The deformations in a plane strain tensile test are analyzed numerically, both for a solid characterized by a phenomenological corner theory of plasticity and for a nonlinear elastic solid. As opposed to the simplest flow theory of plasticity with a smooth yield surface, both these material models exhibit shear band instabilities at a realistic level of strain. Initial imperfections are specified in the form of thickness inhomogeneities. A long-wavelength imperfection grows into the well-known necking mode and subsequently, at a sufficiently high local strain level, bands of intense shear deformations develop in the necking region. The location of these shear bands is strongly influenced by the location of small strain concentrations near the surface, induced by various short-wave patterns of initial thickness imperfections. In accord with the non-uniform straining in the neck it is found that the intensity of the localized deformations varies along the bands, and some of the shear bands end inside the material.