Tank tops, like T-shirts, are overlooked as an easy-to-shop for basic. I quickly learned through my research how misguided that is. There are just so many factors to consider when purchasing a good tank top: Is it purely for layering or wearing on its own? Is it thick enough to wear braless? Is it bra-strap friendly? I took all of this into consideration and spoke to a panel of stylish experts to narrow down the options. And I even tested out some of these picks for myself to see how they hold up. Read on to see my criteria for sifting through and picking the best women’s tank tops, or skip straight to what you’re looking for with the handy table of contents.
What we’re looking for
Material is going to determine how your tank top feels. If you want something light and breathable, cotton’s your best bet. But we also have a hemp tank thrown in the mix in case you want a sustainable option that’s a bit more durable than cotton. And synthetics like spandex and elastane come into play when you need some stretch — essential for figure-hugging silhouettes.
Fit and design
Similar to tees, tank tops come in a wide variety of necklines. Scoop neck is by far the most popular on this list, likely because of how versatile it is. And there are a few high neckline options that offer a bit more coverage.
As with all of our fashion coverage, we prioritized picks that come with inclusive sizing. Here, we’ve detailed size ranges to make shopping easier for you.
Best overall women’s tank top
Material: 56% Cotton, 38% Rayon, 6% Elastane | Fit and design: Fitted, ribbed | Neckline: Scoop neck | Size range: XXS to XL
“I’m a firm believer that you should never spend much on a basic T-shirt or tank,” Page Six style editor Elana Fishman says. “Especially if it’s white because stains happen!” Her inexpensive but high-quality pick comes from Aerie. She likes that it’s incredibly soft, “blessedly opaque (even in white),” slim without being skintight, and that it hits right around the hip. “[That means] they’ll stay tucked into pants, shorts, and skirts without riding up or bunching,” she says. Convinced by Fishman, I reached out to the brand to test out a tank for myself. What stood out to me most was how stretchy it was while still retaining its shape. I was able to wear it multiple times between washes, and it never looked stretched out (a common problem I’ve had with other tanks). And in line with what Fishman says, this is one of the more opaque tank tops I’ve tried. I can comfortably wear it braless, but if I do decide to wear one, my bra straps lay under the tank’s straps perfectly. Because of its high quality, versatility, and affordability, it earns our top spot.
Best multipack of tank tops
Material: 92% Cotton, 8% Elastane | Fit and design: Fitted, ribbed | Neckline: Scoop neck with racerback
When Strategist beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton set out to find the perfect white tank, her criteria were clear: “formfitting yet stretchy, not too see through with relatively slim straps.” She ultimately landed on these tanks she bought off Amazon, which she says are “neither too cropped nor too long — perfect for tucking into pants or leaving loose with a lower pair.” Despite being a bargain, she says these feel “high-quality, soft, and substantial” and were even mistaken for RE/DONE (the high-end brand beloved by Hailey Bieber). While she owns the four-pack in white, you can also purchase them in black, gray, navy, and other eye-catching colors.
Best less expensive multipack of tank tops
Material: 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester | Fit and design: Fitted, ribbed | Neckline: High | Size range: XS to XL
Hanes is another multipack that comes at a fraction of the price. I personally have them and love how lightweight, semi-sheer, and flattering they are. Because they’re so inexpensive, I don’t feel the need to be precious with them either. I wear them as sleep shirts, beach coverups, undershirts, and have even cut a couple for a DIY-cropped look. Model Paloma Elsesser, musician Gracie Abrams, and Strategist writer Dominique Pariso also count themselves as fans. “It takes a lot for me to put on anything other than these tank tops,” says Abrams. “They’re a nice opacity and kind of sheer. I’m kind of anti-bra as much as I can be, and I’m not really afraid in this. It’s a perfect everyday basic.” We listed the brand’s boy’s tank here, but it also comes in men’s sizes if you want a wider range or are worried about the crop. (They’re a couple more bucks than the boy’s tanks but still less expensive than the above.)
Best cropped women’s tank top
Material: 95% Pima cotton, 5% Elastane | Fit and design: Fitted, cropped, ribbed | Neckline: High | Size range: XXS to XL
For a cropped tank that isn’t “super-super-cropped,” photographer and creative consultant Jess Tran recommends Everlane’s Micro-Rib Short Tank. “I’ve never had so many people compliment me on a tank top,” she says, noting that she owns at least six of them. The hem hits Tran just above the belly button — “the most flattering for all body shapes” — its shorter crop is offset with a slightly higher neckline, which I personally find brings balance to the cropped silhouette. The tank comes in neutrals like black, white, and gray, as well as cornflower blue and olive. The one downside is that its sizing stops at XL, so it’s not as inclusive as other tank tops on our list.
