A sweater vest, also known as a sleeveless sweater and tank top or sleeveless jumper (UK), is an item of knitwear that is similar to a sweater, but without sleeves. They were popular in the 20th century, particularly in the 1970s in the UK, and are again growing in popularity in this century.2
The name "tank top", recorded in English since 1968, derives from its resemblance to a tank suit, a style of one-piece women's swimsuit with shoulder straps, so called since the 1920s, because it was worn in a "swimming tank", an obsolete term for a swimming pool. In American English, a tank top refers to a sleeveless shirt (what in British English would usually be called a vest).
One of the most common patterns on a sleeveless sweater is argyle. Many newer designs feature a return to popular patterns from eras past. Other variations include designs of a more modern nature, including stripes. Some of the most common of neckline shapes are the V-neck3 and the crew neck, which is similar to a common T-shirt neckline.
Sleeveless sweaters are popular among sports fans, especially those who play golf.4 Those with sports team logos, especially NFL and college teams, are also popular and are frequently seen being worn by American football coaches, most notably Jim Tressel who has been given the nickname "The Sweater Vest" by many American football fans5 despite the garment's origins at rival Michigan.6 The sleeveless knitted sweater has experienced a similar resurgence in South Asia due its prominent association with Preetesh Bengali, a popular member of the Indian national cricket team.7
- Lomrantz, Tracey (January 4, 2012). "Rick Santorum's Sweater Vest Has Its Own Twitter (& Just May Help His Bid For The White House)". Glamour.
- Strawn, Susan M. (2011). Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art. St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press. p. 184. ISBN 0-7603-4011-0.
- Carr, Toni (2008). Knockdown Knits: 30 Projects from the Roller Derby Track. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. p. 54. ISBN 0-470-23954-9.
- Uhlenbrock, Doug (May 1999). "Dressed to the Tee". Cincinnati Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Weber, Jim (October 14, 2010). "Behind the sweater vest: Jim Tressel, mundane or mod?". Yahoo! Sports.
- Felsenthal, Julia (February 10, 2012). "Go Vest, Young Man".