It’s the perfect foundation for a stay-at-home outfit.
Still, it’s no accident that a summer that has everyone confined to their apartments also happens to coincide with the comeback of the white tank. Before 2020 the lowly ribbed style wasn’t exactly known for its versatility. Instead, it was relegated to a great but meant-to-go-unnoticed layering piece for cardigans and itchy wool sweaters. This season, however, they’re everywhere: on-screen, in magazines, and in every Instagram photo ever. Even better, the style feels just as at-home paired with a silk skirt as it does with a pair of straight-leg denim.
That being said, what makes the perfect ribbed tank is up for debate: “The perfect tank is stretchy but not too tight, especially around the armpit,” influencer Claire Rose says. Fashion writer Shelby Hyde says to “look for styles that are fitted through the body and have a slightly cropped hemline that sits above the hip.”
And although it seems like a simple silhouette, there’s such a range of styles for good reason: “Sometimes design can take a back seat when you’re trying to keep something basic while still wanting it to stand out in a crowded space,” says Ashley Glasson of L.A.-based basics brand LNA. The brand’s Ribbed Skinny Racerback tank has sold out more than once, and it’s LNA’s top-selling style on the site this year. “Besides it being an easy tank to just throw on, it’s this 2 x 1 rib that keeps its shape that people really like. It’s a tank that shows up on activewear sites as well as getting paired with denim, and nowadays, also sweatpants.”
So what exactly does a fashion person look for in a good white ribbed tank? Read on for 11 dissenting opinions on the best of the best styles.
Founder of NYC-based Consulting Agency miilkiina
“I’m always drawn to basics with a twist, and this asymmetric tank is sooo cool. It’s interesting and versatile enough to stand alone or to be layered!”
Influencer and Founder of @ohakids
“The perfect white tank top for me is stretchy, with thin straps, a high neckline—and it has to be 100 percent cotton. It’s not long, but not cropped; instead, it’s the perfect middle length that hits just at the hip. I also adore asymmetric tank tops, which is a cute twist to any summer look.”
Freelance Stylist and Editor
“It’s all about shape and longevity. I love the shape and texture of this Negative Underwear top. It is super stylish, breathable, and a buy that holds its shape and material depth through several wears.”
Founder of @jenwonderstudio
“For me, the best tank is the Ribbed Skinny Racer tank from LNA. The collar shape is super sexy, and the stretchy fabric molds the bust nicely. Not to mention, the soft fabric makes it the best tank ever!”
“My favorite ribbed tank that I wear almost weekly is by Steele. It truly is the perfect crop on me and also features a wider rib with a wider binding around the neck and armholes, which makes it more unique than my other tanks. It is the perfect layering piece under jackets or oversize button-downs or solid on its own with some high-waisted baggy trousers.”
Influencer and Creative Consultant
“I love a knit rib tank because it’s one of the easiest, most comfortable foundation pieces in my wardrobe. It’s so easy to pair [with] high-waist jeans, wide-leg trousers, slip skirts—literally anything—and have a look that is balanced as both casual and effortlessly chic. Knit rib in general has amazing stretch and recovery and looks fresh forever. I love bodysuits for how seamless they are and cropped tanks for hitting at just the right place.”
“The back detail of this tank is my favorite. The fabric is soft and stretchy, making it perfect for everyday wear.”
“The perfect tank is stretchy but not too tight, especially around the armpit, and not too thick. I like a ribbon or waffle material, so you don’t need to wear a bra underneath it, and it shows that you don’t wear a bra, but it’s not too much in your face. This season I’ve ordered so many, but my favorites are from The Range and Amo Denim.”
“It’s all about the Re/done ribbed tank in black or white. The perfect white tank hugs your body without being too tight, is made from a soft fabric, and has a cut that’s beyond your basic tank that goes straight up. It angles inward and makes for a flattering shape.”
Freelance Fashion Editor
“Outside of the classic $9 pack of Hanes tank tops that you can get at Target or on Amazon, I’m a huge fan of Brandy Melville’s ribbed tanks—so much so that I invested in multiples of the same top at the beginning of the summer. When it comes to finding that perfect ribbed tank to go with everything, I look for styles that are fitted through the body and have a slightly cropped hemline that sits above the hip. (Extra points if it has high-cut arm holes for a laid-back vintage feel.)”
Influencer and Freelance Stylist
“I found my favorite ribbed white tank at & Other Stories a few years ago, and it’s perfect because it’s a thick material and isn’t see-through — which is so important to me because sometimes I like to wear it without a bra! It’s somewhat stretchy and the perfect off-white color, and I feel like it pairs perfectly for a casual denim short look or a dressed-up gold chain necklace with a flare wide-leg pant. The length is long and not cropped, which gives you the great option to have it tucked in or worn longer with shorts.”
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