Best cropped scoop neck tank
Material: 95% Cotton / 5% Spandex | Fit and design: Fitted, cropped, ribbed | Neckline: Scoop | Size range: XXS to 4XL
Skims’ best-selling Cotton Rib tank was also on my radar. Delia Cai, senior vanities correspondent at Vanity Fair, says they hold up extremely well, and hers haven’t shrunk after several washes. “I’m truly annoyed by how dependable they are. They don’t shrink in the wash,” she says, adding that other more expensive tank tops she’s had have stretched out more than the Skims one. One thing that this tank does have over Everlane’s is that its sizing goes up to 4XL.
Best cropped cami tank
Material: 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex | Fit and design: Fitted, lace trim with rose at center of neckline | Neckline: Scoop | Size range: XS to 3XL
When I spoke to stylist Hannah Black, she pointed to this sweet cropped-cami tank top. “As a millennial, I wholeheartedly embrace the return of the cotton cami,” she says. She points to the eyelet trim and delicate satin rose accent, which make the top feel “retro” and “remind me of my youth.” At the same time, it’s “super-functional.” The top is soft, has a “smoothing construction,” and makes for a perfect summer layering piece, she says. She recommends adding the brand’s bolero for a “Pilates class or balletcore look.”
[Editor’s note: Rat Boi is currently having a warehouse sale, and you must sign up for the brand’s newsletter to receive a link to shop. It ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 19.]
Best high neck tank
Material: 88% Organic cotton, 12% Spandex | Fit and design: Fitted with cinched waist | Neckline: High | Size range: XS to XL
A recent favorite of Cai’s is the Reformation Paityn Knit Top — “a perfect work tank top,” she says — which offers more coverage than the other tanks listed with its high neckline. It’s also bra friendly, so you won’t have to worry about bra straps peeking through or wearing a strapless one. But even if you do decide to go braless, Cai says the material is thick enough to accommodate. “I just bought it at the beginning of summer, and I’ve already worn it to the office every week.” She also points to the tank’s flattering cinched waist.
Best loose-fitting tank
Material: 55% Hemp, 45% Organic jersey cotton | Fit and design: Loose, slightly cropped | Neckline: Scoop | Size range: XS to XL
Jungmaven has been brought up before in my coverage on wardrobe basics by experts who like its use of hemp, a more sustainable natural fiber that’s more durable than cotton. I decided to test out the brand’s tank tops and was a big fan of its loose-fitting cropped tank. The hemp-and-cotton blend makes the shirt feel lived in the best way but still hefty. And that little bit of extra weight was also appreciated with a looser fit tee because I wasn’t so concerned about the tank blowing up in a sudden gust of wind. The tank comes in a range of 20 different colors as well.
Best less expensive loose-fitting tank
Material: 100% Cotton | Fit and design: Loose | Neckline: Rounded V-neck | Size range: XXS to XL
As its name suggests, this 100 percent cotton Everlane tank is lighter than the Jungmaven one. It’s partially because of its flattering rounded deep V-neck cut. Former Strategist staffer Mia Leimkuhler says it’s “low enough in the front and back to give it an open, breezy feel, but still high enough in the back to hide your bra strap.” Writer Robin Reetz also calls out the “super-flattering” neckline. Reetz herself has a “smaller frame with a larger bust,” but has seen the tank on friends with various chest sizes, and says “it always looks flattering.”
[Editor’s note: Sizes are limited on this tank, but you can sign up for the waitlist if yours is out of stock.]
Best shapewear tank
Material: 76% Tactel nylon, 24% Spandex | Fit and design: Fitted, shapewear | Neckline: Scoop | Size range: XS to 3XL
Shapewear tanks are helpful for layering and if you don’t want the fussiness that comes with tucking in a tank. This one was recommended in our article on the best shapewear because it is “soft yet fitted,” says celebrity stylist Ali Levine, who has clients wear this for red-carpet and press events. Levine “especially loves [it] for underneath sheath dresses and blouses” because of its two movable inner panels. And with its reversible neckline and nonslip hem, it works just as well on its own with trousers or jeans.
• Elana Fishman, Page Six style editor
• Rio Viera-Newton, Strategist beauty columnist
• Paloma Elsesser, model
• Gracie Abrams, musician
• Dominique Pariso, Strategist writer
• Jess Tran, creative consultant
• Delia Cai, senior Vanities correspondent at Vanity Fair
• Hannah Black, stylist
• Mia Leimkuhler, former Strategist staffer
• Robin Reetz, writer
• Ali Levine, celebrity stylist
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