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June 2022

The simple white tank top is currently enjoying a cultural revival

What it is?

The white tank top may be the most basic staple in our wardrobe, but its background is rooted in cultural movements and major developments in the sporting world. The word 'tank top' is derived from the historical word for swimming pools, which were once known as 'tanks', and is related to the bathing suits worn by the women who first competed in the Olympic swimming competitions in 1912. , apart from being worn as an undershirt by men, has a 'macho' reputation due to its appearance in popular movies. Today it is a popular unisex item for warm summer days or under outfits and is described as a sleeveless shirt, often in ribbed knit material.

Bella Hadid wearing a white tank top Bella Hadid wearing a white tank top by Re/Done.Photo: Getty Images

Why you want it?

The plain white tank top is currently enjoying a cultural revival, no longer being linked to the "toxic machismo" it used to be associated with, and gaining popularity among a new generation of consumers. This popularity is mainly due to the new unisex look of the item, which makes it appealing to all genders and has become a staple item for a wide audience. In addition, the new function of underwear as a normal item of clothing also plays a role in the renewed interest, although in this case it concerns a more modest version of the recurring trend. Unlike bralettes, the tank top offers a little more coverage for those who want to keep up with the trend but don't want to go too naked.

white tank top

Where is it spotted?

The white singlet was a popular item in the AW22 collections, spotted in the fashion shows of some of the biggest international designers. Bottega Veneta, ChloƩ and Bevza combined the staple with standout trousers, pairing the fitted camisole with contrasting oversized and flowy silhouettes or with more wearable loose-fitting jeans or slim-fitting leather-look trousers. Sacai's version featured a sheer knit bodice with a satiny hem. The Italian fashion house Prada presented a tank top featuring the house's metal monogram, placed in a prominent position at the neck, in both a long and cropped version.

white tank top Photo from bellamygallery.com

How to style it?

Despite being a simple piece, the white tank top works well as a standalone item with a touch of toughness, ideal for warm days. Dress it up a bit with high-waisted trousers such as leather trousers or loose-fitting jeans, an ideal daytime look. You can also pair it with a fitted skirt, heeled boots and under a silk top for a night out. The tank top is in fact great for layering, perfect as a top or bottom layer for loose-fitting shirts and sheer blouses. For a relaxed look, wear it under a large shirt or, if you're ready for something completely different, over a blouse with bold sleeves.

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