Going-out tops, be gone! Fall is here, but I’m making the most out of those final delicious temperate days. Savvy strategic layering starts with my “top” performing transitional piece: the humble white tank top.
If you think a plain white tank is boring, think again. It’s a soothing balm that counters current maximalist trends. It’s endlessly versatile — complimenting your flashier pieces or serving as a minimal base for literally any aesthetic.
Finally, a piece that truly stands the test of time! It’s not tied to any “aesthetic,” it’s not owned by any gender, and it’s not going out of style any time soon.
According to the New York Times, the garment’s history as underwear lends an air of intimacy and brazen sexuality. “Worn in a straightforward, unironic fashion, it can read as either masculine or feminine — easily evoking the hackneyed image of the swaggering brute or a vixen eagerly courting the male gaze. Yet it can also be worn in a way that slyly undermines traditional gender roles, as demonstrated by its popularity among LGBTQ. people.”
But it’s fall, you might argue. And yes, I know. But the benefit of layering season is that you can wear a white tank as your base layer, then artfully assemble cardigans, jackets, and coats over it. And on those last, lingering, warm days, bare your shoulders in delight.
I wore a white tank all summer and felt both comfortable and chic. I’ve amassed quite a few over the years, so, of course, I play favorites. The Hanes white tank is my desert island fashion pick, and it’s on Amazon for less than $11!
No matter what I wear with a white tank, I’m instantly dapper. It’s giving effortlessly cool. It’s disarmingly bold. It’s also super convenient — goodbye to decision fatigue.
Plus, no matter where I travel, I pack a bunch of different white tanks in a small corner of my suitcase for lightweight outfit options. No matter what else I bring, I end up choosing the tank.
Why wouldn’t I? There’s no shortage of ways to style the ubiquitous white tank top.
A classic silhouette is often perfected by an equally classic brand. In the 70s, as the tank top eschewed undergarment status and blasted into the mainstream, Hanes rechristened it the athletic shirt, or the “A-shirt.”
Hanes makes the best white tank because they’ve been doing it forever. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Instead, ship it straight to your door with Amazon.
Add it to your fall rotation now, and you won’t look back. Get yours from Amazon before winter — when no amount of layering will save you.
Need some styling inspo? Here’s how some of our favorite celebs style this staple piece:
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Valerie Steele — director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology — told the NYTs that Marlon Brando is an iconic originator of this look. “It has an allure because of this whole macho, Marlon Brando kind of feeling, and then, also, a very strong butch lesbian feeling to it. So it’s vernacular clothing with a strong sexual charge, and that’s somewhat transgressive.”
Beyonce and Normani
Tank tops were big in early 2000s, but one of the most epochal looks was Beyonce’s white tank and denim shorts with red heels in the Crazy in Love music video. Just the thought of the song conjures up the image of Beyonce strutting in this simple yet unforgettable outfit. This is why Normani borrowed it in her 2019 Motivation music video for her song. Icons recognize icons.
Speaking of outfit formulas, Emma Chamberlain has professed her love for white tank tops as part of her 3-piece outfit formula. And who are we to argue?
In his recent shoot for Men’s Health ahead of the upcoming Creed 3, Jonathon Majors brings that Marlon Brando sexual energy tenfold. Yet he also seems casual and approachable, showcasing the duality of this wardrobe staple.
Dubbed “Headband Coffee Mug” by Deuxmoi for his signature quarantine accessories, Shawn Mendes should also be known for his frequent white-tank-top-wearage. Tank tops are to Shawn what white tees are to Carmy in Hulu’s The Bear.