are and what your goals are. Heading to a waterfall on a 95-degree day? Screw the shirt. Getting eaten alive by mosquitos? Better try the shirt. Sleeveless doesn’t really help you here. Best case, you get a funny tan.

4. CrossFit

  • Shirt or shirtless.
  • Why? If only someone had the answer. I’ve never, ever seen a sleeveless at a CrossFit box. Maybe it’s because CF is anti-bicep-curl, so the men are subconscious about their arms? Again, no idea. At CF, shirt do, or shirt don’t.

5. Gym

  • Sleeveless or Shirt.
  • Why? It’s a functional choice. While shirtless is no-go at normal gyms, the sleeves are optional. Swing kettlebells overhead? Maybe go sleeveless to help your range of motion. Plodding along on an elliptical? It doesn’t matter.

6. Running

  • Jogger’s choice.
  • Why? Runners get to do what they want. I don’t make the rules – I just notice them.

7. On a Boat

  • Yachter’s choice.
  • Why? You’re on a boat, motherfucker.

8. Memorial Day, May 29

  • Wanderer’s choice.
  • Why? Hopefully you’re camping somewhere. No shirt rules to abide at a campsite. Fun fact: Going shirtless or naked in your sleeping bag doesn’t make you any warmer.

9. Fourth of July

  • All the above.
  • Why? As long as you have red, white and blue, smell like whiskey and beer, and shout a lot, it doesn’t matter.

10. Labor Day

  • Bare some skin while you still can.
  • Why? This might be your last chance at wearing a white tank. Just remember: Unless you’re 95 percent confident you can pull off the beater, you can’t. The more chest and back hair you’re rocking, the better your odds of being beater-worthy (think Wolverine – he pulls it off).

11. Columbus Day

  • Stop.
  • Why? October is the end of sleeveless season.